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muse
05-08-2017, 11:29 PM
Well, I've done it, set up my first ever website. :hooray:

I would love it if some of you lovely people would take a look and tell me what you think.

As you'll probably notice, I'm a total novice as this kind of stuff so any advice/help would be most welcome.

You can find it here (http://cathycoleauthorweb.wordpress.com)

Thanks in advance.

M.S. Wiggins
05-09-2017, 12:06 AM
Quick thing I'm noticing, go into your menus and expand the [▼] and click 'Open link in new window'.

... Oh, and don't forget to 'Save Menu'!

muse
05-09-2017, 12:15 AM
Quick thing I'm noticing, go into your menus and expand the [▼] and click 'Open link in new window'.

... Oh, and don't forget to 'Save Menu'!


Thanks for a taking a look M.S. Wiggins.

Did I mention I was a novice? :greenie

Where do I find the menu?

M.S. Wiggins
05-09-2017, 12:15 AM
Looks good so far. There's a learning curve to it. Time, experience, and LOTS of patience are your allies. In the meantime, become best friends with YouTube videos on creating WordPress menus/posts/pages/categories/tags.

M.S. Wiggins
05-09-2017, 12:18 AM
You have to go into the admin area.
Like (↓ links nowhere, btw, just an example!):
https://[YOU/PERSON/WEBSITE/ETC].wordpress.com/wp-admin/
(https://[YOU/PERSON/WEBSITE/ETC].wordpress.com/wp-admin/)

muse
05-09-2017, 12:27 AM
Looks good so far. There's a learning curve to it. Time, experience, and LOTS of patience are your allies. In the meantime, become best friends with YouTube videos on creating WordPress menus/posts/pages/categories/tags.


Thanks. Didn't realise I how nervous I was about the website until I posted it online.

I've already watched a ton of videos, but a lot of them are for an older Wordpress version. I shall keep at it.

Again, appreciate the input.

muse
05-09-2017, 12:29 AM
You have to go into the admin area.
Like (↓ links nowhere, btw, just an example!):
https://[YOU/PERSON/WEBSITE/ETC].wordpress.com/wp-admin/
(https://[YOU/PERSON/WEBSITE/ETC].wordpress.com/wp-admin/)

Think I've found the problem, but not the solution. The links I've added are Amazon associate links and are put in using HTML, which doesn't give the option to open in another window. :-(

ETA: Have found the answer (I think) A simple click on the link and edit, brings up the option to 'Open link in a new window.'

M.S. Wiggins
05-09-2017, 12:35 AM
Everyone's a novice in the beginning. Don't sweat it. ;)

I'll send you a pm.

AW Admin
05-09-2017, 12:41 AM
Generally speaking, do not use the option to "open a link in a new window." Unless you have a very good reason to force that on your user, best practice is to let your users decide if they want a link to open in a new window/tab.

muse
05-09-2017, 12:48 AM
Generally speaking, do not use the option to "open a link in a new window." Unless you have a very good reason to force that on your user, best practice is to let your users decide if they want a link to open in a new window/tab.


Aaagh! I've just changed all my links.

Surely, it's better to open a new window so the user can view both things? Do users prefer not to move from the website?

M.S. Wiggins
05-09-2017, 01:02 AM
It's a preference thing. I've learned to Ctrl [key] + click [mouse] on any link to open a new tab, but lots of people don't do that, so it's nice to give them that little 'added bonus'.

Cobalt Jade
05-09-2017, 01:06 AM
Hi muse, I did take a look at it. One thing I noticed right away was that the font for the banner menu on the landing page did not match those of the other pages. The sidebar titles did not match between the first and other pages too. You might want to change things to match. I like how things are depicted on the landing page rather than the others -- the bolded font looks too clunky.

Overall, it looks good, if a little generic. But keep in mind you can change things up over time, as you get more experienced with Wordpress.

Some minor comments:

I don't think you need a comma between your writing name and the word "Author" on the landing page.

The picture in the banner strikes me as fantasy-surreal... purple glowing flowers in a dark wood. If your fiction doesn't have fantastic elements, say, fantasy, I'd pick another picture. (Remember you can always change things around over time.)

