Content and Hypertext Design
Making a good Web site requires good content as well as good planning. Below are some tips for both content creation and organization that may be of some help.
What constitutes "good content" is determined by the context of the medium (i.e. the Web) as well as the context you create for yourself with your design, both visual and hypertext.
- Think about the medium. Who will visit? How do you manage their stay?
- Decide who you are and what your site is for. What do you want visitors to come away with?
- Examine the raw materials at your disposal. Categorize.
- Make a list of major subjects your site is addressing. The items on this list will become the links on your home page.
- Keep all items in appropriate places, build for flexibility and leave room for expansion.
- Make sure your navigation system is sensible and intuitive.
- Consider the three Cs (content, commerce, community) as you work.
- Once up and running, update frequently.
When you sit down to begin planning your site, keep in mind that planning for future growth, with a little bit of clever hypertext strategy now, will make your life much easier.
Plot your home page layout on paper, make a flow chart. Your site's directory tree (system of folders inside folders) should pretty nearly match the paper version. The big mistake most first-time Web builders make is throwing all files into one directory/folder, whether images, text, video or sound, and regardless of the level of information the files represent in the site. As your site grows, this quickly becomes unmanageable, and you may find yourself having to rebuild the whole site. Plan for growth; think of your site as a series of home pages for your major areas, give each of them their own folder and index page. This process is infinitely expandable.