Monday, February 2, 2009

Time to Re-do the Website


My 50day/50blog VEXING THE VISCOUNT tour was supposed to be at Melissa Alvarez's site, but the last I heard from her, she'd was experiencing some technical difficulties and has been ill. (I sympathize and wish her exceedingly well!) But, the blogtour must go on. Soooooo . . . .

Welcome to my house once again.

Please excuse the dust and for heaven's sake, don't open any of the closets! I've been a little busy for the past month with the blog tour and finishing up my Christmas novella. And recovering from surgery. (Doing well, thank you!)

And in my spare time, revamping my website.

Once I sold my first manuscript, one of the things my agent told me was that I was expected to put up a website. I could have hired it done, but it's quite a spendy proposition. And I wouldn't be able to change it at will. Besides, I have an uber-techie DH. How hard could it be?

Right.

Have you ever remodeled a kitchen or bath? Same thing--only with little 1's and 0's.

I didn't consider that my DH's expertise is with much larger platforms (like airline reservation systems!) and neither of us had any design experience. But, my DH muscled through my first Diana Groe website and though it wasn't fancy, I had a web presence.

Then I discovered the wonders of website templates. My poor DH was pressed into service again. Only this time, he had to play teacher, schooling me in the wonders of Frontpage and Photoshop and Filezilla. And when it comes to technology, I am NOT a quick study. But my DH is very patient (Well, he lives with me. He'd have to be, wouldn't he?)

So now I have a website I can tinker with to infinity and beyond. It frequently grows like a Brazilian rainforest and I have to pare it back. Right now, it needs a trim and I'm tired of the colors. Check out my current homepage and then my new homepage. (This is the only way to view this pages since it's not 'live' yet, so none of the links work.) Let me know what you think. I'm trying to keep the index page from running on and overwhelming visitors. What do you think about having the navigation bar along the side?

It's still a pretty simple website design. I look at CL Wilson's or Jessica Andersen's flashy sites and wonder if I could learn how to use DreamWeaver . . .

Gotta go. Think I hear my DH tearing his hair out.


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23 comments:

Ruth Hunter, Editor of The Sage Journal said...

The second site you mentioned has at the very least a Flash Splash page. I doubt they are doing their own pages...but maybe they are. It is pretty sophisticated. I do use dreamweaver, and Wilson's site could be done in dreamweaver. It isn't really that hard to use. I think you could handle it and it gives you more options....dreamweaver has templates too!

My only suggestion on your splash page is to change the color of the inset borders, they clash a little.

Nynke said...

Hi Emily,

I kind of like the colours of your old website! But they're still there in the new one, right? And will it look this tiny in the final version, as well? My screen is rather large, so it shows a lot of space around and below actual page. But I like the side menu!
And I don't think dreamweaver is a must - having a site that works well, has a clear lay-out and lots of nice content like yours is nice, too! Although moving pictures of pyramids are very cool and impressive, I agree... :)

Babyblue22 said...

Hey Emily,
Your so lucky to have such a great DH! What would we do without them? Right.
I Like your page and the new one is looking good also, I'm sure with your Darling DH it will turn out just as good as the first one.
~Afshan

Anonymous said...

The site is easy to navigate like it is but the colors do need to be changed. But then I don't really pay much attention to that stuff-I just return to see what is new and check out your latest books.
JOYE

Jane L said...

Emily, I am so not a "tech" person either, it scares the dickens out of me! My kids finally convinced me I had to start a myspace page and I am still groaning at why? but I have found it to be a little entertaining. Then the registering your name thing on go.daddy.com , now someday needing to create a web page, UGH! I think I will stick to writing and rope one of those spoiled children of mine to be my "Tech" person! LOL!

EmilyBryan said...

Ruth--I value your opinion because you do so much designing. Thanks!

Nynke--I like the bold colors too, but I wonder if they aren't too garish? Good point on the size thing. I have a fairly small screen on my laptop. I should look at it on my DH's. (Yes, of course, HIS is bigger! LOL!)

Afshan--Am I hearing that you too favor the old site? It's ok. You can tell me. I haven't changed anything officially . . . yet. You are my test market, my focus group if you will. I appreciate your honest opinion. I get reviewed regularly. I can take it!