Also, and keep in mind this may be me, the "with a touch of romance" may pigeonhole you into the romance field which may not be what you want. The rest of the website doesn't spell "romance"... I have not seen any bare-chested, hunky, firemen for example. If your fiction is primarily about crime and suspense, and includes romance in a supporting role, I think that's par for the course, and you don't have to mention it with "the touch of romance."

Your headshot isn't showing up on the landing page. I like the pictures of the dog though. I think every writer should show their pets (because they keep us sane, and give us exercise.)

For your fiction listings, showing the work in italics, and the publisher in regular, works better than the other way around IMO.

Some pictures were missing on the About Me page too :-( The captions beneath the lighthouse pictures have words that are mashed together -- are these alt-tags, or the real captions? I would like to see them larger too as they are an important part of your "life story."

AW Admin
05-09-2017, 01:06 AM
Aaagh! I've just changed all my links.

Surely, it's better to open a new window so the user can view both things? Do users prefer not to move from the website?

It's better for the user to decide how they want the link to open. This isn't just my opinion, this is standard practice by professionals (https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20-TECHS/G200.html), and has been for some years.

Consider that you do not know if your user is on a computer or a table to an iPhone.

You do not know if they are on dialup. Or if they are disabled visually and using a screen reader or special display.

If a user wants to open a link in a new tab or window, they'll right-click or control-click or tap-and-hold, depending on the device and OS they are using.

Always try to empower users and user choice, rather than making decisions for them, particularly when you don't know their circumstances.

There are occasions when it is better to open up a link in a new tab/window, and generally when that is the case (for instance, you want to compare two windows), tell the user that a link opens in a new window.

You can, if you need to hand-code the HTML to do that:

https://www.w3schools.com/tags/att_a_target.asp

M.S. Wiggins
05-09-2017, 01:20 AM
You can, if you need to hand-code the HTML to do that:

https://www.w3schools.com/tags/att_a_target.asp

↑ Definitely this. In fact, w3schools.com for many things. You may not be at this stage yet, but trust Lisa... and bookmark this site. It will be your bestest friend one day.

<div> :tongue

muse
05-09-2017, 12:26 PM
Hi muse, I did take a look at it. One thing I noticed right away was that the font for the banner menu on the landing page did not match those of the other pages. The sidebar titles did not match between the first and other pages too. You might want to change things to match. I like how things are depicted on the landing page rather than the others -- the bolded font looks too clunky.

Overall, it looks good, if a little generic. But keep in mind you can change things up over time, as you get more experienced with Wordpress.

Some minor comments:

I don't think you need a comma between your writing name and the word "Author" on the landing page.

The picture in the banner strikes me as fantasy-surreal... purple glowing flowers in a dark wood. If your fiction doesn't have fantastic elements, say, fantasy, I'd pick another picture. (Remember you can always change things around over time.)

Also, and keep in mind this may be me, the "with a touch of romance" may pigeonhole you into the romance field which may not be what you want. The rest of the website doesn't spell "romance"... I have not seen any bare-chested, hunky, firemen for example. If your fiction is primarily about crime and suspense, and includes romance in a supporting role, I think that's par for the course, and you don't have to mention it with "the touch of romance."

Some great pointers, Cobalt Jade.


Your headshot isn't showing up on the landing page. I like the pictures of the dog though. I think every writer should show their pets (because they keep us sane, and give us exercise.)

For your fiction listings, showing the work in italics, and the publisher in regular, works better than the other way around IMO.

Some pictures were missing on the About Me page too :-( The captions beneath the lighthouse pictures have words that are mashed together -- are these alt-tags, or the real captions? I would like to see them larger too as they are an important part of your "life story."

For some reason the photos aren't showing up in some browsers - my Ipad for example. Someone else said it wasn't showing on an android phone, but it is on mine. Although, I do have WordPress on my phone so maybe it's only showing because of that?

Anyone got any ideas why some browsers aren't showing the photos?

Thanks a million for all the suggestions, they're great.


It's better for the user to decide how they want the link to open. This isn't just my opinion, this is standard practice by professionals (https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20-TECHS/G200.html), and has been for some years.

Consider that you do not know if your user is on a computer or a table to an iPhone.

You do not know if they are on dialup. Or if they are disabled visually and using a screen reader or special display.

