Monday, September 2, 2013

Making a Static Website with Blogger

I wanted to make a "hub" author website where people could connect and find links to all of my work.  After considering/toying with my options I decided to with Blogger.  The only downside to Blogger is that the end result will not look as sleek as some other design engines such as Wordpress or Joomla.

For me, this was an acceptable tradeoff.  And the result so far is this:

So certainly not the swankiest looking website but I'm pretty sure I've seen worse.  I plan to eventually improve the site with a custom designed header and whatnot.  I do feel like the information I wanted to convey is clear and easily found.  It's also really easy for me to update which was important.

My first step was registering a .com domain name with GoDaddy.  I feel like that alone goes a long way in making the site feel less blog-like.  Even if you're using Wordpress, people will immediately assume they landed on a blog if they see a mysite.wordpress or a mysite.blogspot.

To keep it feeling more like a website, I limited the number of posts that appear on the home page to one.  So that eliminated the trademark blog look of scrolling down to older posts.  I went to the post layout and and got rid of a lot of extra information like post date and post author.  I also removed the about me and blog archive gadgets that come standard on a fresh Blogger blog.  I do want people to know who I am but, again, I felt like these looked a little too blog-like.

Instead, I replaced the about me with an about page.  I also stripped out all the ways to subscribe to the blog and replaced it with the subscribe by email gadget.  I called the email subscription a "newsletter" but really all they're getting is my latest post.

The rest is pretty self-explanatory.  I made sure to include html buttons of all the ways I wanted people to connect with me on the sidebar.  Again, the purpose was to make a website, not a blog.  I didn't want my audience to spend hours sifting through old articles (blog).  I wanted them to have a way to find my stuff (website).