When planning the design of your author website, the background should be at the forefront of your mind. At Web Design Relief, we know it’s easy to focus on the text and the elements that will pop and grab your audience’s attention. But keep in mind: Your website’s background takes up most of the page—on every page—and should complement the atmosphere, tone, and overall experience for your readers. Here are tips from our designers to help you choose the best background for your author website.
Guide To Choosing A Background For Your Author Website
Use Texture And Patterns
There is no reason why your background has to be limited to a solid, flat color, so experiment with different textures! Floral- and nature-themed backgrounds work well, as do industrial and geometric textures. Keep your genre in mind and be sure your background suits your writing.
But be careful: It can be easy to lose your content in a too-busy background. If you opt for a background with a lot going on, like a colorful pattern or picture, make certain that your text and images have drop shadows so that they still stand out, or use overlays and filters to soften the background where you have a lot of text. Make it easy for people to read your content!
Color is one of the best ways to evoke the atmosphere you want your author website to convey. While black and white are the most popular choices for background colors, there are many other colors that will match your mood and still allow for legible text. If you write romances, you might want to consider using pastel, rosy tones. Meanwhile, a thriller or mystery writer might find that a background of deep jewel tones captures the right mood.
Ideally, you want visitors to stay on your author website for a long time, learning about you and your writing. But if your background features glaring neon colors that aren’t easy on the eyes, your readers will be bouncing off your website in a hurry. Some colors to avoid are intense blues, yellows, and purples—which can be particularly difficult to view for any length of time.
While having the same background on every page is standard web design, certain pages or sections of your website may call for a different shade or texture. But be sure to use shades in the same family of colors or similar textures to match the overall look of the rest of your website.
You may find yourself falling in love with many different backgrounds, but every page shouldn’t look like it belongs to a different website. Having multiple pages or sections without a cohesive style will appear amateurish and overly busy—and make it harder for your visitors to focus on your message. A consistent look carried throughout your website will reinforce your author brand’s effectiveness.
Whether your background colors are muted or bold, it’s important that your text is legible. Choose contrasting colors to make certain your words will stand out against the background. A good rule of thumb: White text works against dark backgrounds, and black text works against light backgrounds almost every time.
Stay Away From Animation Or Video
Animated backgrounds or backgrounds with embedded videos no longer have a place in modern web design. Not only are they too busy, but these elements will also slow down the loading speed of your website—which is a huge design mistake. Also, animated backgrounds won’t work on tablets and phones. With most people now accessing the Internet using these devices, your website must be mobile-friendly.
Consider A High-Quality Image
While solid colors, trendy textures, and eye-catching patterns are typically used for backgrounds, images are another great option. A good photo can add depth and emotion to the overall experience of your author website. You might use a landscape based on the setting in your writing, or from where you live now or your childhood. You can purchase beautiful stock imagery or use your own high-quality image!
Designer Pro Tip: Because your background takes up the entire page, the image you use as your background must be big enough to fit the space. An image that is less than 300 DPI (dots per inch) or smaller than 1,200 pixels in length will appear blurry and out of proportion—which will make your website look unprofessional.
Test Your Background
Before you debut your new background, it’s important to confirm that it works with all the elements of your author website. Once you add content, your background may unexpectedly shift, become chopped up, or lose its quality—so be sure to self-test your website before pressing the update or publish button.
Don’t assume a background that looks good on your own desktop or laptop computer will look good on every computer. There are countless different computer screen resolutions. Try changing your screen’s resolution or borrowing someone else’s computer to see how your website’s background will look on other screens. And testing a background on mobile phones and tablets is crucial, since these are often used by your audience.
The right background on your author website will reinforce your author brand, complement your genre, and make the best impression on your audience. If you’re not sure about making the correct choice on your own, hire a designer like the pros at Web Design Relief!
Question: What type of background do you prefer on a website? Why?