If a user wants to open a link in a new tab or window, they'll right-click or control-click or tap-and-hold, depending on the device and OS they are using.

Always try to empower users and user choice, rather than making decisions for them, particularly when you don't know their circumstances.

There are occasions when it is better to open up a link in a new tab/window, and generally when that is the case (for instance, you want to compare two windows), tell the user that a link opens in a new window.

You can, if you need to hand-code the HTML to do that:

https://www.w3schools.com/tags/att_a_target.asp

Ah, that does make sense. I'm afraid I was thinking that anything that took people away from my website was a bad idea. I never considered that my reader might be on dial up, or disabled etc.:o

As for hand-coding HTML....*Gulp*

But thanks for the link, I'll check it out.

ajaye
05-09-2017, 01:21 PM
Congrats on your website muse! You've included interesting info about yourself and in general the pages please the eye.

I'm using Chrome on a laptop and on the Welcome page I get the doggie pics & published works covers ok but just a box with the text CathyHeadShot. On the About Me page I get 3 photos ok (Rathlin Island, Button & Badge, & Rockabill Lighthouse) but the others are just boxes with id text.

I think the font for your name and some of the headings is too big and heavy - some felt a bit 'in my face'. I'd consider deleting 'author' altogether as you do have 'writing...' right underneath your name.

Re the Goodreads sidebar - it seems odd that your book doesn't have a positive comment with it. I didn't understand why the other books were even there until I clicked and saw they were your reviews. Perhaps I don't understand Goodreads well enough and this would be obvious to most people? If not I'd consider making it clearer. And I'd get a comment up for yours pronto.

Good luck with it :D

veinglory
05-09-2017, 06:00 PM
overall it looks good. You "blog" menu link leads to filler text. the title changed fonts twice while it was load, not sure what that is about.

Undercover
05-09-2017, 07:23 PM
It looks good to me too. Checked out some of the links and they're working for me. The Hungry Ghost sounds awesome! Love Dexter too!

Cobalt Jade
05-09-2017, 08:07 PM
I was using Firefox on a PC, if that helps.

muse
05-09-2017, 09:58 PM
Congrats on your website muse! You've included interesting info about yourself and in general the pages please the eye.

I'm using Chrome on a laptop and on the Welcome page I get the doggie pics & published works covers ok but just a box with the text CathyHeadShot. On the About Me page I get 3 photos ok (Rathlin Island, Button & Badge, & Rockabill Lighthouse) but the others are just boxes with id text.

I have no idea what's going on with the pics, why some can be seen and others can't. I've posted in the Wordpress help forum, so hopefully, I'll figure it out soon.


I think the font for your name and some of the headings is too big and heavy - some felt a bit 'in my face'. I'd consider deleting 'author' altogether as you do have 'writing...' right underneath your name.

I'm not sure what's going on with the font either. As soon as the page loads it comes out as thick bold font, then changes to the font I've chosen. No idea why it's doing that double reload.


Re the Goodreads sidebar - it seems odd that your book doesn't have a positive comment with it. I didn't understand why the other books were even there until I clicked and saw they were your reviews. Perhaps I don't understand Goodreads well enough and this would be obvious to most people? If not I'd consider making it clearer. And I'd get a comment up for yours pronto.

Good luck with it :D

I've just joined Goodreads, so hoping to eventually get some reviews for the book. I put the Goodreads sidebar in to fill up the page a little.

Thanks so much for taking the time to look at it and comment.:Hug2:


overall it looks good. You "blog" menu link leads to filler text. the title changed fonts twice while it was load, not sure what that is about.

Yeah, I've noticed that with all the pages. Has me stumped, too. :Headbang:

I wanted to delete the 'blog' page, as I'm not sure whether I'm going to do one, but it doesn't have a delete option.

Have I mentioned I'm a computer dunce? :greenie


It looks good to me too. Checked out some of the links and they're working for me. The Hungry Ghost sounds awesome! Love Dexter too!

Aw, thanks, Undercover. :Hug2:


I was using Firefox on a PC, if that helps.

Thanks, Cobalt, that info might help the Wordpress guys - if they ever answer my question. *sigh*

Cindyt
05-09-2017, 11:41 PM
The image header could be a little bigger, as in deeper. But that's just me.

