A website is an important part of any company, supplying a major portion of its identity. Without a website, businesses quickly fall behind in their respective competitive markets, particularly among younger demographics. Of course, not all websites are created equal. Once the development phase has been initiated, there are a few paths a designer can take. Just like a building engineer, a competent website designer will carefully consider the foundation and subsequent structure. Skipping these steps will, in essence, fail the visitors.
Proper planning demands the review of all associated content for the website. Using the building analogy, content can be thought of as the different rooms. Once all of the online content has been created, it is then organized into specific, well-tailored categories. These categories then determine the main links that will be common throughout the site, in much the same way that various levels of a building unite.
Once the entire site structure is built, it is then reviewed to check for consistency and sensibility. This process ensures that content flows from piece to piece, establishing the site map. Like any physical map, it guides guests from place to place. Without proper flow, browsing a website becomes a chore, turning visitors and potential customers away. Proper site structure helps a user cruise through a website, keeping his/her attention and retaining a longer visit.