Website structure – how to start?

One of the fundamental issues which you will have to face when creating your own website, is its structure. Also called – the sitemap.

A well prepared site structure can make life easier for both visitors and developer.

Imagine your work desk the day before your vacation. Under your absence it will be occupied by assigned substitute person. The effectiveness of your substitute depends on how well your workstation is organised.

The same is when it comes to websites. You can throw all information on one page, or bury important information in a tangle of links. You can also address specific issues in a clearly described manner. If you do not intend to deliberately torture your users by impeding access to information, it’s in your best interest to plan your web page structure. So that anyone who visit your website, can easily find the information he or she seeks.

The Internet community is one of the most impatient. Do not delude yourself that someone will devote more than absolutely necessary amount of time to get to the specific information. If the route to it is not clear, or too long, then user will look for that information elsewhere.

In planning the website’s structure the simplicity is a virtue. Most of the time one subpage isn’t enough to fit everything you would like to communicate. But there is also no need to create a separate page for two lines of text. It is good to plan the quantity and quality of website’s content. With a plan it will be easier to arrange the structure, and at the same time to create the content.

How to start? A simple exercise:

Let’s suppose that you are in the restoration of wooden furniture business. You have a lot of orders and your customer base slowly begins to go beyond the circle of friends. It’s time to think about the website.

First, you should think about what you want to put on your website. Certainly a contact page, because you want people to contact you. It would also be nice to write a few words about your business. Just to let people know that it’s not only your job, but also a passion.

You can also specify what’s your area of expertise, and what are your skills.
It would be also great if you could show off your work in some kind of gallery or portfolio. Maybe organise it in different categories.

Based on those informations we can now create a structure of your website. And it looks as follows:

  1. About me
  2. Services
  3. Gallery
    1. Closets
    2. Tables
    3. Chairs
  4. Contact me

Now all you need is to write few words and upload some pictures, and that’s it!