Daffyjkl
05-10-2017, 11:03 PM
I like the website. I clicked on the image of your cover and that took me to a bigger image, I expected it to take me to Amazon. By the way, great cover for 'Where There's Smoke'. I noticed the Goodreads panel on the right hand side of the page, is this an affiliate link?

muse
05-10-2017, 11:03 PM
The image header could be a little bigger, as in deeper. But that's just me.

Thanks, Cindyt. I appreciate you taking a look.

I've changed the image header, and the links opening in a new window. I've (I think) fixed the snafu with pictures. If anyone who was having problems before could check it out again, I'd be eternally grateful.:e2flowers

muse
05-10-2017, 11:05 PM
I like the website. I clicked on the image of your cover and that took me to a bigger image, I expected it to take me to Amazon. By the way, great cover for 'Where There's Smoke'. I noticed the Goodreads panel on the right hand side of the page, is this an affiliate link?


Ooops, don't think that's supposed to happen.:Headbang: Which page was the link on?

Oh, and thanks for the kind words on my cover. I still get a buzz every time I see it. :greenie.

Daffyjkl
05-11-2017, 12:06 AM
The home page, under Published Works. All four of your books go to an image on my browser. I think they should go to Amazon. The cover is one of the best I've seen lately.

manego90
05-11-2017, 12:11 AM
It's a nice site. I would say the main thing your missing is a Call-to-Action

Cindyt
05-11-2017, 01:22 AM
Looks good. I especially love it when authors include their animals, as you did in the opening of WELCOME. Love the header. The only thing that bugs me is the change of font when a nav link is clicked, but I can see why it's done that way.

muse
05-11-2017, 09:08 PM
The home page, under Published Works. All four of your books go to an image on my browser. I think they should go to Amazon. The cover is one of the best I've seen lately.

Thanks, a really talented lady called Sheri McGathy made the cover!

Do you mean the book images go to an image or the links in the name go to a picture?

I never thought to make the book covers a link - D'oh! I added the link to the book titles.

Nice catch.


It's a nice site. I would say the main thing your missing is a Call-to-Action

I'm not sure what you mean by a Call-to-Action, manego90? Can you explain?

Thanks for taking the time to look and comment.


Looks good. I especially love it when authors include their animals, as you did in the opening of WELCOME. Love the header. The only thing that bugs me is the change of font when a nav link is clicked, but I can see why it's done that way.

Do you mean when you click from page to page, that little...shudder, before the font settles down? I've no idea why that happens.

So glad you like the site and the new header.

If I had my way I'd only write and have pics about my dog, Dexter. I'd much rather talk about him than myself. :greenie

RJDrake
05-11-2017, 11:29 PM
Hi Muse, first of all, congrats on your first website.

I'm not an expert of Wordpress as I normally use Wix.com to make my websites so I can't give you any "tactical" advice on how to use it but I hope my comments prove to be useful.

As content, I would say it's great. I really love your message on your welcoming page. It's fun and witty and the the pics of your dog are just adorable. (Dog lover over here)

The website per se is nice. Clean and simple but I think it's just too white. White is good but you write mystery and suspense! Make it mysterious and suspenseful!
Use darker colours. Use that nice creepy banner on top as a starting point and work your way down the page.

But that's just my opinion...

Cindyt
05-12-2017, 12:34 AM
Thanks, Cindyt. I appreciate you taking a look.

Do you mean when you click from page to page, that little...shudder, before the font settles down? I've no idea why that happens.

You're welcome. I don't know anything about wordpress. In wix, text like that is called "animated text." It's an option. You might be able to go into admin and change it--if you want to. Nothing wrong with it.

muse
05-12-2017, 10:06 PM
Hi Muse, first of all, congrats on your first website.

I'm not an expert of Wordpress as I normally use Wix.com to make my websites so I can't give you any "tactical" advice on how to use it but I hope my comments prove to be useful.

As content, I would say it's great. I really love your message on your welcoming page. It's fun and witty and the the pics of your dog are just adorable. (Dog lover over here)

The website per se is nice. Clean and simple but I think it's just too white. White is good but you write mystery and suspense! Make it mysterious and suspenseful!
Use darker colours. Use that nice creepy banner on top as a starting point and work your way down the page.

