Beyond a typical website’s homepage are its internal pages. These pages make up the framework of a site, organized in a hierarchical structure of parent and child pages that is represented in the site’s navigation menus. This makes pages ideal for relatively static content like “About,” “Our Initiatives” or “Get Involved.”
Internal pages may also act as containers for more dynamic content, like posts used for news, events or people profiles. (These post types are all available in the WashU Web Theme.)
Planning your site’s pages
As you’re mapping out your website and adding new pages, consider these important features of each page:
- Location: Consider where the page appears in the site architecture. Top-level pages appear in the main navigation; child pages are listed in the sub-navigation on the side. List pages in a logical order, such as by chronology or importance, or in alphabetical order. It’s usually best to create an outline of your site to test ideas before actually adding pages. Remember to organize pages in a way that makes sense for your audience.
- Title: Make page names descriptive and specific. On a mobile device, visitors can’t easily see a pages’s location, so you may not rely on a page’s location to convey important information about its content. Consider: Will users understand what a page is about if they click to it directly from a Google search on a mobile phone (while patting their head and rubbing their belly)?
- Content: Content consists of the information — including text, images and links — on a page. Consider your objectives, and focus on one clear message or group of related messages per page. Create blocks of content that guide your visitor’s attention through the page. You can accomplish this using styles like subheadings and bullet points or using a page builder such as Tailor to create more visual layouts.
Deciding how much content to include
Effective internal pages have one clear message or group of related messages. If a page has child pages, it may provide an introduction to all of the content in that section. Then, as you drill down to child pages, the content and message get more specific.
Find the right balance when separating content onto different pages. Long pages can be overwhelming, but many separate pages can require unnecessary clicking or cause visitors to miss important information.