Websites are not that hard to create. There are tools that can help you put together a website without much technical knowledge. Although you can create a website that way, chances are the end product will not be that attractive, and you’ll invest a lot of time or even delay the launch of your business. Your skill set is running your business, right?
Good websites take more thought and planning. This article will discuss the approach that you should take if you want to create a website that will dazzle your audience.
First, you should have a basic idea of how you would like your website to look. Get a pencil and a notebook, and start sketching out your ideas. Write down the pages that you would like to include in your website. Consider the type of information that you will be providing. Another way to organize your visual sitemap is by using index cards. Use one card to represent each page in your website. Write down a title and a description of this page’s content. Move these index cards around to organize them in the way that you want. Once you have your organization, write that down.
As you are thinking about what pages to include, do not overlook the basic pages that every website should include. Obviously, a home or index page would be the first page that a site visitor should land on. You should also include a page where you can list your contact information, including your phone numbers, email addresses, physical address, fax numbers, and another form of contact that you want to provide. Most site visitors would expect to find a page like this if they want to get in touch with you.
For ideas on how your overall theme should look, visit some of your favorite websites and see how they are put together. Take notice of the color scheme used. How are the columns formatted, and what kind of information is included? How does the navigational menu bar look? Look at how the header information and the footer are formatted. You can get some great ideas from just perusing other websites.
After you have gathered your notes, get your notebook and make a sketch of the overall design. Plan out your header and your column layouts. Figure out where your navigation bar would go. If you are going to have a column on the right-hand side, decide on what you want to include in that column. Sketch out place holders for images and other elements that you want to include.
When you have your design sketched, it is time to make a prototype. Use your favorite web authoring tool, and put your basic design together. Use dummy text to fill in places where you plan to have text. Use place holders for images. Experiment with different background images and colors.
Keep tweaking your prototype until you have a basic design that you like. Sometimes this will take a while, so keep your motivation high. If you need to, take a break from it, then come back with a fresh look at what you have done. Creating a great website takes time and thought. However, the effort will pay off when you see a final product that you can be proud of.
Below is a basic breakdown of how a website’s organization would look, as well as how it would connect to the search engines, to ensure it’s hierarchy is crawled and indexed properly. Notice the content silos that allow for an organized expansion.