But that's just my opinion...

Thanks so much, RJDrake. I'm glad you like the Welcome page. I hate talking about myself so that wasn't easy to write. I much prefer talking about my dog. :greenie

I like your idea of dulling down the background, although I do like the crispness of the white. Hmmmm, decisions, decisions


You're welcome. I don't know anything about wordpress. In wix, text like that is called "animated text." It's an option. You might be able to go into admin and change it--if you want to. Nothing wrong with it.

Thanks for the tip, Cindyt.

I've now made the book covers clickable links - that stay on the page. I had to delete them - I had them in a thumbnail grid and that made them work as one entity - and add them individually. That, of course, screwed up the layout and formatting so I had to redo that. This website business is a huge time suck.:Hammer:

muse
05-13-2017, 09:46 PM
OK, I've dulled the background on the site so it's more in keeping with the genre. I've also delete 'Author' from the site title and 'Romance' from the tagline.

Thanks so much for all the suggestions, everyone. They're much appreciated.:ty:

manego90
05-23-2017, 03:12 AM
Hi Muse,

When I say Call-to-Action, I meant by getting the viewer to do something. What is it you want your viewer to do on your site? How are you going to get them to commit to that action? If you can answer those two questions then you have your Call-to-Action.

muse
05-23-2017, 09:49 PM
Hi Muse,

When I say Call-to-Action, I meant by getting the viewer to do something. What is it you want your viewer to do on your site? How are you going to get them to commit to that action? If you can answer those two questions then you have your Call-to-Action.

D'oh! self-explanatory when you put it that way.

I want the viewer to buy my work. I've made all links clickable. Is there something else I should be doing?

Sara Raynott
06-07-2017, 09:15 AM
Use a contact form, if you have the option. But, REMOVE your email address from your website!

Having an email address on your website (especially a clickable one) is the #1 way to get SPAM. The spammer robots (bots) search websites for email addresses. Once you're on their list, you can never get off.

Old Hack
06-07-2017, 10:30 AM
Reviewers don't usually buy the books they review, they get sent review copies.

muse
06-07-2017, 11:15 PM
Use a contact form, if you have the option. But, REMOVE your email address from your website!

Having an email address on your website (especially a clickable one) is the #1 way to get SPAM. The spammer robots (bots) search websites for email addresses. Once you're on their list, you can never get off.

I did try the contact form, but for some reason it was putting in my email address - the one I used to sign up to WordPress - and there was no way to delete it. The email I have on the site now is my author email and so far I haven't received even one message - spam or otherwise. Even the bots don't love me :greenie.


Reviewers don't usually buy the books they review, they get sent review copies.

Wasn't expecting reviewers to buy the book. I want the viewers of my website to buy my book.;)

Old Hack
06-08-2017, 10:23 AM
Wasn't expecting reviewers to buy the book. I want the viewers of my website to buy my book.;)

Oooops! Sorry.

muse
06-08-2017, 09:40 PM
Oooops! Sorry.

No worries, Old Hack - all comments are welcome.:Hug2:

CathleenT
06-08-2017, 10:27 PM
I like your site, Cathy! Well done, especially for an initial foray. (Bet you studied up on it.)

I agree that a link to your books would be a good idea on your landing page. :)

muse
06-08-2017, 10:54 PM
I like your site, Cathy! Well done, especially for an initial foray. (Bet you studied up on it.)

Thanks so much for taking a look at it, Cathleen. I watched a lot of youtube videos, but it has all be trial and error - lots of errors. :greenie.


I agree that a link to your books would be a good idea on your landing page. :)

I do have a link to my book on the landing page, which is the Welcome page. Both the book title and cover are clickable. Should I be doing something different?

CathleenT
06-10-2017, 06:00 AM
Consider changing the links to blue, perhaps. I didn't know they were links. Might just be me. :)

My browser is Chrome. Maybe in a different browser the links are already blue?

muse
06-10-2017, 08:52 PM
Consider changing the links to blue, perhaps. I didn't know they were links. Might just be me. :)

My browser is Chrome. Maybe in a different browser the links are already blue?


