Join Jen Kramer for an in-depth discussion in this video Planning your website, part of Joomla! 3.3 Essential Training: Working with Content.
- Do you have a plan for this website that you're about to build? No? Well, you're not alone. If you think back to school, way back in the old days when we wrote term papers, we were taught to write an outline for our term paper first. Then we were taught to write the very middle of the paper, and then finally the introduction and conclusion. And then, finally, after all that, we would proofread everything and make sure that the paper was perfect.
But notice we never started with the introduction, and then wrote the middle of the paper, and then wrote the conclusion, not for the best success. And your website is kind of the same way. Creating a website is just not that different from the term paper process. First, you need to start with a plan for what it is that you're building. You can then concentrate on building out the inside pages of the website, getting some content in place. After those inside pages are built, go back to the homepage and get that in shape.
Notice the homepage is done after the inside pages are done. And then finally, debug the website and make sure that everything is working correctly before you launch the website. In this course, we'll be building a Joomla! website for the Landon Hotel. The boutique hotel chain is found in 20 countries with over 400 locations. In this case, we'll be focusing on the West End Landon Hotel, located in London, with some supplementing material from other Landon locations. This website needs to reflect three kinds of goals.
First of all are the organizational goals. The organizational goals for this hotel might include the following kinds of questions. Why does this hotel exist in the first place? Who is it going to serve? What is it going to achieve? And how are they going to measure results? User or visitor goals are very different things. When someone comes to the website, they're coming with a very specific kind of information in mind that they would like to discover. So what kinds of information does the user, the visitor need to get out of that website in order to accomplish what they want to do? And then, finally, the website goals fall out of both of these.
So the organization has its set of goals, the user and the visitors have their sets of goals, and together, these will structure the goals for the website. So I'll walk you through this process now. Let's look at just the organizational goals to start with. Your website is gonna be a reflection of the organization behind it. Whether it's a business, a non-profit, a school, a club, or your own personal website, that website has a reason for existing. So what's the reason that it exists? Who does it serve? What is it trying to achieve? Understanding this background will help you understand how the website can support this organization.
In the case of the West End Landon Hotel, they need an international presence to attract travelers from around the world. They need to educate travelers about the beauty and the excitement of London, particularly the West End, encouraging travelers to stay with them when they visit the area. They may also wish to attract local business for events that might be happening at the hotel, or for their dining. Now that the goals of the organization are clear, let's think about why users or visitors might be coming to look at this website in the first place.
Who are these users or visitors? What do they want from this website? And what kind of environment are they in when they're looking at this webpage? So in general, the Landon visitors need to learn about the hotel rooms, including the types of rooms that are offered and their pricing. They may wish to book a room online, but that's a little bit beyond the scope of this particular course. That kind of functionality can be dealt with in Joomla!, and it could be added later, but we won't be covering it in this course.
Visitors may want to know about what kinds of activities are in the local area, and they need to know about dining options, both within the hotel and outside of it. For local business, information about upcoming events or dining options are also important for them. It may also be important to give some background about the company and its history, as well as recent press releases. This type of information helps to establish credibility for Landon as a high-quality hotel with a long history, which is going to appeal to some kinds of visitors.
Finally, we need to be aware of where the visitors are. Are they at home on a big computer, or are they on the move with their phone? Either is possible in the case of Landon, so we'll need to make sure that the site works with all kinds of devices. Once you understand the organization's goals and the user's goals, the website's goals become much clearer. The website itself needs to support the organizational goals, and it needs to support the user goals. The Landon Hotel in particular clearly needs to inform users about its location and the types of rooms that are offered.
It should talk about its onsite dining facilities, as well as other dining locations nearby. Local attractions are also important. Perhaps they can find coupons or special offers to combine with room bookings as an incentive to stay at the Landon. Background about the hotel's history and press releases should be on the site to add credibility about the hotel. That should be plenty to get us started. As a result, we've now designed a site with structure and content to support the goals of the organization, the goals of the users and the goals of the website.
This is a very brief summary of how to think strategically about this website. If you'd like to learn more, and I hope you do, please be sure to watch my Web Site Strategy and Planning title available here at lynda.com.
- Touring the Joomla! interface
- Creating and editing categories
- Adding links and images to articles
- Creating basic menus
- Adding version control and keywords
- Configuring category lists
- Creating a dropdown menu
- Changing display settings