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Designing Your Site

Although you can just jump in and start writing Web pages right away, it's a good idea to first think about and design your site. That way, you'll give yourself direction and you'll need to reorganize less later.

To design your site:

Figure out why you're creating this site. What do you want to convey?

Think about your audience. How can you tailor your content to appeal to this audience? For example, should you add lots of graphics or is it more important that your page download quickly?

How many pages will you need? What sort of structure would you like it to have? Do you want visitors to go through your site in a particular direction, or do you want to make it easy for them to explore in any direction?

Sketch out your site on paper.

Devise a simple, consistent naming system for your pages, images, and other external files (see page 34).

Figure 2.1. Sketching out your site and thinking about what it might contain can help you decide what sort of structure it needs: a centralized, hierarchical model (top), a circular model that leads the visitor from one page to the next (above), or some other system.


  • Don't overdo the design phase of your site. At some point, you've got to dig in and start writing.

  • If you're not very familiar with the Web, do some surfing first to get an idea of the possibilities. You might start with Yahoo (, Google's Web directory ( or even your competitors.

  • There are lots of good books on Web design. Some of the authors I recommend are Dan Cederholm, Jeffrey Zeldman, Dave Shea, and Steve Krug.

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JavaScript EditorBest javascript editor debugger     Ajax website