Your Guide to Website Structure
Good websites are easy to navigate no matter how much information is contained within them. This is because there is a structure set up that visitors find familiar and easy to use. If you’re starting to gather information for your website, or feel that your website could highlight information better, read on to learn what goes where!
The Master Page
The master page contains information that is displayed on every page. You can think of the master page like the bread of a sandwich: it doesn’t contain the fixings, but rather encloses every page to carry the content. The master page is made up of the Header (information at the top of the page) the Footer (information at the bottom of the page) and sometimes a Sidebar (information in the center of the page either far left or far right).
Headers, Footers, and Sidebars
The Header is where you’ll find the most important information such as the business name, logo, and phone number. The Footer repeats this information, and also contains extra info such as the address, business hours, email address, and more.
This is the first page where people interact with your website’s content. It should be welcoming, and introduce the most important information, much like the entryway to your own home. Elaborate on the unique selling points of your business, hint at services, and lead people to the areas of your website that they’ll want to visit. If you have frequent updates/events to share, consider adding a sidebar or page specifically for news and schedules.
Broken down into categories, pages allow visitors to quickly find the information most important to them. The more pages you create, the more opportunities customers will have to take action and give you their business.
- Services: Identifies the service you provide, residential/commercial applications
- Contact Page: Essential to customer service and speedy communication
- Photo/Video Gallery: A priceless showcase of the products and quality you provide
- Testimonials: Solidifies trust that you’ll meet the customer’s needs
- About Us: Knowing the business history builds buyer confidence
- Employee/Owner Bios: Create personal connections and relatability
- Blog/Newsletter: Share information on a regular basis
- Events: Share past activities or up-and-coming events in one easy to access schedule
Menu Bars & Navigation
The most important navigational element is the Menu Bar, which is a section containing links to the pages on your website. The Menu Bar is part of the master page, and usually shows up in the Header and Footer. In addition, links on pages guide users to more content on your website or to other websites entirely. This all affects the user’s experience and the value of your website. Good navigation reassures users that they’ll have a good experience with your business.
Not all websites are created equal. Some websites feature “splash pages” before the home page to add visual appeal. One-page websites encourage users to scroll through sections of information rather than clicking to individual pages. Some websites have a “split-screen” home page, allowing for two unique elements of a business to share the same site, but not confuse users (e.g. users can choose “commercial” or “residential” services to access a customized site).
If you have any questions about your website structure, get in touch with Pinnacle Marketing Group today! We offer custom solutions to every business to help you achieve success.