As technology evolves at a lightning-speed pace, website design trends are constantly changing. Ideas that were cutting-edge only months ago now seem old hat, while new developments usher in the latest website must-haves. However, many writers build their author websites once and consider them permanently done—which unfortunately leads to outdated elements and nonfunctioning links, pages, and more. The tech experts at Web Design Relief know that editors, literary agents, and readers visiting an obsolete website might assume it’s abandoned and bounce off, never to return. Here are 3 signs your author website definitely needs to be updated.
Signs Your Author Website Needs To Be Updated ASAP
Doesn’t Look Good On Mobile Devices
If your website is more than a few years old, you or your web design team most likely built the site exclusively for desktop use. However, over 55% of website traffic now comes from mobile devices, so at least half of your audience will be on a smartphone or tablet.
When was the last time you viewed your author website on your phone? It’s possible that your desktop site has merely been condensed to fit onto a smaller screen, affecting its legibility and functionality. Or it may not load at all. Your author website’s mobile capability (or lack thereof) is one of the biggest indicators that it’s due for an update.
Responsive designs are a must-have element for all modern websites. This means that your web pages adapt to all screen sizes and browser settings. We recommend starting fresh if your original website was not designed with smartphones, tablets, and multiple browsers in mind.
Takes Too Long To Load
One in four visitors will leave a website if it does not load within four seconds, and a slow-to-load website will also appear lower in Google searches. If your author website takes too long, your audience will be judging the site negatively before it even loads!
To update your website and boost loading speed, you can install plugins that offer photo compression and caching features. We highly recommend the WordPress plugin Smush, which compresses the photo sizes on your website to help your website load faster without reducing the quality of the photos. We also like WP Super Cache, a plugin that caches and pre-loads web elements so that your website doesn’t have to waste bandwidth loading the same things over and over again.
You should also use a quality hosting service that monitors site speed and usage to ensure your author website loads quickly and reliably.
Visual Design Is Dated
Just like clothing, makeup, and hairstyles, website design trends can go out of fashion. Giant, sprawling headers and multiple fonts were once commonplace in website design. Nowadays, designers favor simple, clean designs with some pops of color. Take a look at your author website and compare it to modern websites. Does it fit with current styles or seem as outdated as Billy Ray’s mullet and achy breaky heart?
Before readers peruse your author bio or publication history, they will judge your website’s design. Is it modern, attractive, and matching your genre and writing style? If not, it’s time to update.
More Signs Your Website Needs An Update
- It’s difficult to add or edit text and images.
- Your URL or website copy no longer represents you as an author.
- There are dead links or buttons that lead to nowhere.
- You don’t have tight web security.
Determining whether you should update your current author website or start from scratch with a new site and design is a job best left to professionals. The tech experts at Web Design Relief can review your author website and help you decide how best to move forward. Schedule a free consultation with our experts today!
Question: What outdated elements have you seen on author websites?