What does site begin with?
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Probably, this article should be the first, we'll discuss the beginning of creating website and basic steps, which should be undertaken prior to the beginning work on sketches of the site.
Important question is - What does site creation to begin with? You have huge desire and Napoleon's plans ahead of you, but there is a rub - you do not know where to start digging. Especially, if you do it first time. Probably, you already have experience creation of unpretentious homepage, but pretty large and completed site requires different approach.
One of delusions about site creation is conclusion that to begin necessary from layout. But it not so, and hardly most of the time spent on site creation take outline and imposition.
To begin work it’s necessary with careful thoughts about conception and structure of the future site. And base on this information select necessary materials. In general you already know what wish to put on your site, now it is very important to present all information in convenient and clear way, so as you known, your visitor would learn too.
Structuring of information
In selection of information it is vitally necessary to structure it, to know how to select most important. Quite often it's possible to hear objection that all site information is important, and necessary emphasize everything. In reality this doesn't happen and even in the most important information there is the most important portion. Good site design ensures a half of success at it creation. The errors made at this stage, afterwards can turn to spending much time and forces on its correction.
To organize your thoughts it's better to describe structure of the future site on piece of a paper or in Notepad.
Consider, for an example, small company, which has decided to be presented on the Internet. As a rule, basic structure such web sites is rather common. Let's write it down.
- Company news
- Information about company
- Catalog of products
- Contact information
For concrete company this structure is to be corrected. Possibly, the company has some activities, and it makes sense to present its in top level menu.
At composing structure of the future site rule out a choice to put all menu items on one page. It is comfortable to deal with no more them seven items, grater amount makes subconscious rejection. Too complicated does not call desire to understand.
To avoid this hierarchical menus are used. Correct structuring of information allows us to select main sections of the site, and all minor sections to be available after accessing the base section. Described concept is applied as well to the second level menu. For large number of items third level menu can be considered. But no more, that will be too much.
If it is impossible to structure presented information in three levels because of it amount, then it makes sense to create subsites, each representing specific area. For example, often e-shop is carried out from basic site, and it gets rather independent character.
Besides development of a structure, the important part of the beginning stage in creating website is preparing text for publication. The original texts, for example, taken from company booklet in the same reduction will be read poorly on web pages, they were developed rather for other style of perception of information. Such text will be looked alienated, this really is noticeable. Bad news, this fact will speak about author's neglect to his site. Web site can be madly beautiful, but only good texts will allow you to keep the visitor to come back to your site, do not overlook it.
Publication on the Web has it specifics, and the literal repetition of the booklet's structure will be mistake. The booklet is seen through linearly, top to bottom, from left to right, line by line. Accordingly text is written, with sequentially presentation of all information. For web-pages more logical is structured representation of information. For this variant the main article contains general questions, and in more detail consideration is taken off to separate pages, to get there we can by clicking the links. Link can be at the bottom of the page, thus it serves as a pointer to the next page (it's similarly to the linear representation of information), and inside the text - indicating to the visitor possibility to learn about given problem in more detail.
What are advantages of this representation of information? It's that the visitor reads only what he wants. The brief review suffices to someone, while the other prefers to go deep into essence of things. Structuring a large paper, we divide it into a series of small fragments, each of which contains one aspect of considering question. And the reader is free to select a path to go, taking only information interesting to him. Second advantage, consequence of the first, is that small pages are loaded faster, which is important.
All said concerns to reading information on-line. If the text is supposed to be printed out, then, possibly, it is worth to think about creation additional version especially for printing out.
Style of information, it is not less important, than style of design, and is unique for good site. On corporate site, as a rule, the style of presentation is rather official, but even there text should be specially prepared, not like information in press releases.
When the structure is ready, the texts are written, then you can start the site outline. At this stage it is important to select a tool. You can start with pencil and a piece of paper, but it should be transferred to an electronic format anyway. Many web-designers for this purpose prefer using photo or vector image editors, which allow freely manipulating objects of the future page. Outcome of this phase would be the design of your site.
Notice, that we still did not mention HTML-coding, in fact, it is far from being most important thing and all step above can take most part of time required for creation of a site. In fact, eventually, the writing HTML-code is matter of technique. Of cause, there are some nuts and incompatibilities with standards, but all these can be overcome. Steps described above are creative process. Involving in coding, don't overlook more important things for web site.
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