You wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint, would you?
Building a website requires the same thought, planning and structure as building a house and having a site map before development starts is the easiest way to ensure the website you envisioned is the site that’s produced.
You might be asking yourself, “What’s a site map?” A site map is a document that outlines the structure, or blueprint, of your website, which allows you to visually understand the framework that holds your design and content together.
Before you proceed with the design and development of your website, make sure you have a site map in hand. A benefit that TAG offers to our clients, a site map is imperative to your success for three reasons:
Understanding the structure of your website
Where is your contact information stored? What pages have in-bound marketing? How do people find your company history? All of this information is housed on your site map, giving you the ultimate breakdown of how your website is laid out, where to find content and how the end user will experience everything your site offers.
By laying it out from the start, you can be sure everything that needs to be included makes it into the site and avoid surprises or oversights later.
Understanding the functionality of your site
Having a complete understanding of how your website functions is key to knowing how customers will interact with your content. This is especially handy when in-bound marketing is involved. Your site map will show you where in the process your customer will receive a confirmation email when information is submitted, how they connect with your social networks and where they will be presented with opportunities for ecommerce and email marketing.
Having this laid out in the site map in advance forces you to think through and coordinate functions across the site before development is underway so that you and the user get the most out of your site when it’s finished.
Understanding the scope of your project ($$$!)
Let’s face it, dollars matter. The only true way to know that the dollar amount on an estimate matches the work put into your website is to have it all laid out. Remember those potential surprises and oversights that could crop up without a site map? Those can add up over the course of development if the client and developer are on different pages as the site is being built.
For an accurate estimate in terms of time and expense, a site map is a must!
TAG saves everyone a headache down the road by taking the time to sit down with our clients and plan out a site map that includes the site structure, functions and scope. Projecting a vision for the site and nailing down the details in a site map is the best way to ensure a quality product that meets and exceeds expectations!