Your website backbone

Your website should be organized to make it easy for visitors to your site to find what they are looking for. Perhaps you started out with a simple website – but as time goes on you have needed to add new information and sometimes this leads to a lack of structure. Make a meaningful menu and some navigation aids.

Structure your information
Structure your information

Your website should be organized to make it easy for visitors to your site to find what they are looking for.  Perhaps you started out with a simple website – but as time goes on you have needed to add new information and sometimes this leads to a lack of structure.  Look at your website – of if you are planning a website try these methods to organize the website.

MENU

  • the main menu of the website should be broad enough that as you need to add new information you will know how it is placed in the structure.
  • The CONTACT page or contact information should be easily accessible from any location on the site.
  • If you have sub-pages in your website structure – then have a method to show the sub-pages in a consistent manner.  You could use drop down menus or list the sub pages with links in the sections
  • Menu names – some people like to come up with “cute” names for their menu items. However this can be very counter productive. People are rapidly searching for information and may not understand unusual names and words. Your intention is to make the site user friendly so a person can find what they need easily and quickly
  • The menu should also give people a guidance system so they don’t lose their place and they can see

SITE MAP

  • A site map is 1 page that lists all the sections and sub pages of the website.  It gives the person an overall view of the website and the structure.  It is a finding aid.
  • A site map is also useful for SEO and submission to Google and other search engines.

SEARCH

  • For larger websites a “Search” box can be a useful aid. You can get a free search box from Google and set it just to search your website.
  • If you are using WordPress add the SEARCH widget to your sidebar.

Denise Davies is an Internet Strategy Consultant working with nonprofits and small business.  Contact for further information davies@eckova.ca and visit the website at www.eckova.ca

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