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Follow the arrows at the bottom of each page for the tutorial, "How to Design a Website".
To study a particular aspect of website design refer to this tutorial index.

Webpage Construction
Organization of the individual pages that makeup a website

Constructing a webpage

You should strive to build structure and organization into your website as you construct your web pages. The web pages that make up your site are the lowest common denominator in establishing your website structure. Without a definable organization to the individual pages that make-up your website it is impossible to construct an effective site structure.

Like pieces in a puzzle, all of the pages that make-up your website should have a logical reason for being there. Also, they should complement each other and provide uniformity in both appearance and content when viewed as a whole. This type of web page layout scheme will tend to hold the interest of your visitors, as they proceed through your site, and increase the probability of a sale or click-thru. Uniformity of layout and composition, in the construction of your web pages, are the hallmarks of a well designed website

Provide uniformity in your webpage structure

To produce continuity on your website as well as make navigation easier, break what you see on the screen into areas such as header, footer, body, links, and images. Put the same information in the same areas on each page. The example below shows one such pattern.



A diagram of the main regions of a webpage

A typical example diagram of the main regions of a webpage

By doing so the person exploring your website is able to distinguish the focal point of each page at a glance. They will enjoy the experience more and this will result in them having a credible attitude toward what you have to say. Organization is a prerequisite to good content and web page design.

Does that mean every page will look identical? No, just that certain things will be in the same place on each page. The header and images may be larger or smaller, the links to different pages and the body content will definitely not be the same. But, the structure of the webpage content will always be obvious to your visitor and it will make your site user friendly.

Importance of page titles

Remember to create a separate, descriptive title for each page. If all of your web pages say <Title> Complete Widget Catalogue </Title>, when someone searches for blue widgets, you might not be listed even though you have a ton of blue widgets.

However , if you have a page that says <Title> Complete Widget Catalogue - Blue Widgets </Title> you have a much better chance of being listed and your site may have a higher ranking. (Note: The title is also what is used when someone bookmarks a particular web page.) Strive for clarity with your webpage titles, tags and links.

Meta tags should be descriptive

Make your meta tags descriptive. Use important keywords in your tags but avoid duplications. This is an old trick that no longer works with most search engines. In fact some search engines don't scan meta tags at all. Years of abuse by some webmasters have caused many of them to resort to other indexing methods. But, that having been said, there are still some search engines who do still consider meta tags when listing websites and for this reason you should not ignore them.

Construction of webpage templates

One way to establish an overall look to your website is to first design your homepage. Once you have decided on a layout for the homepage, (i.e. index page) and are pleased with its structure, use it as a template for the rest of the webpages that will make-up your website.

Group the information in such a way that your visitors will know where to look. Main topics centered, sub topics lower on the page, navigation bars positioned uniformly, etc.

Your webpage design will make or break your overall website design. By providing a clean and uniform appearance your webpages will add soul, life and character to your site, giving a sense of stability and credibility to your website construction.



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