I’m … um … redesigning the site

…in case you missed the vivid new colors and still-not-working slider menu in the header.

Did as much as I could before I took it live… but expect a mess today. I should have everything done by tomorrow, though.

I hope.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and indie-publish my new ones.

23 comments… add one
  • Sylvia Nickels Jul 24, 2012 @ 22:17

    You’re amazing, Holly. Like the colors and I really like the slide bar menu, too. A site visitor can see exactly where they want to go. Kudos.

    • Holly Jul 25, 2012 @ 4:49

      Thank you. This schizophrenic site has been driving me crazy for about … fifteen years. I think I FINALLY have something that works.

  • Cheryl Jul 21, 2012 @ 16:42

    Hi Holly,
    I’m a HUGE fan and have had trouble in the past finding my way around the site. When I first looked at the sliding menu I thought, “what an annoying bit of fluffery!” But then I realised how much information was on it and changed my mind quickly!
    L LOVE the colours. Well done. I wish I knew how you find the time to do all the things you do. And yes, I did how to motivate — but you’re a marvel!

    • Holly Jul 22, 2012 @ 7:52

      Thanks for giving the walkthrough a try. I’d considered doing a video to demonstrate the various areas of the site, and how to find everything, but there are so many outside links to this site I would have had to put it on every page…and I didn’t want to introduce that much slowdown.

      Having a little header slider seemed like the best way to help newcomers find their way around without slowing down the page loads—or making me do a new video every time I tinker with the site. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Skipper Hammond Jul 18, 2012 @ 12:07

    Really simple and elegant navigation. The colors help me know what’s here and how to go where I want to go.
    Only one problem–you’ve written too many books! lol. The cover thumbnails are so tiny.
    Congratulations on an excellent site.

    • Holly Jul 22, 2012 @ 7:55

      That’s only a few of my books. And only the US editions of those. ๐Ÿ˜€

      And thanks. I’m delighted I finally figured out some navigation that helps people FIND things.

  • Michael Polk Jul 18, 2012 @ 10:45

    Oh, really? I thought it was just this ancient Macintosh sending me back into the Internet’s past. It did it with YouTube and GMail and I just figured this was next. Looks cool. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Holly Jul 22, 2012 @ 7:55

      You have your own WayBack Machine?

  • Danzier Jul 17, 2012 @ 0:36

    Constructive criticism: I’m looking at it on my phone, and, yes, it’s a little messy. But my phone does that to sites with some regularity. I like this color scheme; I like the menu even better. But far-and-away my favorite feature is the former popup/splash page seems to be its own part of the main page now. Yay!

    • Holly Jul 17, 2012 @ 8:08

      That may be some new way Aweber is handling forms. I still need to make the form a LOT smaller. But I’m glad it’s working better.

  • Juneta Jul 16, 2012 @ 18:36

    Love the new look. Very nice. Really like the header slider menu, it tells a lot about the site and your agenda right up top, without having to search the sit for tidbits that really capture your interest, especially for the would be writer. I think it will definitely grab the interested party who just takes a peek. Great idea I hope it really pays off for you.

    • Holly Jul 17, 2012 @ 8:07

      Thank you. The slider header was my final Eureka moment on โ€œHow to I put a site walkthrough on every page of the site without slowing down the site with video?โ€

      • Irrevenoid Jul 27, 2012 @ 19:46

        I really like the new design – everything’s all spread out and it’s much easier to find things.

        The slider menu is very clever and artistic. Unfortunately my poor brain finds it nigh-impossible to follow when I’m mousing across the options because the text keeps moving while I’m trying to read it. I find a standard dropdown menu more intuitive and accessible (and you can fit more in them!), but others may differ.

        The books across the took look really interesting. I was a bit disappointed when I clicked on them and they didn’t take me to info on the books. xD

        BTW, the “About Holly” text looks like a hyperlink – it’s almost exactly the same colour as “View all posts by Holly” which is part of the same paragraph and IS a hyperlink.

        I’m just mentioning the exceptions though because they ARE exceptions. Overall it’s a 100% improvement and I’m rather envious of your web skills…

  • Dee Jul 16, 2012 @ 8:41

    Looks good- very easy to navigate!

    • Holly Jul 17, 2012 @ 8:06

      Thank you. Aside from the brighter, happier colors, and thinning out the header for smaller screens, the whole design was about making every single thing on the site easier to find.

      A lot of writers were missing my 100,000 words plus of free writing articles and workshops.

      A lot of readers had no clue I had Tonk worldbuilding sketches on the site, or short stories I wrote just for hereโ€ฆ

      So Iโ€™m hoping this helps.

  • Texanne Jul 15, 2012 @ 13:29

    Very lively and commanding. Cool–er–hot!

    • Holly Jul 16, 2012 @ 5:30

      ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks. I’m happy with the navigation. Still not sure about the sidebar color. Have changed it about fifteen times between the test pages and here.

      Going to give it a rest today, and load the next ten HTTS lessons online. They came in over the weekend.

  • BJ Steeves Jul 15, 2012 @ 12:17


    I like what you did with the site. The slide bar menu is a neat idea.

    I’m also glad to see you back to writing full time.


    • Holly Jul 16, 2012 @ 5:28

      Hey, BJ,

      Great to see you. Iโ€™m not back to writing full-time yet. (Well, Iโ€™ve been writing full-time since 1991, but Iโ€™m not back to writing FICTION full-time yet. ๐Ÿ˜€ )

      Iโ€™ll actually be back to full-time fiction by the end of this year, though. Have had some delays, but Iโ€™m still pretty close to on schedule. Which amazes me.

      Thanks for your slider comment. Iโ€™ve been trying for ages to figure out how to include a site walkthrough. This morning, I finally figured it out.

  • Michelle Jul 14, 2012 @ 18:45

    Fantastic! Really liking the changes and the way you’re going with this. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Holly Jul 22, 2012 @ 7:57

      Thanks. Itโ€™s one of those things I can only do on a weekend, because the site is so big, getting all the sidebars fixed and menus in the right place takes forever.

  • Heidi Jul 14, 2012 @ 14:24

    It looks great!

    • Holly Jul 22, 2012 @ 7:57

      Thanks. ๐Ÿ˜€

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