The first section of the workshop lists some of the common questions people ask while planning a website, along with an answer to each. Following that, you have an opportunity to answer some quiz questions yourself. If you have problems answering any of the questions in the quiz, go to the next section where you'll find the answers. Today's exercises help you formulate some ideas for your own website.
Getting organized seems like an awful lot of work. All I want to do is make something simple, and you're telling me I have to have goals and topics and storyboards. Are all of the steps listed here really necessary?
If you're doing something simple, you won't need to do much, if any, of the stuff I recommended today. However, if you're talking about developing two or three interlinked pages or more, having a plan before you start will really help. If you just dive in, you might discover that keeping everything straight in your head is too difficult. And the result might not be what you expected, making it hard for people to get the information they need out of your website as well as making it difficult for you to reorganize it so that it makes sense. Having a plan before you start can't hurt, and it might save you time in the long run.
You talked a lot today about organizing topics and pages, but you said nothing about the design and layout of individual pages. Why?
I discuss design and layout later in this book, after you've learned more about the sorts of layout that HTML (the language used for web pages) can do and the stuff that it just can't do. You'll find a whole day and more about page layout and design in Lesson 16, "Writing Good Web Pages: Do's and Don'ts."
What if I don't like any of the basic structures you talked about today?
Then design your own. As long as your visitors can find what they want or do what you want them to do, no rules say you must use a hierarchy or a linear structure. I presented these structures only as potential ideas for organizing your web pages.
How would you briefly define the meaning of the terms website, web server, and web pages?
In terms of web publishing, what's the meaning of the term home page?
After you set a goal or purpose for your website, what's the next step to designing your pages?
Regardless of the navigation structure you use in your website, there's one link that should typically appear on each of your web pages. What is it?
What's the purpose of a storyboard?
A website is one or more web pages linked together in a meaningful way. A web server is the actual computer that stores the website (or, confusingly enough, the piece of software that responds to requests for pages from the browser). Web pages are the individual elements of the website, like a page is to a book.
A home page, in terms of web publishing, is the entry point to the rest of the pages in your website (the first or topmost page).
After you set a goal or purpose for your website, you should try to organize your content into topics or sections.
You should try to include a link to your home page on each of the pages in your website. That way, users can always find their way back home if they get lost.
A storyboard provides an overall outline of what the website will look like when it's done. It helps organize your web pages in a way that works for you. They are most beneficial for larger websites.
Come up with a list of several goals that your visitors might have for your web pages. The clearer your goals, the better.
After you set your goals, visit sites on the Web that cover topics similar to those you want to cover in your own website. As you examine the sites, ask yourself whether they're easy to navigate and have good content. Then make a list of what you like about the sites. How would you make your website better?