I'm looking for a simple yet elegant modern website design for my fantasy book recommendation website. The website is NOT a bookstore (so don't design a bookstore type website!), but rather a content rich website which helps readers find the best fantasy books via recommendation lists I've written.
I would like the design (it will be STATIC html/css pages) to sort of merge the blog style with the flexibility of a static design. Basically, the pages will be static but there will be sections for dynamic feeds pulling information from other parts of the sites (blog feed, social feeds, forum comment feeds, etc). Your challenge will be to create a compelling, thematic design that merges both static and dyanmic features, especially on the home page.
This index page will show links to the recommendation lists I've written (to be on a sidebar perhaps -- see pictures for the current site layout) with sections for dynamic feeds. I don't mind a "bloggy" style layout where you have different sections on the main page, but I don't want it looking "too much" like a blog. The page will be static. Give a modern blog type look is fine, but I don't want a million different sections on the page. I don't want the homepage looking like a wordpress blog -- if I wanted that, I'd just use a blog theme instead of hiring designers to give me a good looking static site design!
Note, take a look at http://www.fantasybookreview.co.uk/ and see how they have the recent blog posts, latest reviews displayed on the homepage. I need something similar done for the subsections.
Here's more info about the homepage layout
1. STATIC CONTENT SECTIONS ON HOMEPAGE
A. Links to the Best Fantasy Book Lists:
The site is primarly about giving recommendations for fantasy books. As such, the primary focus IS the fantasy book lists. If you look at the pictures, these are present ON the left sidebar. I STILL want the main focus of the site to be these lists -- it's up to you on how you want to display them (sidebar, or in some section on the homepage, etc).
The starter lists that MUST be on the homepage should be:
The Best Fantasy Books
Top 25 Best Fantasy Books
Best Stand Alone Fantasy Books
Great Fantasy Books
Good Fantasy Books
Best Fantasy Series
Worst Fantasy Books Ever
Best Fantasy Lists
Top 25 Best EPIC Fantasy Series
Best Fantasy Books for Women
Best Fantasy Books for Children
Best Literary Fantasy Books
Best Vampire Books
Best Sword and Sorcery Books
Best Romance Fantasy Books
->SEE MORE LISTS<-
B. A section to introduce the website
This could be perhaps the top section on the page or something. Basically a section where I can outline what the site is about etc.
2. DYNAMIC FEED SECTIONS ON HOMEPAGE:
The homepage needs to have a few sections where feeds / streams from OTHER parts of the site will show up on the static page design
A column / row / section that stream BLOG POSTS (the site is static but there will be a blog as well)
A column / row / section for public book reviews
A featured section for a post
A section that displays recent forum comments
A section that displays recent Top 10 Fantasy Lists that have been added by other users
This is the other page design I want. Basically, this is where the actual page content goes. I'll be using this page style for blog posts (I'll be converting your design into a wordpress bog for the site's blog section).
Need to have:
--Content section -- standard
--Web 2.0 section integrated in page. I like how the social media is integrated in this example: http://io9.com/monsters-among-us/
--Comment section (but this needs to be easy for me to completely remove from the template, since I may use a custom comment script)
--I'd probably like a 2 column content page design (left column as sidebar perhaps, right colum as the page content). A 3 column is even ok if you can fit it in. It's important that the content page have the fantasy lists PRESENT as a sidebar or some sort (see included pictures). This is so readers can easily jump to the other recommendation lists on the fly.
BLOG (HOME) PAGE
This will be the blog page section. Blog to be wordpress. Blog page to have all the standard bloggy stuff. Emphasis on blog page will be the most recent post which will be prominently displayed. Of course, include the other standard blog page stuff like featured post + picture, various sidebars, etc. I'd like the blog page to have a similar design to the rest of the site, though designed more like a blog than the other 2 pages though. The blog page to contain the SAME TOP navigation menu as the rest of the site, however. I'd also like room for the top fantasy lists (take a look at the images) to be present somewhere as a sidebar or something.
BLOG CONTENT PAGE
Content page for the blog (see something like: http://www.kirkusreviews.com/blog/c…florence/)
*web 2.0 buttons integrated into posts (prefer top right)
*recent posts section at bottom of page after content
*section for an ad after first paragraph of content (see this example: http://www.kirkusreviews.com/blog/c…ding_post) which is then followed by rest of content.
*big blog footer menu/boxes at bottom of page
*same left navigation bar as rest of blog (and website)
*same top navigation menu as rest of blog (and website)
*Follow us WEB 2.0 icons/buttons at top part of blog and very bottom
*anything else you think the blog should have