Next to website analysis, organization is one of the key tools in the development of a website. Proceeding in logical steps and organizing your website content into manageable sections will enable you to easily execute, expand and maintain your online presentation.
As time goes by you will want to be able to edit and expand your website. Organization is the key to making this job a lot easier. By organizing your site into easy to manage sections website construction, rework and the fine tuning of your website will be simplified. Any effort spent on organizing your website will bring dividends in the time you will save editing your website and maintenance will also be much easier.
Organizing your website
The goal should be to arrange all of your website content into a comprehensive structure of interdependent parts. Or, to form all of the text, graphics and thought into a functioning whole. Step back in your mind and get an overview of your website. Visualize it as an experience rather than a collection of text and graphics. This is where your website begins to take on shape and organization. Your website should be organized, in a logical order, from homepage to endpage. Starting with your main topic or keywords the information you provide, on your webpages, should progress toward more and more detailed content. See illustration below.
- The homepage (i.e. index) is where your first arguments should appear. This is also where the development of your website theme should begin.
- From there the website pages should go deeper and deeper into the details of what you are selling, telling and/or presenting.
The three main elements of website organizationThere are three main elements that make up the organization of a website. Each one is dependant upon the other. They are:
1) Website structure and navigation
The structure of your website and its method of navigation go hand in hand. This is the framework that will support your website like your skeleton supports your body. Don't confuse structure with layout. Structure is the behind the scenes mechanics of user interaction and how your website will work, not how you plan to lay it out.
All types of websites require their own individual website structure. This will largely depend upon your content and the principle focus or theme of your site. The best way to get started is to analyze existing websites and note the methods used by their webmasters to structure the form and function of their sites. Take notes and incorporate what you find in an original way as you develop your website structure and navigation.
2) Website contentThe body and substance of your website is its content. What do you want to sell, say or present? That should be the focus of your website's content. Every thing from color to wording is what your visitors see and react to when they visit your site so be sure to spend plenty of time on this element of your website design.
By far the most important element of any website is the text or body copy and your mastery of effective communication techniques. The message that you present to your visitors and the search engines is totally dependant on how well you communicate through your content. Work your website structure around the content. Never allow your website structure to overshadow the main topic of your site.
3) Website layoutThe method of presenting your website theme or message is determined by your webpage construction and layout of your individual webpages. How will you present your website? Your website assembly can be presented in many ways. Modern , retro, colorful, etc. but be sure that your theme complements what you are trying to say.
Final thoughts on website organizationA website is composed of individual pages. It is the collective effect of each webpage that makes a site what it is. Chose a website layout that is both simple and complementary to the main focus of your message or website goals.
Again, this is a good time to look around the Web for ideas. Find a layout that pleases you and your visitors and stick with it throughout your website. And, be sure to note these ideas in your website journal. Remember, website organization is paramount to the effective webmaster's presentation.