Join Paul Trani for an in-depth discussion in this video Planning a successful web site , part of Creating a First Web Site with Dreamweaver CS4.
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To increase the chances of your site being a success, it helps to do some planning in advance. Of course, planning is all about determining what my goal is for the website. For example, my goal might be to tell others about Jane Doe, the travel writer and photographer. So I need to collect that content that will be on the website that will tell others about Jane Doe. This content that I have collected that I want to share with others, I need to make sure is appropriate for the audience. It has to give a good impression, it can be found through search engine such as Google and again appropriate for the people I want to see the sites.
So again that is going to give me some appropriate content, so it might be a homepage that helps me a little bit about Jane Doe photography and About page, there might be a Portfolio page that might show off some of her work as well as a Contact page allowing the user to get in touch with Jane Doe. So that's really the result of my business goals is some what of a site map, if you will and not only that, but a web address. An idea of the web address, so users can find the site. Now there is also is an audience that has certain goals as well and often it's usually to find, learn, or do something.
So they are out on the web, they are trying to find things, they are trying to learn certain things, and even do certain things as well, and we want to make sure that they can do that on our site. So for instance, is the site viewable and accessible? So can they find the site? Once they find it, is it easy to use? Does it deliver the information that's requested? So if they click on the About link, are they going to see About Jane Doe on that page? So we'll want to be really straightforward with what the user expects, make sure that content is useful to them, and of course is appropriate for that audience.
So let's make it easy on the audience to keep them on our site to learn about Jane Doe in this case. Really, that is the result of all this appropriate and accessible content. The content might be edited a little bit, but it's really just appropriate for the web, for the audience, and is available for them. The result of that is also a viewable site, and this is really important, which is the technical requirement. So does the site fit on the user's screen or do they have to scroll to get to content? Is the content compatible with the major browsers out there? Well, we need to do some testing to make sure that happens.
Do pages download quickly? So when they hit a page, do they see it immediately or they have to wait? Even before that, is it optimized for search engines? So if they type in Jane Doe Photography, does the site come up? But all these technical requirements we need to keep in mind as we move forward in designing our site, because all decisions should really be made on this, what our user is trying to do, is it accessible, as well as what we are trying to do, which is promote sort of a product, a business, or to tell others about someone such as Jane Doe Photography.
We need to keep this in mind, moving forward everything decision we need to make.
- Exploring the Dreamweaver workspace for first-time users
- Linking to external web pages and sites
- Improving the presentation of text and images on the site
- Building a layout using Cascading Style Sheets
- Making navigation reusable across multiple pages
- Displaying content using the Accordion widget
- Creating a contact form and sending data from it
- Making the final site search engine-friendly