Author Websites, Marketing Strategies

Responsive Design for Your Author Website: Why You Need It

Every author needs a website. But does yours include responsive design?

More and more people are surfing the web using their smartphones and tablets. That beautiful website you built five years ago might look stunning on your laptop or desktop, but how is it going to look on an iPhone, hmm?

An author website that does not adjust its display to suit the screen size of your visitors does you no favors. Your website is your calling card, and it’s not hard to implement responsive design.

To give you an idea of the difference between non-responsive and responsive design, check out my old website and my new one.

If you’re reading this on a smartphone or tablet, you will immediately notice the difference. If you’re using a larger screen, try shrinking your browser. Notice how everything adjusts? This is a good thing.

You have two options when it comes to building a responsive design.

First, if you know a little HTML, go get yourself a free template. You could pay for one on themeforest, but why bother when there’s so much great free stuff out there? I use and recommend HTML5 UP! AJ releases all of his themes under a Creative Commons license, so as long as you keep the credits intact in your source files, you’re good to go.

Your other option is to use WordPress. Most WP themes these days are responsive, and you can find/buy spectacular specialty themes if there’s something in particular you want to do with you site.

Which is the right option for you?

Using an HTML5 template is by far a better choice. From a security point of view, it is much more difficult for an attacker to hack, deface, or otherwise misuse your website to send spam, hack others, do bad things online, etc.

If you aren’t comfortable hacking HTML, however, or if you want a blog as well, then WordPress is the way to go. You can either use WordPress.com if you have more money than tech skillz or time, or install WordPress.org on your own VPS.

Me? I use a combination of both (compare my home page to my blog). It’s not perfect–the two designs don’t mesh as well as they could–but it allows me to the security and design sweetness of an HTML5 template, and a responsive blog theme for when I need to get me some blogging done.

Bottom line: Responsive web site design is a must. Do it. Now.

Written by: J.M. Porup

Novelist J.M. Porup is An American Dissident in Exile. Read More

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