Planning a website
So you understand the basics of your needs, you have your targets identified and have a general grasp of what an anatomy of a website is. Where do you go from here? Well, you need to plan the "tree" layout of your website. Before I present my work for Temp3.net, lets run a little exercise together.
For the sake of this exercise, lets say we have a flower shop. After much thought we decided we want to build a website and we came up with the following goals:
- The website needs to contain our phone number for customers to call
- The website needs to have pictures of flower settings for customer to see what they are getting
- The website needs to contain some background information about us (such as how long we have been in business)
- The website needs to generate at least 1 call per day in the first 60 days of the website.
So we start off with these goals in mind, but how is do we go from this to a website? You start from a home page. After that we need to decide how many children, that is how many pages are linked from the home page. We need at least one page for the pictures, one for background (or about us page) and one for contact information and maybe even our physical address. This means that so far our website will look something like this:
Having your website planned in a tree like structure has many advantages. For instance, let us assume that the first 30 days have past since the lunch of our website and we have got 3 orders a day at least directly from a website. This is great, but now we want to add some more information. Lets say we want to add also a page about flowers for special occasions and we also want to add a page to show off what our customer think about us. This enlarges our tree and now we have more than one option of what we can do. The result:
Which ever way you go, try to make it simple, yet informative and intuitive. Think about yourself as a customer. If you are looking for a flower shop for you wedding, which website layout is better? The one where you first go to flower settings and than to flowers for special occasions or when it is linked from the home page? I would say the second one is probably preferred in this case, but that is not always the case.