Ah, right. That makes sense. I use Chrome, too and they're showing as black but underlined. Will change them to blue. Thanks, Cathleen.

ETA: Ok, this is weird. I went into WP and tried to change the colour of my book links and it's not showing up.:Shrug:

Don't have time to faff around with it this evening, but anyone any ideas as to why the colour isn't changing?

CathleenT
06-11-2017, 08:07 AM
Eek--I an sooo not a WordPress expert. But you can email them, and they'll get back to you on how to do stuff. Sorry I don't have the link saved--I always have to go through several help screens to find it--but I promise it's there, and the person on the other end will help you. :)

muse
06-12-2017, 09:27 PM
Eek--I an sooo not a WordPress expert. But you can email them, and they'll get back to you on how to do stuff. Sorry I don't have the link saved--I always have to go through several help screens to find it--but I promise it's there, and the person on the other end will help you. :)

Thanks, Cathleen, will have a look for it. When I had a previous problem I asked for help on their forum - still waiting on an answer. Hopefully, email will be faster.

Adelle
06-13-2017, 12:58 AM
I think adding a description to your published works would be helpful. Like, having the title, then including the back-of-the-book blurb, or maybe a few sentences that sum up the hook, would entice people to click the buy link. :3

muse
06-13-2017, 10:01 PM
I think adding a description to your published works would be helpful. Like, having the title, then including the back-of-the-book blurb, or maybe a few sentences that sum up the hook, would entice people to click the buy link. :3

I describe my book and short stories in another page on the website, but I like the idea of a hook for them on the Welcome Page. Thanks, Adelle.


ETA: Had a peek at your website - very nice! :greenie.

writeonleanne
06-13-2017, 10:16 PM
Hey! Not sure if you're still looking for feedback, but your site looks nice! One thing that did jump out at me right away was at the bottom of the landing page where you have thumbnails of your novels (under the Short Stories section), the first two thumbnails are the same size, but the second two are different sizes and don't appear to be on the same row. It's a little jarring.

Also, I'm not sure if this is my browser, but I see a couple of broken image icons: One next to CRIME AFTER CRIME and the other next to WHERE THERE'S SMOKE.

Is it possible to shrink down the font (or make it gray?) in the Goodreads right rail? My attention is drawn more to the right side of the page, because of the black font on white background that's bigger than the rest of the font on the page.

Let me know if you want me to email you screenshots of what I see.

muse
06-13-2017, 10:25 PM
Hey! Not sure if you're still looking for feedback, but your site looks nice! One thing that did jump out at me right away was at the bottom of the landing page where you have thumbnails of your novels (under the Short Stories section), the first two thumbnails are the same size, but the second two are different sizes and don't appear to be on the same row. It's a little jarring.

(I'm definitely still looking for feedback. :greenie)

Yeah, I can only get a small thumbnail of one of the short stories, and it does look odd. *sigh* I also have no idea why the last two look like they're on a different line. I shall investigate.


Also, I'm not sure if this is my browser, but I see a couple of broken image icons: One next to CRIME AFTER CRIME and the other next to WHERE THERE'S SMOKE.

Odd. They all look fine when I view the page.


Is it possible to shrink down the font (or make it gray?) in the Goodreads right rail? My attention is drawn more to the right side of the page, because of the black font on white background that's bigger than the rest of the font on the page.

That's a good point. I shall check out whether I can change that.


Let me know if you want me to email you screenshots of what I see.

That would be great. Thanks, writeonleanne.

pattmayne
07-08-2017, 06:48 AM
I like it. It's simple and easy to look at. It lists your published works and tells a bit about yourself.

My only criticisms are that maybe the dog-pics make it look more like a blog than an author's website, and somehow the color scheme looks kind of dated, like an old 90's web1.0 website.

muse
07-10-2017, 09:24 PM
I like it. It's simple and easy to look at. It lists your published works and tells a bit about yourself.

My only criticisms are that maybe the dog-pics make it look more like a blog than an author's website, and somehow the color scheme looks kind of dated, like an old 90's web1.0 website.

Thanks for checking out my website, pattymayne, much appreciated.

I shall have a think on the colour scheme, as for the dog pics... Yeah, I get what you mean by it looking a bit blogish, but who doesn't like dog pics. :greenie