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TERMINALFOUR (T4) TIP 40: Every Strong Web Project Begins With A Sitemap

Intended Audience:

WEB CONTRIBUTORS AND MODERATORS, CONTENT STRATEGISTS, COMMUNICATORS

TIP: Before you develop a website, create a sitemap to quickly brainstorm what information and pages to include on your website. 

Getting Started With Sitemaps

A sitemap allows you to quickly brainstorm by identifying the number of pages you will need for your website and the purpose for each page. A good sitemap will look something like the below and will show how the information connects within the website. You can click the below graphic to download and fill in the spaces with the name of pages you think you will need for your website, all you need is a pen or pencil.

T4-Tip40-Scrnshot1- Building a web sitemap

Sharing Sitemamps For Feedback

Once complete, you will have something that looks like the below. You now have a basic website organization to share with stakeholders, team members, and clients for feedback. Because this is just paper you can easily make changes.

T4-Tip40-Scrnshot2- Building a web sitemap

Gather Your Content

After you and your team have percolated on the sitemap, you are now ready to gather content for the pages identified in your site map. Here is where you will spend a significant amount of time organizing content ideas by collecting images and text for each page included in the sitemap. Remember, you want to arrange your content with the user experience in mind. 

Store Your Content For Sharing

Once you have gathered all your images and text, you can add them to a shared cloud space for easy access by all content contributors. The sitemap can also direct how you organize and store your text and images used to build your website.

Here are some resources to get you started:

Are you planning to redesign an existing website and not sure what content is already available? Use this Website Content Inventory sheet to determine what to keep or toss when you create your new website.