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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.

What 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 site?

Age group:
Native language:

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 like?

Home, About Us, Main Topic, Sub-topics, Shopping, Bookings, Site Map, Links, Map, Contact Us.

Will you require new email addresses for this site? (yourname@yourwebsitename.com)

How many? Who for?
Do you want the emails from your new yourname@yourwebsitename.com 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?
Bulletin boards
Password protection
Credit card facilities
Newsletter signup

Online shopping
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:
naturalhealingcenter.com/hosting.html Generally 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:
naturalhealingcenter.com/hosting.html Most 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 or Yahoo.)

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 here:

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.

Navigation Architecture

Here is a picture of the navigation architecture - I designed for this site before I built it. This is a one way to design a small site. Notice you can get to every page from every page. And you always know where you are as there is a clear heading at the top of each page and the button in the navbar of the page you are on is bright blue.

Site Architecture example 1  - So You Want A Web Site

Here is another example of navigation architecture.

Site Architecture example 2  - So You Want A Web Site

Working with your webmaster

Text Formatting
Creating a webpage is completely different from using a text editor such as Word. Everything about your text has to have html, xhtml or css code to format the text's color, size, font, special characters such as apostrophes etc. So try to get your text right the first time (it never happens) because it takes up a great deal of time formatting text. Here are some examples:

Text formatting in HTML - So You Want A Web Site

The TITLE of your page
"Title is the most important aspect of web page design in respects to scoring well on most search engines." (Planet Ocean, 2004 p9)

Most search engines look at the keywords in your title and often favor webpages with specific keywords in the title.

Many search engines display the text (as well as the name of your site) in the results of a keyword search in a search engine. Your title and website name together need to be enticing enough to get people to click on it when they see it in their search results. (Planet Ocean, 2004 p9)

If you are serious about doing well in the search engines you should decide on the keywords and phrases that will bring people to your site before you put pen to paper. Think of all the words and phrases you think people might use if they were looking for your site. Look at the top ranking sites which are similar to yours and see what words they use. (You can't use your competitor's brand name though!)

You need to add all of these keywords to the text of your page. Think of all forms of the word i.e. (design, designs, designer, designing, designed etc.) Your website designer will add these keywords to a part of the page that cannot be seen by the viewer but is read by the search engines. You need to give your webmaster a list and work with them to decide on which words you are going to include in the page.

British or American spelling?
If you are going for an international audience you might want to check the spelling of your keywords. Are you selling coloring books or colouring books? Biscuits or cookies? Gas or petrol? Centre or center?

Some people actually purposely leave common spelling mistakes in their website (usually hidden) so that they capture the audience who can't spell and make typos!!

Commonwealth English - "Commonwealth English refers to the language written in most of the English-speaking world." (Wikipedia 1, 2004) Language may differ a little from region to region. 30% of the world's population lives in Commonwealth countries.

Some countries which use Commonwealth English:
Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland and the European Union, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Tuvalu, Cameroon, Mozambique, Zimbabwe etc. (Wikipedia 2, 2004)

Some countries which use American English:
The United States, Japan, Liberia, Philippines (Wikipedia 1, 2004)

Internet Usage Statistics last updated September 2004. (Internet World Stats, 2004)

Region Number of
Internet Users
Check for more detailed information at this website
Africa 12,937,100 www.internetworldstats.com/stats1.htm
Asia 257,898,314 www.internetworldstats.com/stats3.htm
Europe 230,886,424 www.internetworldstats.com/stats4.htm
Middle East 17,325,900 www.internetworldstats.com/stats5.htm
North America 222,165,659 www.internetworldstats.com/stats2.htm
Latin America/Caribbean 55,930,974 www.internetworldstats.com/stats2.htm
Oceania 15,787,221 www.internetworldstats.com/stats6.htm
Total 812,931,592

Internet World Stats., September 2004.Internet usage and statistics - the big picture. Retrieved November 13th 2004 from http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm

NaturalHealingCenter.com (2004). Retrieved October 28, 2004 from .http://www.naturalhealingcenter.com/hosting.html

Planet Ocean Communications (Nov. 2004).The unfair advantage book on winning the search engine wars (Version SE99). Planet Ocean Communications, Captain Cook HI.

Shiple, J. (1998, July 13). Information architecture tutorial. Retrieved October 28, 2004 from http://webmonkey.wired.com/webmonkey/design/site_building/tutorials/tutorial1.html

Wikipedia (1) the free encyclopedia (Nov. 2004). American and British English differences. Retrieved November 13th 2004 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_and_British_English_differences

Wikipedia (2) the free encyclopedia (Nov. 2004). Commonwealth of Nations. Retrieved November 13th 2004 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Commonwealth



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