Monday, June 28, 2010
Over the past seven years, I've been learning web design from the school of hard knocks. I've never taken any classes on website creation, nor have I received any formal training. It's been an ever evolving practice and I have to admit I still feel like I'm behind the learning curve when it comes to creating an interactive and information website, especially with my limited resources.
To build my website, (http://www.davidnalderman.com), I've been using Avanquest Software's WebEasy Professional. I have version 8 - their latest - and I've been somewhat satisfied with it all these years. They continue to update their product and make it easier for me to create a website from scratch with drag and drop features without having to know hardly any html coding. There are some drawbacks to using it - it is limited in the applications you can add to your website - but it's great for me since I don't plan on making it my life's purpose to do web design for anyone other than me.
Lately I've taken to revamping my website design. Taking tips from other authors, I realized that a good author website needs to incorporate a theme that has something to do with the author and his/her genre. For example, I'm not going to have romantic frilly themes on a website portraying science fiction or fantasy, nor am I going to have space robots and time travel on a website portraying western writing. My latest website overhaul incorporated a spacey theme that I think was indication that I'm heading in the right direction, but I still feel I'm short of the goal.
For this reason, I've decided to overhaul the design again, this time incorporating me as an author, my love of writing, and the content I write - scifi/fantasy. To start, I've been making nifty background panels created with actual text from my novels...
So far, I've created four of these panels, all of them different, to lay down as the background of the website. I think they will do nicely to portray me as a writer and the fact that it incorporates my actual writing is a plus.
Along with the panels, I am creating a new logo...
It's pretty much just a combination of my name, and a flame inside of an ink splatter. It will be placed at the heading of each web page and incorporates my passion - the flame - coming out of writing - the ink splatter. I've had the symbol on my website for a while now, but I think with the new background panels, it will be more striking and more visible.
Another element I'm going to add to the new design is some scifi and fantasy icons. I thought it would look neat to have some photographs from Nasa and the Hubble space telescope...
I might incorporate some 'notes' on time travel and maybe have a few fantasy themed tidbits from my books. Throw in a coffee mug and maybe some stray Post-It notes and paperclips and I'll have a great all around writer's theme.
It's sure to be a fun project. It will take some time to build, especially since I'm still learning - as I always will be - but I think it will definitely be worth it when I'm all done, and I have a great looking, informative website that's easy on the eyes.
I'll update everyone when the site is ready for viewing - my goal is to finish it in a few weeks.
Photo Credit - NASA, ESA, and A. Nota (STScI/ESA)