The organization of your website content
Professional website development
The design and development of a website should be a thoroughgoing and premeditated process. One of the most effective ways of doing this is to generate is a website outline.|
As you expand your website structure the many files and graphics that support your site need to be kept organized. This way whenever a change or update is necessary you will have better control of the process.
The construction and maintenance of a website outline is imperative for the proper design and development of an efficient website. In this way you can keep track of the physical data that comprises your site. In other words, a website outline helps you keep control of the growing database of files that accumulate as you develop your site.
Website outline development
A website outline is just what the name implies. It is a written outline of your website content. Even though you feel as if you know every title and sentence on the website you are creating over time memory becomes hazy and mistakes can occur. Once a website is online it can be very difficult to remember the actual order of things. Having a website outline helps provide a mental picture of your website structure. Your website's basic layout including the sections, subsections and content pages can be seen at a glance.
As you develop your website a diagram of it's linking network will also serve as a valuable guide as you setup your website navigation scheme. You will be able to better visualize the path that you wish your visitors to follow.
A comprehensive and well thought out site outline is imperative for the serious webmaster during the website development stage. It provides a readily accessible and visible representation of your website content to help you in your planning.
|Example Website Outline
|Main page #1
|Main page #2
|Main page #3
How to develop a website
1) Organize your files
Keep your website files organized on your hard drive just as you are presenting it on the internet. This simple step will save you hours of wasted effort as your website takes shape.
2) Create a root directory
Keep files that link directly to your index page and files that are used repeatedly in your root directory. But don't overload this directory. Make use of sub folders, of content, that link to these main pages. Place only prime pages in your root directory.
3) Develop subdirectories
Create a subdirectory for each series of related pages or website sections. Keep all relevant information together in individual sub folders. This will help you and the search engines follow threads of thought and provide quick access to information for your visitors.
4) Plan for the expansion of your website
Plan for expansion. If you think a page on a particular theme will expand into a number of pages, create a subdirectory for it during the development phase of your website construction. And populate it with relevant data on that particular subject or theme.
5) Organize your directory links
Keep files that link to individual pages, of your root directory, in unique subdirectories. Don't put files from your root directory into subdirectories, keep them separate and link them to folders that contain related content.
6) Use simple file names
Name your subdirectories and files in an easy to identify manner. Make good use of your keywords when naming sub folders and files. This will unite the content of your website. All of your website's file names should tie together in a logical way.
7) Develop and maintain permanent file addresses
Don't change your subdirectory or file names, or HTML page addresses, after the fact. Name and address them now in a manner that you will be able to easily maintain in the future, no matter how much you expand as you develop your website. This will help to prevent broken links as your website grows.
If you do have to change an address after your website is up, then place a redirect page or link in the old location. This will help your visitors find the information they are seeking with a minimum of effort and direct new visitors and search engines to the modified address.
Develop a listing of your graphics, title tags and links
It is a good idea to create a list of all your website graphics, titles, tags and links and on what pages they are located. When you decide to change any of these components, having the file names and locations will save you a lot of time.
I realize this may seem like a lot of paperwork for something that is going to be on the internet. But l can tell you, from painful experience, that you will appreciate having written documentation and you will use it more than you can imagine as you develop your website.
Organization is important
As your website grows it will become more and more difficult to remember where everything is, therefore time spent on organizing and developing a website outline will make the job a whole lot easier. The above example of a website outline can give you an idea of how this can be accomplished.
For more information on website development see the following articles: