After you plan (see Planning Your Publisher 2000 Web Site ) what type of information you want to include on your Web site, structure your site so that your audience can browse easily to find the information they need. Make navigation clear and predictable. You stand a greater chance of holding your readers' attention if your site's structure is easy to use and follow.
Arrange your information into easily digestible chunks, and then build your content around them. An effective structure to use in your Web site is a top-down, or "tree structure," in which the home page contains an overview of your entire Web site and "branches" to other information by means of hyperlinks (jumps) (see Making the Most of Hyperlinks in Publisher 2000 ).
Organize Using Three Main Types of Pages
A Web site typically contains three types of pages: the home page, topic pages, and subsidiary pages.
Create a good first impression with your home page As the gateway to your site, the home page is the most important page of your Web presence. It should clearly convey three things to visitors:
- The site's purpose - the who, what, when, where, and why.
- The kind of content on the site.
- How to access the content.
Use topic pages to organize your information Topic pages are reached by hyperlinks from the home page. Try to limit each topic page to a single purpose. Common types of topic pages include:
- Calendar of events
- Price list
- Special offer
- Product catalog
- What's new
- Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
- Directory of related hyperlinks
- Related products
- Response form
- Company history
You can also use a topic page to group closely related topics, such as a monthly schedule of events, registration information, and a response form.
Use subsidiary pages to break down the information Subsidiary pages are subsets of a topic page. If a topic page contains a product price list, for example, each product name could link to a subsidiary page that contains more detailed information on that product.
Leave a Trail of Breadcrumbs... in All Directions
In a well-structured site, readers can access the home page from any topic page or subsidiary page, and also jump to other topic pages. Provide a navigation bar or list of links on every page, so that readers can freely explore the full range of content on all of your pages.