Breaking Up Your Content into Main Topics

With your goals in mind, try to organize your content into main topics or sections, chunking related information together under a single topic. Sometimes the goals you came up with in the preceding section and your list of topics will be closely related. For example, if you're putting together a web page for a bookstore, the goal of being able to order books fits nicely under a topic called, appropriately, "Ordering Books."

You don't have to be exact at this point in development. Your goal here is just to try to come up with an idea of what, specifically, you'll be describing in your web pages. You can organize the information better later, as you write the actual pages.

Suppose that you're designing a website about how to tune up your car. This example is simple because tune-ups consist of a concrete set of steps that fit neatly into topic headings. In this example, your topics might include the following:

  • Change the oil and oil filter

  • Check and adjust engine timing

  • Check and adjust valve clearances

  • Check and replace the spark plugs

  • Check fluid levels, belts, and hoses

Don't worry about the order of the steps or how you're going to get your visitors to go from one section to another. Just list the points you want to describe in your website.

How about a less task-oriented example? Suppose that you want to create a set of web pages about a particular rock band because you're a big fan, and you're sure other fans would benefit from your extensive knowledge. Your topics might be as follows:

  • The history of the band

  • Biographies of each of the band members

  • A discographyall the albums and singles the band has released

  • Selected lyrics

  • Images of album covers

  • Information about upcoming shows and future albums

You can come up with as many topics as you want, but try to keep each topic reasonably short. If a single topic seems too large, try to break it up into subtopics. If you have too many small topics, try to group them together into a more general topic heading. For example, if you're creating an online encyclopedia of poisonous plants, having individual topics for each plant would be overkill. You can just as easily group each plant name under a letter of the alphabet (A, B, C, and so on) and use each letter as a topic. That's assuming, of course, that your visitors will be looking up information in your encyclopedia alphabetically. If they want to look up poisonous plants by using some other method, you'd need to come up with another system of organization as well.

Your goal is to have a set of topics that are roughly the same size and that group together related bits of information you have to present.

Sams Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML and CSS in One Hour a Day
Sams Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML and CSS in One Hour a Day (5th Edition)
ISBN: 0672328860
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2007
Pages: 305

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