Website Architecture – Key to a Successful Website The secret to influential navigation of any website is the ease of use. Users must be able to navigate to each page of the website without being required to backtrack or lose their bearings. Navigation and page flow Best practices include: Main navigation should remain visible anywhere visitors wander on your website, and should appear in the same location on each page. Visitors should be able to jump to different location of your website with a single mouse click. Secondary navigation - Steady design & placement will be crucial, so that users can quickly know how to get around your website. Enable visitors to visit any webpage from any other webpage using 1 or 2 clicks – for this, use drop-down menus. The webpage design must ensure that these menus do not overlay main text. The navigation - mainly the secondary one - must accommodate increase as more pages are added. In the case there are versions of the website in new languages, the website design might need to be tolerant. Keeping a user from getting missing is at times easier said than done. Many websites, for example, allow users to click a link so as to fetch a PDF doc. But, if the PDF opens in the primary window of the website, it is possible that the navigation disappears & there’ll be no clear way for users to re-visit the website. This will be weakly conceived navigation, however it’s a fairly regular shortcoming of majority of the sites. Users should never be required to depend upon the Back button of the browser so as to find a way out of such a dead end. One simple solution can be to have the PDF file open in a fresh window. Organizing content Start with an easy site map & then keep adding to it till it reflects the businesses goals of your client. This will allow stakeholders to know what types of pages are needed on the website & how they must interconnect. The info hierarchy should be easy to browse, neither too deep nor too shallow. Try to keep the amount of clicks needed to access any page minimum. After you’ve a preliminary website architecture clear, usability analysis can confirm your expectations or expose where content hasn’t been rightly organized. Whatever is the architecture of the website, up-to-date links can make an associative web which allows users to jump from one branch to the other. But never overdo it; use linkage wherever required, not wherever possible. Excessive links thrown throughout a primary text could become distracting & maddening. Content organization If the customer needs the ability to control the site's text internal, a dynamic site controlled with a CMS can be the best way to go. A good CMS must be strong and very simple for non-techy staff to use. The customer's internal resources must not only modernize content, but also create internal as well as external links, generate pop-ups, manage files, swap pictures, create fresh pages based upon the templates, etc., all without the understanding of any programming knowledge.