Misfit Monday: Home on the Web

We’ve all heard about how mechanics take care of their own cars. As in, often, they don’t. They tell everyone else to get the regular, scheduled maintenance as listed in the Owner’s Manual, but for their own cars… well, these usually get put off. And put off. An oil change might get done weeks or months after it’s should have been, or it might not. Until something goes wrong.

Such is the life of a web designer. When I first set up this site, I didn’t have any books published. I didn’t blog. I just set the site up because we’re all told we’re supposed to, in case an agent or editor we’ve sent a submission in to decides to look us up. My site had a basic page about my books, a bio, and a contact page, but that’s it. Mainly, I wanted to keep my domain name, because I secured it way back in 2000, and it’s a nice, short, easy to spell one that would get snapped up in microseconds if I let it expire.

Then I read Kristen Lamb‘s We Are Not Alone, in which she convinced me of the benefits of blogging. (Like being able to talk about my dogs and post cute puppy videos. :D) So I dutifully put up a blog, and made my recent postsΒ my home page. I published two books. It was all good.

But something wasn’t right. I had a blog, with the appropriate pages for an author website, but no real home page. That’s been over a year now.

I got new author photos, shot by the wonderfully-talented Pat Strang of 513Photography. It was time I stopped being a web designer who took care of her own website like a busy mechanic takes care of her own car. So please, take a look at my new home page, and let me know what you think!

I still have work to do. I want to add an archive list to my blog pages, now that I have enough material to make it worthwhile. I probably should add a Search function. I’m going to streamline the sidebar with my book info that shows up on every page besides home. But this is a good start.

I’d love to hear from you! Does my home page include the information you’d want, as a reader who wants to know about an author? If you were to stumble across it via links, does it tell you what I, and my writing, is all about? Is there anything you’d suggest I’d add to my home page?

21 Responses to \

  1. Your website rocks, Jennette. And do I ever LOVE your new headshot. Well done!

    I like your plan of adding a search function to your blog. I tend to use that. As a side note, I love that we both talk about Kristen’s fabulousness today. Great minds, right? πŸ˜‰

  2. Jennette, love the new look! Your homepage is great–it tells exactly what a reader would want to know about your writing. I also like how you’re promoting your books there to grab the reader’s eye! Great changes:).

  3. Very nice update, Jennette, and I love the photo of you and the red car. Really cool and it says so much about you! One of my favorite things about your site is the way it shows the latest blog on your commentors. It’s a great way to find new stuff.

  4. Thanks so much, August! I was thinking the same thing when I read your blog this morning! Great minds indeed. πŸ™‚

    Thanks, Maria! I’m glad to hear the home page is doing what I wanted!

    Thanks, Coleen! I read a lot of articles about what readers look for on a home page, and info about the books was #1. Glad to hear I hit it!

    Thanks, CD! It’s a way to feature my blog posts on the front page and keep it fresh, without having the blog *be* the front page.

  5. Love the design, the new headshot, and the widgets on the sidebar!
    Maybe you could add “latest posts” over the tag cloud. As a reader, if I like one post, I want to find more pretty quickly πŸ™‚

  6. I love the new page! It seems so much more – you! The car and your photo are very attention grabbing. Nice job. Can’t wait to be a regular.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  7. Yes, what Patricia said. Your new author page is so you. Love that you fit in the Camaro and plugged Harley via your shirt. I also notice great changes to the blog page like the updated author photo and the covers of your books highlighted at the top right. Nice job!

  8. NICE!!! I had so much fun running from room to room. Must I say I love the car and motorcycle pics? The book promotion placement is ideal. You have it going on. It’s easy to let things get away from us, isn’t it. Glad you finally made the time.

  9. Your new home page is AWESOME, Jennette. I give it an A+++++++. I love the banner and the great reviews of your TIME TRAVEL SERIES, WHICH TOTALLY ROCKS! I’m so looking forward to book 3! That photo of you with your car, it’s perfect for your blog. Your new profile picture looks great. Looks like you’re doing everything right! You go, girl!

  10. Home page rocks! And I love that new author pic. I need to do a little (or a lot) of work on my one day. Maybe as soon as I get my book ready to publish, I’ll have a couple of days. Yours looks awesome, Jennette!