Planning a website

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Planning a website

The next step in the creation of a website is to plan what you are going to do with the site. When trying to plan the website don't get trapped by the same rules that were used in the past when using other mediums. You don't have to plan things out to perfection and not do anything until you have the perfect site with every little detail perfected and reviewed. This will be a work in progress that is ever evolving. If you think that you are going to create the perfect site, and that will be one other thing that you can check off your to do list and never to return, you need to change your thinking right now.

Imagine a writer who felt like once they wrote their book, that would be the end of it. They had nothing else that they would ever want to communicate. Information is dynamic, your ability to communicate is dynamic and those who further their skills at this tend to excel in their niche. Remember you only need to create the master document, the dissemination is free.

Begin by determining the information that you would like to present. Structure your information into outlined categories that will continue to grow and become more useful. Look at how your competitors have presented themselves and take note of places that you like to visit on the Internet

Once you know the categories that your information falls into you need to come up with a way that the information will be presented. This includes a concept of how a visitor will navigate back and forth among the differing sections of your website. Generally speaking simpler is better, you don't want to give a visitor too many choices on one page. An initial page with 143 menu options probably will not be received well. Allow a user to go to sections and drill into the site from there. There is a fine line on this concept also, think about the auto attendant phone systems where you keep having to make selections only to not find what you want. Make it easy for a visitor to find what they are looking for.

Fluorescent orange backgrounds and spinning do-dahs rarely enhance the presentation of information. Information needs to be presented in a human appealing manner. There is a reason that books and the newspaper are printed on white paper, it's easy to read! Many designers and newcomers to the Internet go crazy with all of the color possibilities and end up with a marvelous creation that is just not appealing or impossible to read. There is an element of artistic presentation that needs to be adhered to so that your visitors will like what they see. It is also tempting to place animated images on a site, be cautious, it might look neat the first time you see it but how are your visitors perceiving this. Have they seen this a thousand times before, if so then your site will look just like so many others that they have already seen. They might assume that your information is not original either. If you have spent the time and effort to create custom images then your information will also be perceived as original.

Wording needs to be presented properly also, just because you cannot spell or have no sense of grammar does not mean that your visitors are equally ignorant. This is a major reflection on the quality of your business or you as a person. You may not get it perfect the first time, but you do need to constantly review what you do have and strive for improvement. Take a class in the language that you plan on presenting in, have people you know that have skills in word presentation review the material. Listen to your visitors, no matter how many times you review your content someone will still find a mistake. That's OK, just fix it!

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Modified 03/28/2012