Wednesday, August 1, 2018

An untangled web

Tell us about your website…how does it work for you as a business tool? How did you decide upon its content, design and tone?

by Dietrich Kalteis

It’s like home base on the internet, a place where I can easily be found, my main presence on the web. It’s got content and updates about my existing and upcoming books, ebooks and audiobooks, as well as a bio and contact info. It lists upcoming events, with links to my publisher’s site, Facebook, Twitter, review sites and blog sites like this one and Off the Cuff.

I update my site regularly, hoping to get viewers to come back. It’s all about marketing and communication, right?

I used to work as a graphic designer, so getting the look of the site right wasn’t a big challenge. Plus, most of these platforms have decent design templates to choose from, and they’re easy enough to work with. As far as the design, I went for a simple, clean look, keeping in mind the site needs to work across various devices and aspect ratios: computer, tablets and smartphones. It’s interesting to note that more than half of north American adults have smartphones, about a third of the population have tablets, and most people move between devices. So, giving the viewer something simple, quick and easy seems best when considering the technical limitations. 

An easy to remember address was another key consideration for me, it’s just my name dot com:

In keeping things simple, I chose a user-friendly platform, compatible with Android, Windows, IOS, and Mac. I looked for one with an interface that is easy to use, a help line, customizable templates that let me insert pages, images, contact forms, all with a minimum of fuss. Simple also means faster page loads — because nobody wants to wait while a complex page loads up.

Another way to go would be to hire somebody who knows their way around coding, understands frameworks, Doctype, HTML and CSS — someone like your average six-year-old.

As far as content, I think the latest book has to be the feature for the site. It’s on the front page, along with key information like that one liner we talked about last time, and what the book’s about, where it can be found, with links to my publisher’s site, and online sites where the book can be ordered. I update it by posting recent reviews and any other pertinent information. Then I’ve got a page for my other novels, with pretty much the same information for each. Then there’s the bio page, an events page and a contact sheet.

I’m always looking for ways to improve my site, and when I make updates, I always check and make sure the pages work, that links are linking. And I’m always viewing other sites to see if there’s something I’m missing from my own. Check it out here and let me know what you think.


RJ Harlick said...

Simple, but effective, your website that is. You've given me some good ideas on how I could redo mine so I no longer need my web guy to update it. Good post, Dietrich.

Dietrich Kalteis said...

Thanks, Robin.

Lyda McPherson said...

Your design background is evident. One look at your website and the reader immediately gets a sense of the tone of your writing. Also, not being an average six year old and not having access to one, will the various diy website platforms have taken all those things into consideration for me?

Dietrich Kalteis said...

Thanks, Lyda. I don't know much about the various platforms and the DIY tools they offer. I use Bluehost and they're pretty good.