Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Home page

This was a tremendous fiddle, but if I've managed it, this should be the home page of my web site:

What do you think? All critique welcome! This will have my real name on it, but I don't really want any links to my real name from this blog, which is why I've popped in McK. I'm also thinking black and white photo for the top left hand corner for the home page. That photo will change on every page, as will the title in the top bar.


Robin S. said...

Hey McK-

Looks good! You and your witty, sassy stuff, you're a hoot, girl.

And I like the idea that you'll have different pictures on different pages - I think personal pictures hold interest. (That's one of the reasons I dropped the Weebly idea- I couldn't use different pictures across the top, on each page. Not good, in my opinion.)

I like the look of the site. It's clean, and the picture is great, and I like the choices on the left, to see you're books, to see FAQs, etc.

My only question is - what's the copy gonna be? Will it be background information on your writing, your interests, how they mesh, etc? I think the idea of this is really cool- but I'm too gutless to do it. You, I'm guessing, have good ways to fill this up.

Is the site interactive? Emailable? or a blog set up as part of it? These are things I'm thinking about as well, but i have no time for right now. Don't know how you feel about them.

Thanks for letting is take a peak!

Robin S. said...

(sorry for the typos- I just saw them- ewww.)

McKoala said...

Heh, heh. Of course the actual copy will be far less funny.

Thanks for taking such a close look. That's just a temp photo, but glad you like it! I thought I'd try and have something relevant on every page, probably not of me, but more interesting things. I think one pic of me is enough. More than enough!

The book list can be expanded or contracted (hope not!) with ease. That's the advantage of using CSS, adding new pages is a doddle, because all the styles are already set up. Bung in a few words and a photo and it's done. being written now! At least it will be once I finish footling about on the internet. Home page will be intro blah; book stuff probably the pitch, maybe first para; 'Letters from Evie' will be some letters from my main character that aren't in the book (thinking that teen readers if immersed in a world might like to find a little 'extra' on the site),
'About me' will be a hopefully entertaining little bio explaining who I am and why I write YA ummm...Links - mostly to Scotland (LOL), Contact me - hopefully an automatic e-mail of some kind, but need to find out about that. No blog for now, but I'll take a view on that later on.

Robin S. said...

Hi- cool that you're on here right now - like an actual conversation.

Most of the pics I'm using are pictures I've taken that I like - of scenes, of the places I write, etc. There's only one of me, at least that's the plan. Are you thinking of doing that type of thing with your pictures?

I like the idea of the letters from Evie. What about Ghost Boy? Do you have any ideas for "further information" on that one as well?
Might be kinda cool.

December/Stacia said...

I like it! Clean and professional.

You're so slim!

Church Lady said...

The copy and paste was a hoot! I would almost leave it, except only your friends would get how sassy that truly is!

I think it's a good start. I love the photo. But you know, I would hire somebody to help. You want more than a site. You should develop a brand for yourself. I will be honest and say that it doesn't stand out from anyone else's site.

IMHO, everything should be short and sweet, and only a click away. Don't create layers, no matter how beautiful they are. People don't have time.

Are you promoting Seal Song or your other book? Or both? What theme do you want?

What are the FAQs for? Is that part necessary?

Am I being too unkind? I hope not. I am being honest because I want this to be a killer page for you.

McKoala said...

Sorry for delay, busy weekend. Thanks December. Yeah, I'm pretty skinny, apart from the had-two-babies-didn't-do-any sit ups tummy. Note loose shirt!

CL, you are right about creating a brand and that is definitely the way to go. For now, however, I need something to go up fast, essentially a professional-ish-looking carrier for some additional info. That photo is actually going to go, because I think it
s too holiday-looking - although I wasn't on holiday, I just happen to be lucky enough to live in a stunning place. It might please you to know that a great seal photo is going there just as soon as I get myself some proper graphics software that is capable of resizing photos instead of merely distorting the!.

The copy on that page is also Sealsong oriented, but I'm deliberately not pushing it 100%, because I'm thinking about adding in the other books, although I do want it to be the focus just for now. The FaQ is kind of a q&a section and I'll be including a clickable e-mail address (I hope) and inviting questions from my single reader , tee hee.

Man, this is a complicated process.

Josephine Damian said...

McK, I'm about a year away from from putting up my own web page - if only I had Conduit's ability and talent.

Thanks for explaing some of the technical terms and options - you're way ahead of me on the learning curve.

Dave F. said...

You don't have to read any of my stories on my website but I will tell you from experience that I have only three page formats or templates.
#1 - the home page, or index page. (This is the one you want everyone to link to.)
#2 - the subindex page which separate the text into the main categories I use. You could say "light, heat" or "Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter," or "Short stories, Novel parts, personal rants, and silly stuff"
#3 - the story pages. They are all the same.

It took me a solid months work when I converted to style sheets. I literally reformatted 100 stories and condensed 170 pages down to 120.

I use one graphic banner for all pages. I use one style of menu for all pages. Using a stylesheet makes it easy to have a consistent look and navigation to the website. The colors stay the same and when I change the background, it involves only one file.

I used to use separate banners for each group of stories. It took hours to change the style of those banners. Now I use one banner and a stylesheet to create the group titles.

Think homogenous.

McKoala said...

Hi Josephine! Yes, Conduit is really good at this stuff. I love the detail in his site.

Dave, I wouldn't have liked to re-code a whole site! It took me a while to get my style sheet set up, so for now I'm using the same one for all pages. I may tweak some colours for copy pages, though, and perhaps change the home page in the future. Once I get over this whole wrestling with images nightmare! Turns out it's all my fault for not having proper graphics software and I can save myself a world of pain by fumbling some coins out of my pocket and getting some.

Conduit said...

Hey, I didn't know you'd gotten this far along. It looks clean and clear and simple, and that's always a good thing.

Do you actually have this hosted anywhere I can look at the code? Email me a link if you have one.

A few tips (though by the look of it you've probably already implemented them):

Use appropriate tags for the content. Use h1 for your main headings, h2 for subs, P's for paragraphs etc. Only one h1 per page.

Use a list for your menu - because it's a list of links. You can strip the bullets out using CSS and apply the buttons with borders etc.

Test in as many browsers as you can. Firefox is the closest to standards compliant, but IE is pretty poor. What looks fine in one can look mental in another. And then there are Macs, too.

Try browsing your site using a plain text browser, such as Lynx or WebbIE. There are two benefits to this:

1) That's how Google and other search engines pretty much see your site. If you can't make sense of your site with all images and styling stripped out, then neither can a search engine.

2) It shows how accessible your site is to disabled people (this is also a reason to make sure you use correct tags - if a person is relying on a screen reader to browse your site, how are they to know if something's a main heading unless you tell them?).

And I think that's probably enough for now! :)

Ello said...

Hey that looks real good! And nice pic! I can't wait to see what you will actually have on it!