What is Site Architecture Design Structure?
Site structure is essentially your website navigation. Your website navigation is just a map of how to get to your pages.
Why Site Architecture Design Matters?
One of the most critical parts of designing a website is getting the navigation / site architecture figured out up front. Interestingly enough, it is often the last thought that people have. It is common to think that it can come last and while technically that is true, the structure should be built before the first page is created.
It is far easier to start with a clean navigation structure upfront versus trying to fix it all later. If you decide to change your URL structure at a later date, you could end up with broken links. Those broken links can be cleaned up using redirect tools but that is time consuming and complicated. However, if you are starting a new website or a redesign, take the time think thru your website navigation using the process listed below.
Whether you are creating a new blog or you are creating a static website, it is best to think in categories. Here are a few tips to get you headed in the right direction.
Step #1: Brainstorm all of the main pages that you think your website should be about. For example: Services: Web Design, Web Redesign, Blog Design etc.
Step #2: Do keyword research on valuable keywords and phrases for each category. These categories will be your parent pages.
Step #3: Think of sub-pages or blog titles under each category. These become the children of the category.
Step #4: Start writing your content.
The purpose for site architecture design first is it defines your URL structure. For example:
Home = http://www.DFWWebsiteDesigners.com/
Main Category = http://www.DFWWebsiteDesigners.com/affordable-web-design/
Child Pages = http://www.DFWWebsiteDesigners.com/affordable-web-design/web-page-design/
If you notice the URL structure in the example above there is a funnel happening in this concept. We are associating pages and ideas in advance. The advantage of a site structure in this order is that you create a clean sitemap structure for your user and for the search engine crawlers. Thinking through structure in this way, allows you to stay focused on your tasks.
Bad URL Structure
If you do not think thru your site structure you may end up with something like the examples below:
In the above example, tips about PhotoShop are directly linked to SEO. You most likely should have PhotoShop tips under design tool tips. Your readers who are looking for “SEO Services” or “SEO Tips” should not wind up on an unrelated topic.
At DFW Website Designers we believe you should think through your site structure in advance. If you feel as though you could use advanced consultation on this or if you need a website built in this structure, feel free to call, visit, or contact us using the link or contact form below in the footer.