Tips on How to Create a Site Map

Once you create a general plan for your website and decide on what content you will include on the site, you will need to translate that information into the sitemap.

Sitemap_font_awesome.svgA site map is a tool that turns website structure into a visual map. To come up with a sitemap, you need to turn every big idea and subcategory from the list of goals and the outline into a diagram that consists of boxes connected with each other by lines or arrows. A site map is a critical element that you will be using during all the later stages of website development process.

To create a sitemap, start with a large piece of paper. Paper often works better for sitemap creation than a computer screen because you can sketch out your ideas very quickly and you have plenty of space to do so. Most likely, you will need a lot of horizontal space, so use the paper in landscape orientation.

After you are done with the map on paper, you can quickly move it to the computer and make a clean professionally-looking version that you will later distribute among the team members.

Start with the home page. Then draw a box for every web page on the site. The home page should be located at the top of the map. Then, start a new row below the homepage box and include all the navigation titles there.

One of the goals of a site map is to predict usability problems before you start working on the actual website. If your map has too many navigation items, you may end up with a website that overwhelms the user with excessive choices and unnecessarily clutters the pages. The opposite can also happen. If you have a website that has just a few primary categories with a lot of information in each, your visitors may start getting lost and not be able to find what they are looking for.

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