Web Tip: The Art of Arranging Website Content

If you’ve ever moved furniture in your house you will learn that arranging content on your website is very similar.  In a house you will group certain types of furniture to match specific rooms, likewise you need to group certain types of information on specific pages.

This simple example is useful in helping your understand the importance of positioning content into your website.  The goal is help eliminate a mess caused by confusion.

Group similar information together

In a home you will put beds and dressers in the bedroom.  In the living room you will put a couch, easy chair, coffee table.  You do this because these item help in the function of the room.

In a similar way you need to categorize your website’s content.  You need a constant logical flow of information.  You site’s visitor probably doesn’t want to bounce around from page to page and back again to the information they want.  For the most part you want to put similar content in the same area.

Let’s say you sell items on your website,  the idea here is to group these onto one page.  If you have several items then you will want to create a category and organized them into similar kinds of products.

Perhaps you maintain a website for an organization.  Again you want to group similar content into certain pages dedicated to that topic.  Also, you want to categorize your content to avoid cluttering the site.  I always like the simple and clean approach.

When creating categories for a website you will find that these are typically what you will find.

  • Home
  • About Us
  • Resources
  • Contact

Let’s go through each of these pages and figure out what type of content goes into them.  First let’s look at the Home page.

The Home page is usually the first page someone will arrive at on your website.  This page should have content that tells the visitor “What is this website about?”  In addition, it needs to show links to the other areas within the site.

Next let’s look at the About Us page.  This page contains content regarding the organization or person who owns the website.  By including this page you add reliability by allowing your visitor a chance to know who you are and some of your qualification and credentials.  This builds trust.

You will also want to include some sort of Resources page.  The primary aim of your website should be to provide something useful to the visitor.  This is done through your resources page.  If you have several resources you can have multiple pages under the Resources page to accommodate these items.  What can be included in your resources page.  You can include products, services your provide, audio, video, inactive games.  What goes here really depends on the goal of your site.  Remember the resource pages are there to provide something to the visitor.

Next you want a Contact page.  You want to provide a way for a visitor to contact you if they have a concern, question or need help. Although this information could be put in the About Us page a better practice is to create a separate page to handle the communication.  On this page you will want to provide email, phone and address information.  You can also include a form to make communication easier.

Create a Layout That Help the Visitor

With an understanding of the various page and you have your information ready, it is time to place this information on each page in an organized fashion.  To do this a page layout needs to be created.

As we continue with the furniture in the house example, you need to place your your content in such a manner that it is useful to the visitor.  In a room you will place certain furniture in specific spots in other to increase the function of the room.  For example in the living room you most likely place the couch in front of the television. You will also make sure that there is an unobstucted path though the room.  Similarly, the information on your site should have a layout that help to visitor find what they want.

It is recommended that a uniform layout be created for all the pages on your site.  This assists the visitor to move though the site quickly and easily.

There are four basic elements on a web page.  You will have a header that contains the name of the website or an organization’s name.  It may also include a company logo.    The header is usually found at the top of the page.  Next you will find an area dedicated to navigation.  The navigation will be located in the same on every page of the web site.  There are several popular locations for the navigation.  These are Horizontal above or below the header, Vertical on the left or right of the content area.  Next you need a content area which will contain the information specific to the page.  And finally a footer page that be located at the bottom of the page.

When laying out the content on your website you want to consider the convenience and practicality of the site in the same way you would arrange furniture in a room.

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One Response to “Web Tip: The Art of Arranging Website Content”

  1. Jason Says:

    Excellent article. Will you please write much more about this topic.

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