Your author website is the first impression many fans, new readers, and publishing industry insiders will have of you and your writing. So it’s important that your website stays relevant and up to date—you don’t want visitors to find broken links, stale design elements, and no signs of upkeep when they click into your site! If you’re wondering whether your author website is on point, the design experts at Web Design Relief are sharing our best advice on all the must-have elements for today’s author website.
Must-Have Elements For Your Author Website
Mobile optimization: Mobile phones accounted for 59.4% of all web traffic in the first half of 2022. Since the majority of your visitors will access your site via smartphones and tablets, mobile optimization is a crucial step in the web design process.
There are many ways to optimize a website for mobile, but here are some can’t-miss steps:
- Design with mobile devices already in mind by giving your website a vertical scroll direction and easy page navigation.
- Resize your images so they don’t exceed mobile screen sizes.
- Test your website on multiple devices or by using online resources that simulate different screen sizes.
Responsive design: Your author website should feature responsive design to suit various desktop screens and website browsers (Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.). The website should automatically resize to fit various window and page sizes without looking cramped or stretched. Again, the best way to determine if your website is responsive is to test it on as many screen sizes as possible.
Accessibility: A must-have website element for all web platforms in 2022 (and beyond!) is accessibility. Your website should be compatible with assistive software, like screen-readers for users with visual impairments or mouse-free devices for your fans who have mobility issues. Our comprehensive guide can help ensure your author website is accessible for every visitor. You can also visit W3C to learn more about the Web Accessibility Initiative.
Multiple menu options: Modern author websites can (and should) have multiple menu bar styles. Depending on your website’s design, a horizontal menu bar, vertical menu bar, dropdown menu bar, or a combination of all three may look best. However, on mobile, you should opt for a hamburger menu—an icon composed of three lines that keeps your menu bar tucked away until a visitor clicks on it. This saves much-needed space on the smaller screens and keeps your website looking neat and organized.
Thought-out typography: The typography across your website should be uniform in both font size and style. When you decide on a font size for your heading, subheading, and body texts, it should be the same from page to page. Using too many fonts on a page will make your website look amateurish, but a carefully curated pairing of two fonts can create an eye-catching design—and is the standard for modern websites. Here are some of the best font combinations for author websites.
High-quality imagery: These days, it’s incredibly easy to find high-resolution photos for your website through stock imagery suppliers. You can also take your own photos: Most smartphones are now equipped with at least two cameras, allowing for extremely high-definition photos. Avoid uploading tiny or blurry photos, especially for your author headshot.
White or blank space: Initially found only in minimalist web designs, incorporating white space is now popular across all design styles. Leaving parts of the page blank helps the content stand out and makes it easier to read. This contrasts the “walls” of text that are often found on older author websites. With white space, your content will look cleaner and more “digestible,” and readers will be less likely to skip or skim the text.
Keeping your author website up to date with the latest design elements is the best way to ensure its success. Modern websites are clean, functional, and accessible for all. With some careful adjustments, your old website can meet today’s standards and keep your visitors engaged.
If you’d rather focus on writing instead of the technical intricacies of the latest website features, the experts at Web Design Relief can create (or redesign) a modern author website for you! Schedule a free consultation call to learn more.
Question: What is your favorite modern web design element?