Before You Start Making Your Web Site


Preparing for the big task!

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Wheelchair Design for Developing Countries

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Making a Web site requires a bit of planning before you start. Plan out this project like any other project you have. Consider making a list of things to do, and make a timeline. Think of a list of resources, such as people who you should talk to gather textual content or digital pictures/videos. Be sure to ask friends and family to help you review the Web site as you are making it. The design process often needs a lot of review and revisions!

What would you like to achieve with your Web site?

Think of the functional requirements of the Web site. What do you wish to communicate? What would you like the Web site to do? For instance, do you wish to sell products? Or do you wish to use the Web site to form relationships with potential sponsors to your organization? These goals can affect what kind of content you should put on the Web site. Make a list of things you would like to have on the Web site. Think about this as if you are a visitor coming to the Web site. Ask to see what kind of information you would like to see. Revise the list as needed, and start gathering information for the site.

Who is your audience?

Who will be your visitors of the Web site? Be sure to tailor the content to your intended audience. Even though you may only expect a certain type of audience, think of what type of content to present? But your Web site doesn’t have to only tailor to one type of audience. Think of ways to accommodate various audiences.

Visualize your Web site

Take a few sheets of paper and sketch out what the pages should look like. A basic website should have at least two main components: navigation and content. Try out different designs and layouts. For ideas, visit http://opendesigns.org. Think of how many Web pages (sections) you would like to have on your Web site. For example, a personal Web site can have the following sections: welcome page, biography, contact information, photos, and blog. Layout design of your Web site is very important. Keep usability principles in mind, and find a design that works for your goals. When sketching the Web site, think of a color palette to use.

Web site architecture

A simple Web site can be organized in a site tree. A site tree is a hierarchical representation of a Web site. It can illustrate the subsections within each level. For example, a personal Web site can have the following site tree:

  • Main Page (Introduction)
  • Biography
    • Previous Work
    • Current Work
  • Blog
  • Photos
    • Family Photos
    • Pet Photos
    • Vacation Photos
  • Contact Information

Chapters

0. About this Guide

1. Welcome

2. Importance of Marketing

3. What Makes a Bad Web Site? (Part One)

4. What Makes a Bad Web Site? (Part Two)

5. What are Some Good Web Sites (Part One)

6. What are Some Good Web Sites (Part Two)

7. What are Some Current Trends?

8. Before You Start Making Your Web Site

9. Let's Make a Web Site (Part One)

10. Let's Make a Web Site (Part Two)

11. Let's Make a Web Site (Part Three)

12. Final Words