Green Hectares Rural Tech Factsheet – Website Planning
Website PlanningTarget Audience:This course is intended for users who are planning a website. What you’ll need:Requirements:NoneDescription:Participants will learn to understand and create a purpose fortheir website and develop a diagram of the pages, links andcontent. Computer Internet Explorer™8Prerequisites:Visual Identity or equivalent and basic computer knowledge ishelpful. You’ll also need an Internet connection.GoalsDepending on the goals of your site, your site’s design and planning will be different. Think of your websiteas a building. You need to set up the framework for your building before you can fill its rooms. Also, thepurpose of each room will affect how you plan the overall structure. Example: A swimming pool and a firestation serve different purposes, so their structure and design will differ.Identify your site’s goals. Yes No • Are you interested in selling online? ___ ___ • Do you want to show-case multimedia like music or video? • Will you require a blog for frequent updates? ___ ___ • Is this site a way to stay in touch with friends and family? ___ ___ • Is this a site to educate users on a specific topic? ___ ___Target AudienceYour target audience is the selection of users that will find your site useful and informative. It is so helpful tokeep your audience in mind while you plan your site so that you can cater to their needs as users. • Who is your target audience? • How do they use the internet? • What information will they be looking for? • How can your website cater to their needs?
Focus on ContentYour content is the meat and potatoes of your site. Think of it as the furnishing in each room of yourwebsite’s house. • Keep in mind that your site’s content is the most important aspect of your site. • Visuals can impair the flow of your site if they are irrelevant or misplaced. • Organize the most important information prominently, so your audience can find it easily. • K eep your target audience in mind. If it were turned around and you were searching for the information found on the site you’re planning to build, how would you like it organized? What would you like to see first? How would you like to see information displayed?ResearchSearch for sites that offer similar services/information to what you are planning for your own website.What kind of information do they display? How is it organized? Can you organize your content in asimilar fashion, or can you make improvements on their navigation? Navigation BarYou have many options on how to organize your pages, but a navigation bar is the most common and theeasiest to use. While most sites utilize the horizontal navigation bar at the top of the site, you also havethe option to use a vertical navigation bar.Site ArchitectureSite architecture refers only to the hierarchy and organization of content in your website. It is separatefrom your site’s aesthetic design, graphics, or text. The architecture is the skeleton of your website.Site Architecture Tips • Give pages clear names. • Always keep users in mind. Imagine them navigating your website. • If you can’t concisely explain why a page would be useful to someone, exclude it. • P lan the site’s architecture around your content. Don’t write content to fit the site’s architecture. • N ot everything has to take up a separate page. Some information can be grouped to fit on similar pages.Site TypesThe goal of your website will affect the style that you choose to implement. Photo-heavy sites will needplenty of room to show images, where blogging sites typically dedicate the majority of their online spaceto text.
1. Showcase • Excellent for musicians/photographers/artists usually adopt a show-case style site • Typically incorporates a graphical or artistic layout2. Blog (contraction of “web log”) • Fastest way to establish an online presence • Excellent for updating fresh information quickly • Typically used for personal/journal entries/quick updates/images • You can incorporate an informal writing style or design3. E-Commerce • Enables you to sell products/services online • Y ou can either incorporate a store into your website or use eBay/Paypal to engage in online commerce. • Incorporates a straight-forward, more formal approach E-Commerce Considerations • Do you want a store that is connected to your site or separate? • Are you interested in using eBay? Paypal? • How will you keep users’ payment information secure?Planning the Structure of Your WebsitePlanning the structure of your website is hugely important. Without a clear plan about how your websitewill be organized and function, it will take you longer to post it online, make it harder for the site toaccomplish its goals, and will make it difficult for users to find the information they need.Categorize your content • B reak your content up into groups that can be easily separated, so that users can find what they are looking for without too much trouble. (eg. Contact information, Services, Pictures, Blog, News, Shop, About, Support, etc) • O rder your content from most important to least important. This is how it will appear on your site. You don’t have to be a web developer or a designer to create a site map! Most people sketch out theirsite map on a piece of paper to get an idea of how their site will appear, but if you decide to add ordelete pages, this can mean a lot of erasing and starting over. One of the best methods is to write downthe name of each desired webpage on a small piece of paper and shuffle the pieces around until you’vecreated a final site-map that will allow users to navigate smoothly through your website’s structure.
Site Map Sample for Photography WebsiteUse this space to create your own site map!