The Front Page

I’m thinking about what we might have on our front page. I think we need a front page that looks to visitors as though it’s dynamic and changing on a weekly basis, but that is actually as low-maintenance as we can make it. We can achieve this with a little animation, notices about recent publications , author quotes (à la the WA Newsletter) and perhaps the occasional blog post.

I think we need something like this… (roll on the drums)

Front page mockup v2
Front page mockup

An Introducton

Welcoming visitors and saying something about our group. For example…

We are a peer group for creative writers working in English and living in far-flung places.

We help one another with writing critiques and encouragement, writing exercises and suggestions for publishing opportunities.

We give one another the social interaction that writers in isolation need – or as much as Internet connections and e-mail allow.


A blog

It could be as basic as “Here are some recent posts we’ve written” with clickable links to blog posts on our own blogs, posts we’ve written as guest authors on other blogs, GoodReads reviews, and other things … (Podcast appearances perhaps.)

@dandefoe upgraded his post at Wikipedia.
@GeoffreyC published an extract from his Parlement of Fowls.
@MaryAnnGeorge published a new review at GoodReads

Or it could be a post simply listing some books and articles we’re reading, blogs etc that we’re following, where and what we’ve recently published. Or other similar things. (Films or TV shows? Live performances? Conferences and courses? Readings and poetry slams?)

@MaryAnnGeorge & @dandefoe are both reading Far Flung.
@GeoffreyC is reading Gulliver’s Tales.
@dandefoe is following The Worried Writer podcast
@GeoffreyC is following Crochet and Knitting on Twitter
@MaryAnnGeorge held a seminar on “Female Voices, Male Names” at the Women’s Writers Conference on-line in November.

Or of course it could be a blog post we’ve written and published/are going to publish on our own blog.

And it could be a Monday Muse/Wednesday Word/Friday Flash. As blog posts these would be open to visitors as well as members to write on. If we have non-members contributing, anyone who felt like it could comment and encourage – or not. It wouldn’t be something any of us would be required to do.

We could even rotate a few recent blog posts. As long as the Front Page changes week on week it gives the impression that there’s a lot going on. (Even if that may not always be true!)

We could also include links to writers’ prompts elsewhere on line. (Again, building bridges and creating goodwill with other writers and websites.)


Writerly quotes

It’s possible to create a database of favourite writerly quotes – which we can add to as time goes by – and have the quotes appear randomly or in a particular order on the front page.


Social media

Links to social media

Recently published

An animated slider with pictures of recent publications and appropriate links.


We should also have…

Space for our social media links

And we could have a rotating series of recent posts on one or more of our accounts – Twitter for example.


What do you think?

4 Comments

  1. I like the idea of the dynamic front page. With the blog down the middle of it, that means the visitor is right smack in the middle of the most dynamic part, too.

  2. Although I love the color yellow, I’m not sure this version of it, with gray, does it for me on a website. But am not sure I’ve got a better suggestion either. So many sites stick to blue and shades thereof, so not necessarily a unique direction to go either. How about pale yellow as a page color with a darker color, maybe burgundy or purple for accents. This is just me brainstorming. If it sounds disgusting, ignore me.

  3. Hi Debbie,

    I agree about the yellow and grey mix, but having coded the theme with this I thought I’d share it. (It took a bit of time to do!) I meant to write a blog post about choosing the colour scheme. After New Year perhaps.

    Pete’s original colour scheme was based on the photo he was using as the header image for the site. That’s something we could do again – once we have a photo we want to use. Or we could come up with a colour scheme and then look for or make a matching picture.

    Personally, I like yellow. It’s cheerful. Grey less so. I’m not wedded to this scheme, I just wanted to show what this theme (the layout, the header space, the bars and buttons) was capable of. Yellow and dark burgundy sounds good to me. Yellow and purple might be a bit too strident a contrast. I’ll experiment when I have some time over.

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