How to organize your site structure
and text content.
Before starting to build and write the text of your site there are many things to consider. Try to answer these questions or at least think about them and keep them in mind when writing the text. I will cover some of them in more detail further down the page.
Some basic issues to consider...
Information Architecture of Your Site.
The information you provide will help you to define the goals of your site
and give me the information I need to create your site both from a design and
structural point of view. Doing this basic work in the beginning will improve
your site immensely and save time in the long run.
is the purpose of your business/ what does your business do?
What are the goals of the site? Short term? Long term?
Who are the intended audience of your site? Describe a typical viewer of your
How will people find your site? Will they be repeat visitors?
Advertising, search engines, existing customers, other?
What other companies have similar businesses to yours? If you know their
web site addresses please list them.
How many pages will your site have? What will the overall structure be
Home, About Us, Main Topic, Sub-topics, Shopping, Bookings, Site Map, Links,
Map, Contact Us.
Will you require new email addresses for this site? (email@example.com)
How many? Who for?
Do you want the emails from your new firstname.lastname@example.org to be forwarded
to your current email address? If so what are your current email addresses
and what company are they with? What is their web site address?
What special features do you want on your site?
Credit card facilities
How many products will you offer for sale?
Do you want to accept credit card payments? Paypal etc.?
Do you currently have credit card facilities in your offline business?
Do you need a shopping cart for your site?
What is the name of your site? Mysite.com
If possible the site name should be easy to remember, spell and short in length.
.COM extensions are easiest to remember.
Do you have any preferences for the hosting company?
You can buy your domain name here:
a domain name will cost US$8.95 a year
and you should have it automatically renew each year so you donít forget
to renew it and lose your web site name and ranking on the search engines
if your website is down.
You can get hosting here too:
sites will require Deluxe hosting with CGI or ASP as the cheaper hosting
only offers 50MB of space. It is US$8.95 a month. If you buy the wrong kind
of hosting you may not be able to have the features you want on your site
(bulletin boards etc.) consult wih your website
designer on the kind of hosting you will need.
What keywords do you think people who are looking for a site like your will
use?(If you were going to look for services or products your site offers,
what words or phrases would you type into search engines such as Google
Describe your website in one sentence using many of the keywords (the ones
you think are most important and relevant) you have listed above.
The Navigation Architecture of Your Site
The navigation architecture of your site needs to be decided upon before your
site can be built. It is important that people know where they are on your
site and don't get lost. A general guide is to try and keep any information
no more than 3 clicks away as people get tired of clicking and waiting for
pages to load. Some pages which you will probably want to include are listed
Home - The
home page generally serves as an introduction to your site and a place people
can go to if they get lost and need to re-orient themselves.
It should be a safe haven for weary, lost websurfers. It is best to call it "home" as
most people understand what that means. It is the index page or default page
and will be called www.yoursite.com/index.html or www.yoursite.com/default.html
if it is written with html code.
Main Topics Pages - Contains main subject of your site.
Sub-topics pages - Contain more detailed information
Online Shopping page - if you are selling something.
Map/directions - A page which contains a map of how to get to your
place of business.
Bookings - If bookings are required.
Links - A links page can be a place where you add links you are truly
interested in. To rank highly in search engines it is important to have other
related sites link to your site. Sometimes to get other site to link to your
website it is necessary to do reciprical links.
Site Map - If you have a large site you can add a site map which gives
an overview of the entire sites structure and content.
About Us - General information about you or your company.
Contact Us - Your contact details. Address, phone, email etc.