A website - draft one

What are the things I need to have a web site?

To begin with you need to have a story to tell.

What is your website going to tell the world?

Start by writing that down somewhere. Once you’ve done that you’ll know what sort of website it will be. The more detail you write, the more you’ll have ready for your website.

At a technical level every website needs:

  • A domain name e.g. http://mywebsite.com
  • A host web server
  • Domain Name Servers set with correct information
  • Text files and images in the correct language and format for the Web

You’ll also need to understand how visitors to your website will find what they’re looking for. Some of those visitors will be the search engine ‘spiders’ that index the whole of the World Wide Web so that we can search for things using Google; DuckDuckGo or Bing. As well as the words and images you add to your web pages for the human visitors, you should add some extra information for the search engine spiders.

Site structure - Information Architecture

It’s important to arrange the pages of your site and link them with navigation menus so that Human and Spider visitors can easily find their way around. This is known as a site structure, or information architecture.

Visual design

When you have your story ready to be told, structured in logical easy to navigate sections and pages, you’ll probably also want to make it look nice with graphic elements, images and colour schemes. These personal touches help convey your personality or branding, but should not get in the way of the story.

Call to action

You’ll also need to decide what the website is going to ask the visitors to do - are they going to read it and then email you, or are they able to buy something there and then? Is it just to give more information about something they have already purchased? All these elements will require extra technical functions and you’ll need to decide on what action you want your visitors to take.

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