The structure of a website refers to the different topic sections and subsections of your website. Most websites have some kind of structure – even if this is not immediately obvious. A well-structured website, with a good search facility, will enable visitors to find the information they are looking for, quickly and easily.
For example, the BBC’s website has sections for news, sport, weather TV and radio - with each of these sub-divided into further topics.
Planning your Website Structure
There are some standard structural elements, which you will be used to seeing as part of any website:-
- home page
- contact page/form
- ‘about us’ page
Combining these standard elements with the main activities of your group will form the basis of your website structure.
Best Practice Website Structure Guidelines
Your website’s Home Page should:-
- immediately tell the visitor what the website is for – use your logo and group name to give the website an identity
- let the visitor see what they can do - have a prominent block of text that describes the websites purpose
- give the visitor a reason why they should stay on the site – entice them to explore further by describing the kind of information that the site includes
- the first page of a section should give an overview of its content
- subsequent pages should focus on specific information
- carefully select the names for your sections and pages using terms and language that your potential visitors will understand
Helping your visitors find their way around
As your website visitors explore further, they will need to see that they can get back to the Home Page at any point:-
- have a link to the Home Page in the navigation
- you can also make your group’s logo a link to your Home Page
Ensure the visitor understands where they are and how they can navigate:-
- highlight the current page or section in the navigation
- use a breadcrumb
Have a clear search area.
Other Community Toolkit Topics to look at:
Further sources of information
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Last Updated 14/02/2013 13:51