Friday, 6 July 2012

How To Plan Your First Website?

Plan your website, website planningA Web site is a group of related Web pages, all hyper-linked together and hosted on a server. Before you start writing the HTML to create a site’s pages, it is a good idea to do some planning.

Know Your Audience
It is important to understand the audience that will visit the pages on your Web site. It is important to know their technical ability so that you can use language they are comfortable with. It is also important to know their interests so that you can present imagery and other content that will keep them interested and at your site. You can conduct interviews with potential users early on to get ideas for your site designs. You can also have users test out your site after it launches to get feedback on how to improve it.

Plan a Home Page
The home page is usually the first page a visitor sees when visiting a Web site, so it is important that it concisely communicate the site’s purpose and what information users can expect to find. It should also include prominent links to the other important pages on your site. Optimally, users should be able to see all of this information without having to scroll in their browser window. Clear communication is important on all of your site’s pages, but especially on the home page.

Site Map
A useful tool for planning your site’s overall structure is a site map, which represents your Web pages as boxes and the hyperlinks as arrows. The home page of a site is usually placed at the top of a site map. A site map gives you an overview of the pages you need to build and also shows the navigational structure. You should arrange your pages so that important content is easy to get to from the home page. You can sketch your site map using pencil and paper or using software such as Microsoft Visio, which has tools specifically made for creating site maps.

Linear Structure
A linear site layout moves the user through your content in a step-by-step fashion, like pages in a book. Linear layouts are good for presenting sequential instructions or a narrative story. In a linear layout, each Web page usually links to the next page and the previous page. The site map of a linear site will have the pages arranged one after the other in a line.

Hierarchical Structure
A hierarchical layout resembles a pyramid, with the home page at the top and other pages fanning out from there. A hierarchical site map looks like a company’s organizational chart or a family tree. Hierarchical layouts are appropriate for sites with categorized content, such as online merchants. Each branch in such a site represents a product category with the for-sale items at the end of the branches.

Gathering Content
After you plan the pages and structure of your site, you need to gather the content. For simple sites, this may involve writing text and shooting digital photos. More complex sites may require recording audio and video, creating illustrations, and programming interactive media. You can organize all of this content into your Web pages using HTML.

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