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In Web Site Strategy and Planning, Jen Kramer shows that there's more to building a web site than just implementation. She describes how to create a plan that will ensure the end product meets the client's needs and is as efficient and scalable as possible. Jen explains how to identify the right technology for the design, whether it is CMS-driven or static, and how to organize content and graphics. She shows how to create a project proposal that includes pricing and milestones that demonstrate to the client that work is being done. She also discusses how to measure the success of the design through analytics and user feedback.
I would like to use a Spreadsheet for tracking content on my website. The easiest way for everyone to consistently access the same version of that Spreadsheet is to use Google Documents. This is a free service at Google, which offers Spreadsheets, Word processing documents, and much more. Google Documents, or Google Docs, allows you to share a Spreadsheet between you, your client, all of your subcontractors and anyone else who might be interested. This way, you won't have to worry about who has the most recent copy of your Spreadsheet.
Furthermore, everyone can access it and update it quickly and easily. From the Google homepage, if you look under the link for more, go down to choose the Documents option. And this will put you on the Documents homepage. You'll need to sign in to access Google Docs. If you don't have a Google account, you can create one by clicking on to Get started button down at the bottom of your screen. Otherwise, Sign in. You have a Google account if you have Gmail, Google Analytics, or some other Google service that you use.
All right, so we're looking at the screen here for Google Docs. What we are going to do now is create a new Spreadsheet. We are going to do that by going over here to the left, and saying Create new>Spreadsheet. This should look fairly familiar to you if you've worked with programs such as Microsoft Excel, and it works very much the same sort of way. What we are going to do is we are going to create several columns in our Site Map.
First of all, we're going to put in a number to identify each item from our Site Map. In our second column, we're going to put in the name of that navigation item. In the third column, we are going to put in the person who is responsible for this piece of content, in other words, it's the person who's going to write the content, edit the content or otherwise create the content. Then we are going to put in a column describing where the content is coming from. Is it coming from an existing page on the current website? Is it coming from a brochure, or is somebody writing it completely from scratch? And we are also going to put in a date for when the content is due.
Now that we've created those headers for our Spreadsheet, we will start to type in the items from our Site Map. Item number one is the Home page. The people responsible for the content on the home page will be Hansel and Petal. It's going to come from a number of different places. There will be Most recent blog entry, there will be a recent photo, and some brief description text packed with keywords for the search engines.
The due date for delivery, we have already figured out, will be about six weeks from now. Now we will type in the second item for our navigation. Navigation item number two will be Your Special Event. Your Special Event has some sub- navigation associated with it. There is Weddings, Corporate Functions, and other events. Each of those items also has sub-navigation.
I am going to show you how to put in each of those without filling out the full spreadsheet, so that you can see how to put in each navigation item. Weddings is going to be item number 2.1. In other words, it's the first item under the second navigation item. Weddings has two items underneath of it, one is For Brides, and one is For Wedding Planners. So our first one, For Brides, will have the number 2.1.1. It's the first item under the first item, under the second navigation item.
And For Wedding Planners, the number is 2.1.2. Okay. Now we are going to Corporate Functions. The number for Corporate Functions is 2.2, because this is under the second main navigation item and it's the second sub-navigation item. We will continue in this way for the other items under Your Special Event.
As you might expect, commitment to the environment would be our third navigation item, while restaurant service is our fourth navigation item, and things will continue in that way. Finally, we will want to make sure we save this spreadsheet. The Save button is located in the upper right-hand corner. If I click Save, it will ask me what I'd like to save the Spreadsheet as. This will be our content plan for hansel and petal, and I'll say OK. Finally, I'll want to share this spreadsheet with Kirk Hansel and Petal Jones so that they know what's going on while they're working on the website.
In order to share this document, I'm going to go to the Share button up here, in the upper right-hand corner, and click it. It will ask me if I want to Invite people to share the document. I'm going to choose that, and I can type in an e-mail address. I can also type in a message. This is the content plan I mentioned on the phone earlier today.
And I will Send that. Now I can access this document as can Hansel at hanselandpetal.com. I am going to Save and Close. I am going to go ahead and finish typing in my Site Map now off-line. You go ahead and finish typing in your Site Map for your client in your Google Document. Google documents is a great way to share documents with your client and your subcontractors without worrying about version control. This is a great way to track all the content in your website, who is providing it, and the date that content is due.
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