The navigation section of your web site is one of the most important factors to a web site.
Why? The navigation is what allows you to move from one section of the web site to the next, linking web pages to web pages, and in all making a web site work. Here I hope to explain why web site navigation is important, along with a few other key factors you should remember when creating your web site.
Organize Your Web Pages
You should have a good idea of what your web site is going to be about, and how you are going to create it before you start with any HTML coding. One tool that comes in extremely handy when deciding navigation and how each page links to each idea is mind mapping. You can learn more about that process here:
As an example let us say you are working on a web site about you, so you have these basic web pages designed and ready to go:
- The Home Page (the first thing people see)
- An About Page (which gives more information about you, like your resume)
- Your Contact Page (might have your e-mail address, or various means of contacting you)
- Projects and Work (examples of the work you have done, or the projects you have worked on)
Now somewhere, you will need to have your web site navigation on each of the pages. This can be done in a number of different ways, but the most popular seems to be across the top. This way people can go to and from different parts of the web site, just by clicking the links you see on the top. I would suggest having them formatted this way:
Home | About Me | Contact Me | My Projects
Each one should link to the related pages above. A clean-cut and uniform navigation system is really a must.
Web Site Navigation Tips
Here are some more tips you should watch out for when it comes to web site navigation:
- Create a site map to help people find exactly what they are looking for quickly.
- There is no problem with highlighting certain pages you think deserve more attention, just make sure they don’t take away from your main web site navigation.
- Be sure to use short and precise words in your links, so people will know exactly what they are getting.
This is no doubt that navigation plays a huge roll in how successful your web site is and how long they stick around it. If people can not navigate from web page to web page easily, they might grow frustrated and leave the web site all together. So, having a good navigation system means you can keep more visitors both on and returning to your hosted web site.