Saturday, 18 April 2015

Spring Cleaning: Three Authors' Websites

Yes, it’s that time of year. The wall might be peeling behind the desk, but which writer wants to dig out their writing space to add a lick of paint? The act of removing all those research tomes, notebooks of jotted ideas, bits of half-discarded envelopes carrying insightful quips and snatches of pithy dialogue... Who would get to the actual prepping with so much to rediscover? Far easier to give the old author website a revamp.

Three members of Hornsea Writers have done just that. And here are their excuses... sorry, reasons:

Noted word-wrangler, Stuart Aken, decided to swap Blogger for Wordpress as he wanted more control over his site.

‘Blogger is a great free platform, but is subject to Google's sometimes arbitrary decisions and doesn't give the writer the availability of a website. Wordpress, especially if you use the hosted option, gives the writer complete control, allows for multiple pages like a website, and is a crowd-sourced platform free from the commercial considerations of any one company.’

It isn’t though, an afternoon’s job. It is taking him a while to get the site the way he wants it, but he considers it a work in progress. Check the new look: http://stuartaken.net/

April Taylor, known for her Alternative Tudor Mysteries, decided to go the whole hog and move from a blogging site to a website with an internal blog.

‘There comes a time in each writer’s life when they look at their site and realise it just won’t do. I really didn’t want the hassle of building another, so took a couple of weeks to research the various programmes out there, growing more despondent by the minute. However, it was a task I could no longer put off, so when I had girded my loins with a couple of gins, I plumped for Weebly. 

‘The process is easy and very flexible. In fact, once I plunged into the icy waters of creation, it only took me a morning to build the new site. The secret is to plan – on paper – what you want each page of the site to look like and what kind of information each needs to convey. After that, building the new site is a doddle.’

The site is open for viewing and you can tell her what you think via the contact page: www.apriltaylorauthor.com

In contrast, Linda Acaster plumped for the easier option and scrubbed up her Blogger site.

‘I’m a slow writer and not a daily blogger so wanted a site with a free-standing landing page. The Blogger framework can be fairly flexible if you don’t mind twiddling with a bit of html. Of course, what I know about html can be written in large script on the back of a postage stamp, but that’s why YouTube was invented. Someone, somewhere, has done it all before and will happily walk you through it.

‘I’m treating the current incarnation as a halfway house. When I finally stop messing with its width I’ll go about designing a new header image. Besides, as a displacement activity to writing the current novel it is infinitely better than scrubbing the kitchen floor with a toothbrush.’

Cast a wry eye over her design technique at www.lindaacaster.com

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