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The Importance of Building a Website Sitemap

    At the beginning of any task, whether it be programming, website designing, constructing, lecturing or even cooking, it is always best to plan out the task before you start it. If you don't, you will possibly make mistakes or you will find other parts of the task that you didn't think about when you started that need to be included and now will cost you additional time to include.

    To make my point clearer, I will give an example of constructing a building. If you haven't built a building before, you would most likely start building the first floor and then the floors over it. Then after you finished the twelfth floor, the building falls over and that's when you find out that you needed to build a stable platform underground to keep the building from falling over. This mistake would cause you to restart from the beginning but not all mistakes are this bad. So the best first step of any task is to plan out the task before you start it.

    Normally, in website designing, people term a website plan as a sitemap (website map) and this would give a general overview of the whole website for the website designer to refer to. Some website designers add the sitemap to their website after they have finished it, so that visitors can easily navigate to any page of the website without any complications. Another advantage of adding a sitemap to a website would be to help search engines find all the pages of the website.

    Making a good sitemap takes alot of time, effort, patience and a good idea of the scope of the website. Steps are given below that should be followed when trying to make a good sitemap.

  1. Get a good idea of the content that the website will contain.
  2. Find websites which have similar content and view their sitemap (if they don't have a sitemap, then build one for the website).
  3. Build a list of possible categories from the different sitemaps you've viewed and any others that you may have thought about.
  4. Gather together categories which can be sub-categories of a more general category (ex. 'audio lectures' and 'video lectures' can be included as sub-categories of 'lectures')
  5. Write a sentence or two about each category and sub-category, so that you have put all of your ideas down for easy referencing.
  6. Keep working on the sitemap until you are satisfied with it, why not even talk it over with a friend of yours (even if he/she isn't a website designer) and see what suggestions he/she can give you to further improve it.

    By following the steps above, building a website sitemap will become more and more easier for you.

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