The New Website

Because that novel isn't going to delay itself
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MosesSiregar
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The New Website

Post by MosesSiregar » December 6th, 2009, 11:56 pm

Hi Nathan, I love the new site. I took a quick look around and thought of a few things that you may have already considered. I'll toss them out, though, just in case any of this is helpful.

1) The image link on the upper left of the forums (with the typewriter) goes straight back to the forums when clicked on. I think it would be better to have that link go back to your main home page rather than the main forum page. For starters, visitors can already get back to the main forum page by clicking either "Forums" on the row beneath the typewriter, or by clicking on "The Forums" in the next row below that (next to "Board Index <").

But more importantly, you're going to get a number of people finding your site via search engines that direct people to specific discussions taking place on these forums. Once you get them to the forums, I'd want to make it as easily as possible for them to find your main home page and all the goodies there. A small point, but the "Home" link under the typewriter is too small IMO to be the only one that brings people back to your home page. And the normal expectation on websites is that the main graphical link in the top-left of a page will go back to the main home page.

2) I'm sure this is something that has already been considered, but I think you'd get a higher click-through rate on your feedburner, twitter, and facebook icons if they looked more traditional, i.e the orange for feedburner, blue for Facebook and light blue for Twitter. I think it's easier to miss them when they are gray like they currently are. It's more artistic to have them in gray, but our eyes will recognize them more quickly in orange and blue, and if that increases the click-through by even 5% it's worth it. If I wasn't looking carefully at the page, I could very easily have missed them.

3) I did a quick CTRL-F search for the word "submissions" on your main blog home page and didn't find anything. Then I realized that in order to submit a query to you, you have to click the "Contact Me" link under your picture on the left-side of the page. You might want to have a link for "Submissions," "Submit Query," or something like that. Or possibly rename it to something like "Contact Me/Submissions." This isn't really an issue on your main home page because that page is very simple, but some people might find your blog first (such as from Google or a direct link from another website) and think that that is the main home page (I did this), and be distracted by all the links. In that case, they might end up scrolling up and down that page looking for a page about your submission guidelines. Small point, though.

Thanks for an amazing blog and for being so generous with your time.
Passion for the Writing Life Blog: Moses and Dionysus Walk Into a Bar ...

Find my work at: Amazon | Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: The New Website

Post by Nathan Bransford » December 7th, 2009, 1:43 am

Hey, thanks so much for the suggestions. I think the idea with the forums being self-contained is that people who are deep in the weeds in the forum will want a way to get back to the top of the forum so they can see all the master categories. Hence the typewriter going back there. There are still the links if people want to get over to the blog or the home page.

On the Feedburner/Twitter/Etc., I think people are familiar enough with the logos that they'll see them if they want them. Anyone who is on Twitter will notice the logo whether it's gray or blue, people who aren't on it won't recognize it but don't need it anyway. That's also why the "subscribe to the blog via e-mail" is written out.

I'll think about the submissions link. I'm not so sure I want it super-easy to find because I'd rather that people click around a little first before they submit to me, but I'll give it some thought.

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MosesSiregar
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Re: The New Website

Post by MosesSiregar » December 7th, 2009, 3:08 am

No problem. You clearly have things very well thought out on your site and it shows, but I wanted to offer some quick thoughts on the off chance that it might help in some way.
Passion for the Writing Life Blog: Moses and Dionysus Walk Into a Bar ...

Find my work at: Amazon | Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads

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a_r_williams
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Re: The New Website

Post by a_r_williams » December 7th, 2009, 4:18 am

Love the new site! It looks great.

Really like the addition of a forum, it makes discussion that much better. Will definitely be stopping by here often :)

jazzlovesnoodles
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Re: The New Website

Post by jazzlovesnoodles » December 7th, 2009, 5:36 am

I also think the new site looks great, really, and not being nitpicky... but on the home page in the title at the top of the browser window the first two letters of 'literary' are capitalised instead of just one. sorry. i just had to mention that.

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Susan Quinn
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Re: The New Website

Post by Susan Quinn » December 7th, 2009, 1:36 pm

Love the new website!

Your relentless drive for efficiency has achieved another WIN!

Erm, not quite sure this should come under procrastination. Ah, yes, because I'm procrastinating . . . off to dig through the Forums.
Susan Kaye Quinn (young adult and middle grade author)
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Diana
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Re: The New Website

Post by Diana » December 7th, 2009, 2:16 pm

Love the addition of the forum. It makes it so much easier to ask and answer questions than it does in the blog comments.

I also love this bulletin board environment. I use it on my site. :)

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poptart
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Re: The New Website

Post by poptart » December 7th, 2009, 3:04 pm

Oh no! Now I'll never get any work done!
Annoying people since nineteen fifty-seven.

I blog here: http://flyingtart.blogspot.com/
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Kaz Mahoney
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Re: The New Website

Post by Kaz Mahoney » December 7th, 2009, 5:06 pm

I absolutely LOVE the new digs. Slinky!

I'm not so sure a forum is a good idea, though. I am a the Queen of Procrastination... *sigh*

Nice job, though. You are surely going to rule the world one day, Nathan. I would gladly be one of your subjects. ;)

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Mira
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Re: The New Website

Post by Mira » December 7th, 2009, 5:46 pm

Goodness. I'm never going to get anything done. I should be studying for my final right now.

You are a bad man, Nathan Bransford.

And I thank you for it. :)

You might want to create a separate forum for queries. If you're really serious, those will build up very fast. Totally up to you though, I'm sure you already thought of that, actually. :)

Thank you! This is wonderful. I've already had so much fun.

I am now forcing myself to leave. I have to study!!!!!!

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shadow
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Re: The New Website

Post by shadow » December 7th, 2009, 5:53 pm

I like the new website :)
All things writing, visit my blog http://arielemerald.blogspot.com/

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Valerie L Smith
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Re: The New Website

Post by Valerie L Smith » December 7th, 2009, 6:19 pm

Everything looks great!

J.Jessamyn
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Re: The New Website

Post by J.Jessamyn » December 7th, 2009, 7:19 pm

While I'm not a fan of the color orange (don't smite me!), I do like the improvements. Bravo. *does the golf clap*
~J. Jessamyn~

burgy
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Re: The New Website

Post by burgy » December 7th, 2009, 7:22 pm

Nice job on the new site and forums. Normally I read your posts in my email, but now I think I'll be stopping in here. Thank-you Nathan, again you go over and above for your readers.

General Washington
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Re: The New Website

Post by General Washington » December 7th, 2009, 7:34 pm

Nice redesign, and thanks for the input you give here and on your blog. One minor suggestion - you need a favicon. A site with no favicon drives me nuts. In the grand scheme of things it shouldn't, but it does. The following examples took about 2 photoshop seconds each.
Image
Image
Image (if you're an orange purist and/or U. of Tenn. fanatic)

Feel free to use or ignore, or whatever one can do between using and ignoring.

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