Web Design – Deciding on the Website's Content
By now, you should have a pretty good idea about the site you want to produce. You have identified the sites purpose and made the first steps towards shaping an identity for the website. Now you're ready to start thinking about what content needs to be presented on the website.
Although there is technically no such thing as an industry standard on the Web, logic should tell you that certain content should be on every site, regardless of the websites purpose. Beyond that, anything else that goes on the
site is up to you, the designer, and your. The more informed you and your customer are about the entire web design procedure, the greater the finished product. Even if you already know how a web page should look or how it should function, being capable to explain why can help you educate your client. The customer, in turn, might likewise be able to give you more constructive input if he / she understands the concepts behind your design and the principles that drive content selection.
To aid you in figuring out what, at a minimum, should go on a website, the following general guidelines should help make your project more effective.
At a minimum, your web project needs to supply basic information, so your job during this planning process is to determine what content you or your client will need. The following information is normally found in some variation on most websites.
Home page information
The home page is the first page on a website that visitors see when they type in your web address, such as yourwebsite.co.uk. In addition to setting the visual tone of your website through the use of graphics and Cascading Style Sheets, this page should include the company name and / or logo, navigation to the rest of the site, and text describing the websites products or services.
It is also the most important page on the website because this is where you present the website to visitors. For this and other reasons, the home page should contain atleast a paragraph or two of descriptive, search-engine-friendly HTML text (not a graphic) that generally outlines what visitors can expect to find on the website.
Whenever possible, any keywords (descriptive terms used to find info on a specific topic) in the text should be hyperlinked to other relevant pages on the website. In the not-too-distant past, numerous sites used the home page as a place to play introductory flash animations, have one giant graphic with an Enter or similar hyperlink, or have a different set of graphics and layout than found on the rest of the website.
Although these strategies may have carried a bit of the "Wow!" factor, they never were a great idea, especially because they lacked significant, searchable content (text) on the home page that can prevent the website from being fully indexed by the most favorite search engines.
More importantly, when visitors can not find what they're searching for by quickly scanning the home page, they leave.
Here, make the most of the home page by including only relevant copy, links, and graphics, using the same layout found on the rest of the site. Consistency and Content is key!