Joye--That was my initial concern--that the old site was difficult to navigate. Not so?

Jane L--Are we MySpace friends yet? If not www.myspace.com/emilybryanromance.

I have "control" issues, so I had to learn how to modify things myself. Besides my DH says I can tell him 'what' to do or 'how' to do it, but not both. :)

Jane L said...

Yes! Emily we are Myspace Friends! Thank you so much! You and Judi McCoy wee my first Author friends! LOL!

Nynke said...

I've gone into full test-panel mode now, and having looked at the old site once more I'd say you're probably right about the navigation. It's easy enough to get to the basic content but once you get to the sublevels navigation gets more difficult. Maybe it would be a good idea to show the sublevel pages next to the main navigation menu, instead of further down?

I don't think the old colours are too gary at all. They're nice and warm and fun! And I'm not quite sure what inset borders are, but if they're the little light-coloured bits that line the green, then I think I agree with Ruth. And the letters in the new heading look a little thin and scrawly like this - wouldn't they be nicer to read if the had colour on their sides, as well?
Well, that's it for me :)

Nynke

Crystal Adkins said...

Hi Emily, I think that the pretty bordello colored letters looks nice :) You can also use pimp-my-profile.com and they have template layouts for blogger... but be wary that they don't delete all of your contact lists :)

EmilyBryan said...

Hmmm . . . still hearing that the old site is preferred.

I'll have to check out Pimp-my-profile. Thanks for the new playground, Crystal.

blessedheart said...

Hi Emily,
I think you've done a very nice job with your website. It doesn't overwhelm the reader with too many pictures but it provides just the right amount of information.

God Bless,
Rhonda :)

EmilyBryan said...

Rhonda--Are you talking about the current website or my new one?

Jane said...

Jessica Andersen's site is amazing. When do you think you'll launch the new site?

EmilyBryan said...

Jane, I'm not sure I will launch the new site. I'm looking for my visitors to express a preference for one or the other.

auntdbear said...

This sounds like it's going to be funny in more than one spot.

Melange said...

I most def. love the new one. I love the nav. bar down the side!

Can't wait to see you on the 22d!!

Babyblue22 said...

Emily,
I Think the site you have now is great! But if you change it i'm sure it will be just as good or even better, either way i'll still be visiting your page.
~Afshan

Julie Robinson said...

Hi Emily,
I love the mauve background of our new website. I prefer it over the stark white of your old one.

My dh and I are a study in opposites as far as technology goes. I am what he calls, "quaint," whereas he is very advanced. It's what he does, he says. He gets annoyed sometimes because people always need him at work for assistance with their computers. I tell him to just pretend he's helping me and that he should be happy because he's
'de man in demand.'
Julie

Julie Robinson said...

P.S. I like the bar down the side. Sometimes, I don't see the bars at the very top when the lettering is too small. Julie

tigger9 said...

Hope your recovery continues to go well. Good luck on your website remodeling.
lexeetoste@sbcglobal.net

Lady Lauren said...

Hey Emily... I like the new compact design. My screen is quite large as well, but it just looks cute :D And I like the pretty new colors. I love the old sight as well, but sometimes you just need a change! I wish my husband were better with websites... I'm thinking of starting one, but I'm only marginally good with codes and I've never used a design program so I wouldn't know where to begin searching for one! Maybe I'll just keep my myspace and facebook pages! lol

Lady Lauren said...

Woops, I mean I love the old site! lol... I guess it's past my bedtime!

EmilyBryan said...

Good morning, blog 'touristas'!

Thank you all for your imput. I'll keep your comments in mind while I'm playing with the new website. I'll work on it till I love it and then I'll invite you all back for a visit!

My DH has worked his magic and picked our daily winner. Congratulations, JULIE! Please contact me through www.emilybryan.com with your mailing info.

Today I'm at BookReviewsByBobbie and I'm talking about S-E-X! In fiction, of course. Bobbie has a great site, but I was confused momentarily about where to click to leave a comment. It's at the top of my post, just above "A Warm Welcome to . . . "

Hope to hear from you soon!