Time and tide wait for no one – and neither does technology, to paraphrase the old proverb and to make it gender-neutral. Times are changing, and so is my website, because having an author website built and thinking it will stand the test of time, is a fool’s game. Okay. That’s enough with the clichés. What I’m really saying is that I needed to have a new website built and I’m going to tell you why.
To be honest, I still love my ‘old’ website. Blue is one of my favourite colours and the bookmark tabs are fab. There were so many things I loved about it.
But it wasn’t completely ‘mobile-friendly’ and as more and more people are searching the internet via their phones or tablets, websites need to look good, not only on a large screen but also on a device with a screen size of as little as a couple of inches. Plus, if a website displays poorly on mobile devices, some browsers/search engines will push it lower in the list of search results. The new website displays perfectly.
I’ve also purchased an SSL certificate. What’s an SSL certificate and why did I want one? It’s a small data file and – without getting technical – it activates the padlock symbol and the https protocol, which allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. Several browsers are starting to issue ‘warnings’ such as: ‘this website may not be secure’. Does any author want that appearing on their website when someone inputs an email address into the newsletter sign-up box, or comments on a blog? I certainly don’t.
The progress of technology wasn’t my only reason for wanting to update my website. I’ve had my website for about six years now – before my first novel came out, in fact. Many of you know that when I first started writing for a living, I was suffering with debilitating, long term, health issues. Thankfully that’s now in the past, and I should just mention that, in spite of it, several of my books made it into the Amazon UK top 100 and a couple, into the top 50, thanks to you. So, I decided it was time for a change. It’s about how I felt six years ago, compared to how I feel today. It’s about embracing change; about enjoying life to the full, no matter what it throws at us. And my new website reflects that. It’s bright. It’s fun. It’s fab. At least it is in my opinion.
The header image is the view from my office, taken on a misty morning. This image will change whenever we want it to. The background image is of a beach – taken by David, my website genius, on his recent holiday – and that will also change…possibly fairly soon. I’ll tell you why in a later blog. The website reflects me, and those around me. It will also reflect you, too, but more about that another time.
There are several people who say an author’s website must have this or must do that. But to me, my website feels like my home. Okay, my professional home, but a still a ‘home’. I want it to be welcoming. I want it to be fun. I want it to feel comfortable for those visiting. I want them to come back. I think David has done a fantastic job. He’s had to contend with me constantly changing my mind. He’s smiled when I’ve said I wanted something, before I even knew what that something was. He’s never once lost his patience. He’s an absolute star and I can’t thank him enough. I love my new website and I hope you love it too. Have a browse around and see what you think. I’d love you to tell me in the comments below. I’ll get the kettle on, pour the champagne and cut the cake. We’re going to have a blast!
Happy new website. Happy me. Happy all of us.