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Technical Guide


Site Structure


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Site Structure

Organizing Content

The development of a Web site requires much attention to the organization of information. As with most large Web sites, the content of a provincial/territorial heritage site should be organized in a hierarchical manner, from general to specific. "Heritage" is a broad topic and will likely result in a very broad and deep site.

Begin by dividing the content into "chunks". At the top, or entry level of site, attempt to divide the content into six to ten broad threads (topics, sections or themes). As you continue to divide and organize the contents of these main threads, you will find the site becoming broader and progressively more content specific as the threads progress to lower levels.

Visualizing the Structure

To help define and organize the site contents as part of the planning process, it is a good idea to develop a hierarchical flow diagram of the site. For every page, these diagrams illustrate the contents of that page and the available links to secondary documents. For very broad and deep sites, it may be necessary to develop a separate diagram for each of the main threads or topics. Such a hierarchical flow diagram can become the basis of a site map and table of contents used to help users understand the organization of information. Figure 1 is a hierarchical flow diagram illustrating the entry or top level of the Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Web site. Figure 2 is a hierarchical flow diagram of the "Society" thread for the site. The flow diagram can also be used to help define what directory structures and file naming conventions can be used to organize the many HTML, image and other media files that will be used to create the site.

Figure 1: Entry Level, Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Web Site

Figure 2: Economy—Society Thread, Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Web Site

Figure 3: Directory Structure and File Naming, Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Web Site

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