Whenever you begin to build something new, you want to focus as much as possible on the planning phase.
In building a website for your green business — similar to creating a wishlist for your home, declaring a set of marriage vows, or adopting a philosophy of how you will live your life — your planning phase determines how effectively you will reach your end result.
What do you intend to do?
Once you have an idea of what you want, it is easier to translate this into something that you can share. More importantly, it is easier for you to find partners to help you make your dream a reality.
For the web design process we at 10K Webdesign undertake, we have you translate your intention into a list of specifications, including the "content sitemap". Your sitemap helps us understand the items that are important for navigating your ideal website.
- We encourage you to think from your customer or end user's perspective.
For example, what would a user need in terms of the very basic (5-9 links) information to help them get acquainted with you and your green business?
- Consider how to make it very clear for someone who's visiting your site to get what they want.
For example, offer sub-navigation (drop down lists) and "breadcrumbs" if your site has many levels of content.
Another example is to offer a "Call to Action" on every page, like "buy now" or "sign up for our e-newsletter" or "join the cause."
- Specify the use of a content management system (CMS) for easy updates.
For example, we suggest Drupal (or WordPress, for smaller websites) so you may add and edit new pages using web-based forms.
With a content management system, you have the capacity to add unlimited new pages once your website is online, so if you find you need to change your sitemap after the website launches, you have the option to do so.
Here's a sample sitemap to help you get started.
On every page:
Breadcrumb (to show where the user is in relation to other pages)
Social Networking Links
Join our e-newsletter
Make a donation
Randomized "profile of our staff member"
Randomized advertiser/partner link
How we are Green
Mission, Vision, and Values
What Sets us Apart
Join our Community
Benefits of Membership
How to Get Started
– Submit a Link
Map to our Location
Use code begreengirl to download the e-version for $5.99: all major credit cards accepted.
Monica S. Flores @monicadear is committed to educating, empowering, and connecting women in business. She is available for consulting on web development through 10K Webdesign. She believes in the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profits.