Your homepage is typically the first page your author website visitors see—so it should be eye-catching, memorable, and informative. Remember: You never get a second chance to make a first impression! A well-designed homepage compels visitors to click through to other pages to learn more about your author brand. On the other hand, a poorly designed homepage will have visitors abandoning your website in seconds.
There are two schools of thought regarding homepage design: having introductory text on your homepage vs. keeping your homepage text-free. By using a strong visual without any text you can make a striking, unforgettable statement—but there are both pros and cons to having a text-free homepage.
Text-Free Homepage: Pros
- Using a large, high-resolution image will give your homepage a crisp, appealing aesthetic.
- A text-free homepage can have a big, emotional impact and evoke a strong reaction in visitors before they read a single word.
- No text on a homepage decreases the chance that visitors might feel overwhelmed or be distracted by busy, cluttered content.
- A text-free homepage can take full advantage of compelling cover art, putting your book first and purchasing information front and center.
- By featuring cover art or complementary images that convey the themes of your book or writing, you can set the emotional tone for your entire author website.
- A text-free homepage allows you to have a clear call to action to click on: your contact form, navigation, or mailing list sign-up form.
- By putting the navigation menu at the forefront and keeping your visitors’ options limited, you can direct them to the appropriate sections without the distraction of superfluous content.
Text-Free Homepage: Cons
- If the image on your homepage fails to resonate with your visitors, they won’t be inclined to click through to other pages—and there’s no written message from you to convince them otherwise.
- Text-free homepages are hard to do well: Sometimes, purchasing a truly amazing image can cost a bit more than a standard stock photo. But the extra expense may be necessary to make a huge impact with few words.
- No text on your homepage means no opportunity to immediately introduce yourself to your audience the way your visitors might expect—with words.
- If it’s not done with expertise and deliberate style, a text-free homepage may appear unfinished or underdeveloped.
Text-Free Homepage Tips
If you like the dramatic, attention-grabbing effect that a a text-free homepage can bring to your author website, follow these tips to ensure that your homepage has all of the positives mentioned here and none of the potential negatives:
- Use a high-quality, vibrant image, and keep in mind that less is more. Don’t replace lengthy blocks of text with multiple, incongruent images. Choose one powerful image, not a handful of weak ones.
- Use only a few complementary colors that represent your author persona well.
- Don’t confuse visitors by including too many calls to action. Too many choices can make people uncertain about where to click first—and uncertainty could cause your potential fans to click away from your site.
QUESTION: Do you prefer the text-free approach to homepages?
That first example is particularly gorgeous. Wow. I’m going to resist the powerful temptation to mess with my current site design, but if I were to change it, I might go textless after seeing your examples. Thanks for your pointers!