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Planning for Your New Website

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Mark Bell provides questions you should ask yourself when planning your website’s structure and developing a plan of action.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book


  • What Type of Site Do You Want to Build?
  • Learning From Sites You Go To
  • Website Goals
  • Organizing Websites
  • Best Practices of Website Organization

What Type of Site Do You Want to Build?

As we all know, there are so many websites on the Internet that it is impossible to keep track of them all. We use websites to book plane reservations, talk to friends, and catch up on the scores of last night’s games. When you’re thinking about why you are creating a website, you also need to figure out what kind of site it will be. The best way to familiarize yourself with types of websites is to look around on the web. Typically you go to the web with a particular objective in mind, such as renting a car or sending an email. This purpose sometimes causes you to overlook the structure and purpose of the sites you are viewing. Take another look at some of your favorite websites and pay close attention to the structure and purpose of these sites. You’ll be surprised by what you learn.

Types of Sites

New types of websites show up every day and are limited only by the imagination of the people creating them. Listed here are a few high-level types. If your website fits into one of these categories, read the listing and go to the example sites, paying close attention to the structure and design of each website.

  • Business—In the early days of the web there was a virtual gold rush of companies and corporations to the web thinking they could make a fortune overnight. This, of course, happened to only a very few, but slowly over the last decade businesses have began to figure out how to make money, attract new customers, and find working business models. In fact, these days it is almost impossible to think of a business that doesn’t have a website, from huge corporations to the mom-and-pop web shop down the street.


  • Personal—Before business invaded the World Wide Web, people were creating personal websites. These included family websites, fan sites, and journal sites such as blogs. This is really part of the World Wide Web’s greatest cultural effect. Everyone can now have a voice on the web. You don’t have to have a million dollars to have a great website that attracts lots of attention. From the rich and famous to the mom down the street, folks are making personal websites.


  • Social—Ever since computers have become connected to one another, they have become tools for social interactions. They make it simple for people to talk to each other online through social networking sites and email sites. The web has become social in that it has broken out of the geek business model to become the most dominant force on the web.


  • Informational—The internet is a storehouse of information. Some sites exist purely to give you free information. This information is so incredibly helpful it is changing knowledge and education on a daily basis. The web has terabytes of information added it to every day—so much that you can never keep up on it all.


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