If you’re a new author, it’s important you start profiling yourself on your website, but if you haven’t tried creating websites before, you can easily make some mistakes. Here I give you five mistakes I have made. Don’t do like me.
p.s. If you’ve had a website for a long time, you shoul read on, too, cause some of these errors I’m still seeing on websites of established authors.
Mistake # 5: You make a lot of fancy styling
What you shouldn’t do: With my first blog I had a lot of ideas of how I wanted the page to look like, but the options in the theme I used was limited. So I learned CSS styling and used it to style my website like I wanted. I made a lot of styling, but it took a long time and many fixes to make the page look nice. Sometimes the styling stopped working when WordPress or a plugin was updated. That sucks! It can certainly be solved by creating a child theme. But then it becomes quite technical, as though the CSS styling itself wasn’t.
What you should do: Instead, go find a theme that has the setup options you need. This makes it much easier for you to change the layout of your page, and updating your website becomes much smoother. In addition, you can avoid having a child theme.
Mistake # 4: You choose a WordPress theme that has too few options
What you shouldn’t do: At this website, I didn’t want CSS styling, so instead I switched to a better theme. It only takes a few clicks to change the WordPress theme, but since the themes work differently, I still had to change quite a lot to obtain a nice page.
What to do instead: You need to choose a theme with many setup options, even if you don’t need them right away. If necessary, purchase a professional theme. If you’re not ready to throw money after a theme, then choose a free theme that has a pro version. For example try Pinnacle, which I use for the time being, or the Sydney theme. You’ll also find other free themes that have a purchased version.
Mistake # 3: You create a website for your blog and another one for your books
What you shouldn’t do: At first I created a blog that I called Wibellus. When my first short story was published, it hit me that I also needed a website with my author name, and all of a sudden (also by virtue of mistake No. 1), I had four different websites. I had wibellus.dk, wibellus.com, vibekemouridsen.dk, and vibekemouridsen. com. All in all four different websites to maintain. Smart – well, not.
What you should do: When you create your website, I recommend that you choose your author name for the URL. You still have the option to have a blog. You can have your blog on your website as a sub-page. I’ve spent three months joining my blog and my author website into one, so you see, it’s a lof of work, and a mistake I wouldn’t want you to do.
Mistake # 2: Make a website per Language
What you shouldn’t do: I write and blog in Danish and English, so I thought that I had to have a website for each language. Thus, I created one for each, each with its own domain name. But thas was not wise because, in addition to paying for two domain names, the disadvantage was that I also had to maintain both websites.
What you should do: You can avoid having to create a website for each language by using the WordPress plugin called Polylang. The plugin is free, and with it, you can translate and manage blog posts and subpages on your website in multiple languages. With Polylang, you can also send a blog post or a page to a machine translation server, and you’ll just need to correct the text for minor errors afterwards. This saves time in the process. I use Polylang now.
Mistake # 1: Using a too small font size
What you shouldn’t do: Most themes use a default font size of 10 or 12, but try reading font size 10 on a mobile. Not easy, right? If your target group is over 40 and has reached the reading glass age, then your problem is even worse. I have just unsubscribed from a newsletter because I couldn’t read the text. Stupid to lose readers that way.
What you should do: Instead, choose a minimum font size of 14 and maybe even 16. I’m using 14 on this page. In some themes, you have the option to choose a different font size for smaller devices.
Make time to write
The main point of this article is that you need to create a framework for your website that gives you the least possible maintenance. This way you can spend the time writing instead.
Do you have a website? What is the worst mistake you have made there? Talk about it in the comments.