Website Makeover: Necessary or Not?

7 years ago | eikasia (Member)

Hello all!

So I've been looking to expand my site and hopefully my readership--the thing is, I dunno what else to do!

Months ago I revamped my site to be more user friendly. With time I've tweaked things here and there, only I'm still certain there's more that I can improve upon. My main concern is readability; is it too overwhelming/cluttered with text, links, and images, or does it need more obvious navigation? My second concern is professional appeal; does my site look like it takes itself seriously, and does it look good doing it? Does the warm, brown scheme seem dull? Should I go with a cool-colored theme? Maybe pay for a pro-wordpess theme that seems befitting a fantasy novel?

I've been trying to polish my website in preparation for the new installment set to begin by this Fall at the latest. As I begin that, I was going to make an ad push on webcomic sites, and (hopefully) begin offering premium content to my readers. But with premium content and serious advertising, it stands to reason that I should have a serious website, right?

So whatever feedback I can get, that'd be extremely great!!

http://eighthcirclestudios.com/eikasia/

Read responses...

Responses

  1. Shutsumon (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    Hmm...

    The main text area is uncluttered and readable. The header is a bit plain and the colours are a bit bland. Replacing those at some point might not be a bad idea, but it otherwise looks fine. Think of your site design as being like book design.

    The first impression is like the cover, it needs to draw people in, but the readability of the text is just as important as the first bite.

    Becka

  2. eikasia (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    Thanks Shutsumon!

    M'kay, so far my feedback is that my site is otherwise readable, straightforward, and clean--but dull. I was thinking I could remedy this by sprucing up the header, but I'm not very good with that stuff. Ever since CSS entered the scene, I fell behind, which tells you how up-to-date I am on site coding and design. :P

    Actually, if someone can recommend a good web designer who won't take all my dough, that'd be great. I'm not looking for flash or anything super-graphic intensive. Just a design that works for weblit and seems related to my story.

  3. vjchambers (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    I think it should be just a little easier to get to the actual story. I confess to being confused. There are six or seven chapters and a whole bunch of other character POV stuff? Where do I start? If I should start with chapter one, oughtn't that be the first thing I see on the drop down menu?

    Breathless: Sex, Satanists, Secret Societies, and (just a hint of the) Supernatural
  4. eikasia (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    The dropdown menu automatically lists itself in alphabetical order, but I'll poke around to see if I can change that.

    So the new reader page didn't help you? Should I change the green "start" button to read "chapter 1" instead?

    EDIT: Also, I'm a bit confused when you say "six or seven chapters". Personally, my browser doesn't show everything in the dropdown menu, but that isn't an issue just with my site. I'm thinking that's what's going on for you. Other websites with long lists require me to "scroll" them down using the scroll wheel on my mouse so try that. I might have to make a note of that in my navigation tips...

  5. Tahjir (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    I found it pretty easy to get to the first chapter, but it could be a little more obvious, perhaps a link on the sidebar that leads directly to the first chapter. While I do also think that the header is a little bare, it could use a picture or something to spruce it up, I really like the font you've used for the title. It fits the story and the site very well.

    I can't help with the site design aspect, unfortunately. I usually just flail around in Blogger until I find something that looks pretty. =D

    Apocalyptic Urban Fantasy
    http://hangarninetysix.wordpress.com/
  6. A. M. Harte (Moderator)

    Posted 7 years ago

    I found the first chapter easily, I thought the green start button pretty original. Everything's clean and easy but yes, perhaps a bit bland.

    I kind of wanted the "start" button to take me to the first post though, rather than to a category. That way I'd actually use the (very big!) next chapter/previous chapter links.

    Qazyfiction: fantasy fiction with a sinister edge.
  7. eikasia (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    Thank you Tahjir and Harte

    I think I'll add a direct link to chapter one in the sidebar beneath the "get up to speed" link. Perhaps I'll have it say "Go to the first post" and link it just to the first post instead of the category, though I fear that may confuse folks...I'll try it out and see how I feel about it.

    Still looking into organizing the dropdown menu manually.

    @ Harte: I think I'll keep the start button linking to the category, and here's why: I want people to see how the numbering system works (e.g. 1.1, 1.2, etc...) and I want them to see how categories work in case they'd like to use the dropdown menu. WFG links directly to the first chapter category so I was thinking it'd be good to reduce clicking from page to page when new visitors come by. The funny thing is though, is that once people read the entire first chapter, they proceed to use only the navigation links at the bottom of the page. It's the most popular form of navigation on my site--probably BECAUSE of the gigantic size of the links. :P It confuses me a bit as I have to navigate my own site all the time, and I get tired of clicking between posts, so I use the dropdown menu alot more. I guess the reader's experience is different as they don't backtrack and look for specific events as much as I do. Still, I want them to understand that the option is there.

  8. eikasia (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    HO-KAY!

    So...here's my updates since I've posted this:

    +Thumbnails of my covers in the header (a tooltip shows up when you hover over these)
    +Replaced Story Part Titles with enlarged versions of the covers seen in the header.
    +The promo video to the New Readers page, directly beneath the green starting buttons
    +Direct link to Chapter One as well as the latest update in the sidebar.
    +My banners for link trades in the link to me page (should I put these at the bottom?)
    +Enlarged the "Older Posts/Newer Posts" navigation links that appear when using categories.
    +Sidebar links in the...well...sidebar.
    +Cast page complete up to date.
    +Setting page saw a new category added, also features a thumbnail for my WIP map for Eikasia, click on it to see a larger version.

    Coming soon are cast thumbnails!

    Okay, now with all of those changes, does my site seem more interesting? Slightly easier to navigate? Or did I make my site a page loading nightmare? :P

  9. vjchambers (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    I like it!!

    Breathless: Sex, Satanists, Secret Societies, and (just a hint of the) Supernatural
  10. eikasia (Member)

    Posted 7 years ago

    Thanks! :D

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