Sharpening My Author Website

I spent the last few days updating my website in preparation for my novella release and my upcoming series release. As you can likely tell from the site, the series title is Dark Nebula. I’ll have more updates in the future on what that means, but for now I wanted to update people that were interested on what I did to my site.

I spent a few months of random time researching website themes for WordPress. I started by listening to the modules in the Self Publishing Formula 101 course on websites. I’ve had a website for over 22 years now but I still wanted to hear what they had to say about it. Firs things first, I needed a theme.

I dug around Themeforest and was about to pull the trigger on a theme until I found Divi from Elegant Themes. It’s not super cheap but after all the research it had everything I wanted. For me I was looking for a theme that had:

  1. Advanced CSS Transitions + Effects and HTML 5+ support.
  2. Simple yet powerful UI for customizing when I needed to drop in and write some jQuery or CSS.
  3. Lots of custom modules for integrations like email, quotes, etc.
  4. WooComerce integration for the future.
  5. And let’s not forget free updates.

So I found a discount code online for 20% off (I have zero involvement in this site, I just wanted a discount code), and I pulled the trigger. I debated on the annual fee or a one time lifetime fee. The discount code brought the lifetime price to a level where I felt it made sense. I know I’ll be in the self-publishing game for many years and this will pay for itself after year 3 so I went for it.

After that it was heads down playing with Divi and updating all of the pages on my site. I had purchased a copy of Affinity Designer a few months back during their pandemic sale. Again, planning ahead and not wanting to pay Adobe for ever licensing. I cracked it open, made some simple images for book covers coming soon like this:

Dark Nebula Coming Soon

And I threw together a simple logo of my name for up top on the site. After that and a whole lot of learning in Divi we are where we are now.

After that I created a cool Books page (for the upcoming releases), Biography, and Blog page. Go check them out, I’d love your thoughts on them. I also created some hidden landing pages from my book back matter and my newsletter.

One of the last steps was setting up SEO optimizations. I installed the WordPress Yoast SEO plug-in and added all of the missing metadata that would help my pages get indexed properly by Google. I also added some DNS records for Google so I can be seen as the owner to Google Console. All things that help with verification and search engine indexing.

But wait, there’s more. Later this week I’ll be posting about the newsletter changes I made to the site. Hopefully you find these posts useful if you’re on the path to become a self-published author or maybe just following me. Drop me any questions you might have on Divi in email or in the comments below.

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