Most writers understand the importance of having an author website to act as an online business card and an information hub. But at Web Design Relief, our experts know that before you press the button that launches your website, it’s important to make sure everything is all systems go! You don’t want to make your author website live, only to discover functional or navigational issues and typos that will make your visitors cringe—and bounce.
Start The Countdown! Questions To Ask Before You Launch Your Author Website
Have you proofread your site? Yes, proofreading is as vital to website-building as it is to poetry, prose, or books. Typos will make your website look amateurish. This is especially true if you’re an author! Make sure your Oxford commas are in order and your proper nouns are properly capitalized before launching. Learn how to become a master proofer here.
Do you have something to attract visitors? Your author website should showcase your writing and broaden your readership. Make certain that you have pages featuring excerpts of your book, blog posts, or links to your literary publications. You may also want to have a dedicated page where visitors can purchase your books, or you can include “Buy Now” buttons to third-party sellers to increase book sales.
Is social media integrated into your website? While it is unlikely that visitors would spend several hours a day on your author website, the opposite is true for social networking apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Have social media buttons prominently featured on your author website that link to your various social media platforms so visitors can follow you.
Pro Tip: Verify that your social media pages are ready for the public. This means that your social media accounts aren’t set to private and aren’t flooded with personal posts that don’t pertain to your writing. In fact, don’t link to your personal social media—create separate accounts for your author persona, including a Facebook author page!
Do website visitors have a way to contact you? Having a contact page is essential—literary agents or editors may want to get in touch with you! It also gives your fans and followers the opportunity to reach out to you through an easy-to-use form. A contact form is a safe way for you to connect with your audience while limiting spam and protecting your privacy. Which brings us to our next point…
Is your website safe? To protect yourself and your visitors, limit the personal information you share, especially your email address. This can attract unwanted spam from automated bots and leave your site vulnerable to hacking. Make sure you have effective Internet security in place by installing security plugins and captchas.
Did you optimize your website for mobile use? Almost all websites are built via desktop computers, and while it might look perfect on the big screen, your website may not translate well to mobile use. As more people view websites on their mobile devices, it’s important for your website to look good on smartphones and tablets. Be sure to check that your author website is legible and functional on mobile devices before you make your site live.
Does everything work? Perhaps the most important step before launching your website is to check that everything works! And we mean everything. Does your domain lead to your actual website? Are your hyperlinks live? Does your website work on multiple browsers? Do all of your buttons take visitors to the right location? Be your own guinea pig! Test your entire website prior to launch.
Once you’ve confirmed all systems are go, you can rest assured that your readers will enjoy visiting your author website and learning more about you and your writing. Ready to help your writing career take off? 3…2…1…launch!
Question: Which item on the checklist do you think is most important?