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.
- Get a good idea of the content that the website will
- Find websites which have similar content and view their
sitemap (if they don't have a sitemap, then build one
for the website).
- Build a list of possible categories from the different
sitemaps you've viewed and any others that you may have
- 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')
- Write a sentence or two about each category and sub-category,
so that you have put all of your ideas down for easy referencing.
- 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.