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Tutorials, reviews, case studies and other tips to help website owners and website developers master the Joomla content management system.

Sensible Navigation Structures

This week we're looking at the structure of the site. The client has provided an excellent list of the features for the site. However if the site was built exactly the way they requested, it would have resulted in a less than ideal navigation structure. Have a look at the original document

The first step when planning a website is to write down everything you want on the site and then slot each piece onto a relevant page. Ideally, your site map should be no wider than 8 levels and no deeper than 3 levels. This is often impossible, but if you can work within this structure, it makes it easier for your visitors to find relevant information. The original document had 11 top levels. Have a look at how we revised this into an easier-to-navigate structure.

This doesn't mean that you shouldn't include a long list of categories somewhere. For example if you have an e-commerce site, it is common to list all your main categories in the left column. You can include your other page links in a top menu. This makes it easy for your customers to find the category they're interested in and it can help with your search engine rankings.

In part 3, we will have a look at how to avoid the number one fear of all web developers - "scope creep".

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