You have a domain name and web hosting. By this point, you’re pretty excited to get started with tons of creative ideas, which is great! Now it’s time to get those creative ideas on paper and map out your web design.

Why map out your website?

Whether you’ll hire a web designer or build your website yourself, you need a clear direction forward.

Not that long ago while on the phone with a new client, I mentioned that their proposal was for a 10-page website. So, I asked them what the 10 pages would have on them. It was at this point that the line got quiet. After a while, the client said something like, “standard pages”. This was where we began the conversation about mapping out their website.

How do I map out a website?

1 Know what type of website you want.

There’s a big difference between a blog, a small business informational site, and an online store. A blog, or even a small business site, can easily start with ten pages or less. An online store, however, can have many more pages. Online stores need pages for each product, the cart and the checkout process. If it’s an online portfolio, often each portfolio item is a separate page or entry. It’s easy to see how pages can add up before you know it.

2 Make a list.

Beginning with the home page, list out all of the pages you’ll want on your site. This is important because if you’re going to hire someone, the number of website pages is figured into the cost. You can always add pages after it the website launches.

3 Add what you think will be on each page to the list.

For example, pages could be made up of text, text and images, lists (like frequently asked questions, or FAQs), portfolios, or online forms, and much more. It’s important to know what type of content will be on each page. Depending on whether you choose HTML or a content management system like WordPress, different types of pages can take more time to create than others.

Mapping out your website before talking to a web designer should result in a more accurate quote to keep costs down. Even if you’ve decided to take on putting your website together yourself, mapping it out first will give you the direction you need to build it.

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  1. […] If not, that’s okay too; I just give hints on how to get the content ready starting with the sitemap and then talking about how to organize the content. To be honest, websites that take a long time to […]

  2. […] If you’re thinking about digging in and starting a website, then it’s time to get your ducks in a row.    Now’s the time to organize what’s going to go on the pages you mapped out for your site. […]

  3. […] Some web hosting companies offer the ability to create a website from templates in a step-by-step process called website builders. This can be a good option, but before you go down this road, make sure you’ve mapped out your website. […]

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