10 Pitfalls to Avoid for Your Author Website

6. Easy Navigation
How many Web sites have you visited where you can’t find a single thing you were looking for? Don’t do this to your visitors!

Break your content into easy to follow categories. Even building a site map is a good idea so visitors can know exactly where certain information is.

7. Useless Audio & Video Clips
Not everyone has access to high bandwidth connections. For them, visiting your site will be a nightmare if you have audio and video files, a shockwave intro, etc. Eliminating these files will take a mega-chunk out of a user’s download time. They’ll be able to see your site almost instantly without having to twiddle their thumbs and plan out the names of their future children while they wait to access your site.

If you want to offer your visitors a chance to hear you or see a video of you, that’s perfectly fine. You can simply place a link stating that you have these files available for them to hear/view. Give them the option. It really will go a long way with your fans.

8. Link Pages
It’s nice to have a list of links for your visitors. But it also sends your traffic to someone else’s site.

A positive note to keep in mind is that other authors may also have a links page and will offer a trade with you. They place your link on their page and vice versa. You get added exposure but the price is yours to consider.

9. Graphics & Animations
Maybe you’ve been to a Web site that has an animation of a cute little kitty licking his paw. Then you go to another Web site and there’s the same kitty, still licking his paw.

The graphics and animations you can pick up on any clip art site aren’t necessarily a good idea for your own Web site. They take longer to download and can even distract from the real content you’ve worked so hard on.

10. Conflicting Backgrounds & Text Colors
One of the most annoying things an Internet user can run across is someone who’s used a white background with a yellow font. There are plenty of other unreadable color combinations out there.

If you use a .gif or .jpg image for your Web page, make sure you can still read the text on top of it. There’s no sense in wasting all your efforts trying to pretty up your Web site if your visitors can’t even read your content.

Always remember, you wouldn’t send out a sloppy manuscript. Don’t set up a sloppy Web site. Not only will your visitors be disappointed, they won’t come back.