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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Website Structure Advice

Guest post

There are several types of websites on the internet. Some websites are selling a product or service while others are more informational. Whichever type you are creating, the text should be concise, short, and to the point, and the website itself should be well structured.

No matter what type of website you are creating, know your target audience (a stay-at-home mom, business community, sports fans, artists, etc.) and adapt your website as specifically as possible to the audience you desire to reach. Knowing your audience makes it easier to write text for your website that is effective, appropriate, and interesting.

Before creating your website there are various questions you need to ask yourself. Why is this website being created? What do I plan to accomplish with the creation of this website? Who is my target audience? How do I communicate most effectively, with words, graphics, video, audio? How do I capture my audience?

A website is composed of a series of individual pages. No matter what type of website you are creating, your site should be well organized. Before creating your site, decide on the how it should be structured.

A website structure is basically made of first page (referred to as the home page and/or index page), the next level down known as the "main sections", and the third level down referred to as subsections and/or content pages. Try to imagine your website as a hierarchy of pages, with your home page located at the top.

The home page should be short and to the point. This is the front door of your presence online, the first impression of your site to the majority of your website's visitors. This is the page that will capture the reader’s interest and give them reason to go deeper into your website.

The main section pages should contain the overview of the general topics your website covers. For example, if you own a website that is selling doors, this would be where you would list the various types of doors that you are selling but not yet sharing the details of a specific model of door.

The subsection pages are where you offer the specific details. Using the same example as above, if you own a website that is selling doors this is the level where you list the detail description of each door, a picture of the door, the cost of the door, etc.

Some people sketch out a diagram of what they want their website structure to look like on a piece of paper. I prefer to use index cards to get an idea of how the website structure will look since they can more easily be moved around. Once you have the index cards in the structure fashion that you want, sketch the diagram on a sheet of paper to capture the layout of the index cards. Then, you can get work!

Bio: Kate Forester writes about web hosting providers, web design tools and other online products and services for Consumer-Rankings.com.


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