Learning how to plan a website’s structure is easier than you’d expect. There are few significant concerns to keep in mind, however, changes can be made at any time to your site. The key is to have an overall design with riveting content that both attracts and retains visitors.
The impression you want is one of professionalism. It should be visual, easy to navigate and pleasing to the eye. I am going to explain how to go about creating a structure that your visitors will appreciate and want to visit frequently. It is important to note this is just one of many ways to structure your site.
The Best Website Structure Plans Start With a Brand
This is so often overlooked by new entrepreneurs. They have a website topic or idea but no vision of a brand. Let me give you an example. A site on cooking for Moms can pretty well be found almost anywhere. These sites are a dime a dozen so it is very difficult to distinguish your self from the rest of the crowd.
Now compare that to a business about Moms cooking with Wild Game. That is creating a vision or brand. The domain name, title, and sub-categories can all be related. Images and photos, as well as the content and design, can all relate to the outdoors and hunting as well as cooking.
It creates uniqueness, something very interesting for visitors and it will definitely help with content structure – researching for ideas and making a coherent body of written work.
Website Structure Template Easiest to Use
It’s true nowadays millions of people use WordPress which is a content management system for websites. In other words (no pun intended) it is a simplified system for writing great blog posts. The very cool thing is there are literally thousands of different kinds of themes (templates).
Themes may have various features, styles, and designs. In reality, it dictates the basic structure of your website, for example, the layout as well as available colors, typography, menu design and so on.
Many word press themes are free and quite good so there is no need, especially when starting off, to spend money. There are a few companies which sell more advanced themes. This website uses GeneratePress. It provides free and paid versions.
So once your theme is uploaded to WordPress (which is accomplished with the click of a mouse) and you have your basic website structure in place, the next step is to fine-tune each part of the structure on your site and that is what I will explain to you next.
Get the Ball Rolling With a Captivating Web Header
The header is the top portion of the page where the title and tagline are placed. Alternatively, you can upload a logo in this area. I created a logo at canva.com which includes my site name and motto. The service is provided free of charge but there are some design features that cost a small amount. You do need to register first.
It’s important to put some thought into choosing a domain name as this is often related to the theme and brand of your site. My theme is freedom – financial freedom and all the wonderful things that come with it. I chose project because it is a work in progress and I hope others interested in this concept will be helped by my information.
Most marketers I know go with something more closely related to their topics. For example, for the Mom cooking wild meats – maybe – GameMom.com would be a catchy name. In any event, this sets the tone for your whole site or blog and it is located at the very top of each page.
Website Menu Structure is Significant For Users and Search Engines
Neil Patel has a very good description of why menu structure is so important from a search engine optimization point of view. I will touch on it a little later in the post. For now, let’s say you should have a strong logical site structure and this means doing some planning.
The menu located in the header also referred to as a primary menu needs to have several headings and I would recommend that these be related to your categories. They should be unique. My categories are as follows:
I admit they are not the best choices, however, I was not aware of this information when I started my website. I had no long-range plan and therefore I had to go back and try to salvage some reasonable changes. The significant aspect here is to choose the correct slugs.
They should be unique (mine maybe overlap a little) and it would help to use keywords which have a reasonable amount of traffic per month. Later, as your site grows it will assist the visitors to your site. Authoritative websites or blogs usually target long-tailed keywords with lower traffic in the individual posts (when starting out).
Websites Side Navigation & Widgets
Side menus or widgets are used by webmasters to show additional useful information to the viewer that is not included in the primary menu. They may be inserted into the sidebar or footer of the page. Of course, a side menu would go in a sidebar either to the right or left.
It is common to see some of the big name businesses use left side primary menus instead of on the top (such as on my site). Amazon is a prime example of this kind of navigation and there is a good reason. Most folks read from left to right. I say most because I used to live in Japan and they read from top to bottom, right to left.
Widgets are applications. For example, if I’d like readers to see my recent posts there is a widget for that specific purpose. All I need do is drag and drop it into the sidebar. Presto, it automatically posts a snippet of the most recent posts(one or two sentences into that area).
You can also drag and drop widgets for text, banners, categories, social media, contact information and so on. There is a lot of choice and versatility with the WordPress themes. The footer is just as simple to set-up. There are some general rules concerning what to put in the footer which is usually explained with online marketing training.
Next, How to Structure A Blog Post
My experience deals mainly with authority websites (blogs). Different sites can take various approaches to presenting content, videos, and images to their readers. Just to name a few kinds – there are individual sites that deal with drop shipping, commercial ones in the retail sector, and service-oriented sites – all with unique styles.
However, for a blog or authority website content is king. It is good practice to show your reader what you are writing about but it needs to be accompanied by high-quality content. Images are to be placed strategically within the post. Adding ALT descriptions (the pop up of the image) is recommended.
We are taught at Wealthy Affiliate (at the time of this writing) that 1500 word articles at a minimum are required to get decent search engine results. I know of members who recommend two thousand words. In any event, the overall blog structure is similar: intro., body, conclusion or tell them what you are going to say, say it, and tell them what you said.
Break the content up into easy to read paragraphs and use some relevant sub-headings to attract reader attention. We are also taught a ‘Ninja tip” to help with the indexing. Add an internal link and an external link to your content. It must be meaningful not forced as in advertising.
Use a meta title and description before publishing. This is quite easy to do in the back office of WordPress. Next share the post with Google Plus (a Social Site). Finally, input the URL into the Google fetch or submit tool so the search engine is aware of your new posting.
Check Out My Other Writings on Websites
This was a brief overview concerning the aesthetic structure of websites. The technical side is far more complex and at the moment beyond my expertise. There are many big name marketers who can give you a more in-depth look at how to set up the structure to be user-friendly for search engine crawling.
I wouldn’t be overly concerned about it if you are starting off. Just remember to put some thought into your main categories as that will save you from having to change URLs in the future. Google doesn’t appreciate such changes and there is the possibility it may set back progress.
If you liked this article you may enjoy How to Earn Money Blogging in WordPress. Do you have any tips you would like to share with us about planning a website? We would love to hear your advice. Please leave them below.