Site Map&your Digital Footprint

Do a site search on google by typing your site and a search for the XML type of file into the search engine e.g. 'site:writemaps.com filetype:xml' If you get a lot of results from that search, you could refine the search further. Try adding a criteria to have ‘sitemap’ in the URL e.g. 'site:writemaps.com filetype:xml inurl:sitemap'. For larger sites, when user experience is paramount, creating an initial sitemap or user flow map is an effective way of working out how you want visitors to use and navigate around. UX is key to a successful site. And always remember the 5PS of planning a site – Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance. A sitemap is a file where you can list the web pages of your site to tell Google and other search engines about the organization of your site content. Search engine web crawlers like Googlebot read this file to more intelligently crawl your site. This also tells us why a sitemap is important.

  1. Site Map&your Digital Footprint Chart
  2. Site Map&your Digital Footprint Worksheet
  3. Site Map&your Digital Footprint Quiz
  4. Site Map&your Digital Footprint Template
Footprint

The outline you create for your website directly translates into your sitemap.The sitemap helps you visualize the structure of a website — its information architecture—before you build it. To create a sitemap, you translate each main idea and subcategory from your outline into a diagram of boxes connected by lines and arrows to show how the pages interconnect.

A sitemap is critical to the construction of your website, and you’ll refer to it often throughout the development process.

Footprint

Site Map&your Digital Footprint Chart

Site

To transform your outline into a sitemap, follow these simple steps:

  1. Start with a huge piece of paper.

    On paper you can quickly sketch out ideas and you have plenty of available design space. Find a large piece of paper and work in landscape orientation. (You’ll find that you need a lot of horizontal space.) After you work out the map’s details on paper, you can re-create it on the computer to make a nice, clean copy that you can distribute to both the client and the team.

  2. Draw a box for each web page.

    Starting with the home page, draw a box to represent each web page of the site. Put the home page box at the top of the paper. Then start a new row below and draw a box for each of your primary, secondary, and tertiary navigation group titles.

  3. Draw the subcategories.

    Begin a third row and draw a series of boxes for each page within the main sections. For space concerns, you may want to stack these pages vertically beneath their respective main idea boxes.

  4. Number the sections and subsections.

    An important step is to number each section so that you can refer to it more easily in the future and match it up with the official page index you create.

A good sitemap foreshadows usability problems before your site goes into production. If your map has too many primary navigation categories that are each a little thin on content, you end up with a site that overwhelms the user with choices and clutters the screen without providing a lot of depth of content. Conversely, if your sitemap has just a few primary categories that each have a ton of stuff, you end up with a site that takes forever to navigate, making people click too many times as they drill down to the info they need.

Site Map&your Digital Footprint Worksheet

The best balance to have is five to seven choices within your primary, secondary, and tertiary navigation sets, and content should be no more than two levels deep within each category.

SiteFootprint

A sitemap is a tool that can be used to visualize the structure of a website. While it lists the web pages or the content of a website, it helps you identify the information your website should consist of, remove...

When it comes to working on a website design project, the usual MO for most is to draw up a sitemap before proceeding towards the design of a wireframe. This would be a logical and the most natural way to proceed, however, there is no reason why you cannot do both in tandem.

Site Map&your Digital Footprint Quiz

Scouring through cyberspace, Google has managed to cough up a gazillion articles on wireframes and mockups but not much on sitemaps. We thought it was time to give you a taste of what the humble but potent sitemap was capable of.

Site Map&your Digital Footprint Template

In layman’s terms website map is a tool for planning and designing web sites. Visualizing your website using a sitemap (also known as site architecture map) is a decisive step because it helps in...