What Pages Does My Website Need?

silly graphic image with labels for pages that are necessary

Your website can have as many web pages as YOU desire. However, should your website contain several web pages, you most likely will NOT need to display a link to every web page on the navigation (or menu) bar of your website. As one web architect stated, “too many choices can be as paralysing to your website visitors as too little choice.”

According to suggestions from Information Architecture (IA), your website’s navigation bar should have links offer to at least the following web pages;
1. Product/Service
2. About
3. Contact
4. Product/Service News
5. Home (a link to your loading page)

navigtion_image02Keep your navigation links specific as to what the pages contain. Example: should you decide to add a blog to your website, simply adding a link titled “Blog” to your navigation bar will help keep your website logically and consistently named, allowing your visitors to make successful guesses about where to find the information they seek from your site.

The acronym KISS really does apply to your website navigation bar.

If your website should grow beyond, say, 24 pages, your website visitors will expect a way to be able to search your website. Word Press themes offer an easy way of doing this… and, hiding this option should you NOT need “Search”.

For more information on website hierarchies, I recommend you read the information articles posted at the following websites:
Information architecture
Intelligent site structure for better SEO
Web Style Guide 3rd edition

15 Tips to Help You Select a Domain Name

PickDomainName-image01Be sure to give your domain name clear consideration so your business won’t end up on a list of the worst domain names for this year.

If you’re not sure what I’m referring to, take and read this email I received back in 2007: The Top 10 Worst URLs

The following are 15 tips to get you started, to pick a domain name:

1.) Use .com: The .com is still being considered top-level domain, and is by far the most widely accepted extension for domain names.

If you are looking for a domain name for a business then it is even more important to choose a .com for your domain name. The credibility boost that a .com domain name brings will be to your advantage.

There are still some very successful businesses that have domain names ending in .net or .org but, as a new business do you really want to chance having a lot of your visitors forget that your domain name ending?

There are some exceptions to this rule of course. If you run a business that is based in a country other than the United States then it can be just as smart to use a local top-level domain like: .uk for the United Kingdom; .au for Australia; .ca for Canada; .de for Germany; .cn for China, etc.

2.) Easy Spelling: Select a domain name that only has one possible spelling. Many people cannot spell, so make your domain easy to spell for your website visitors, by picking a domain name without a confusing spelling.

3.) Shorter is Best: The shorter your domain name you select, the easier it is for your visitors to remember it. A short domain name makes it easier for your visitors to type it into their browser… and, the easier it will be for them to tell others about your domain name.

4.) Commercial Appeal: An easy way to test if your choice of domain name might have commercial appeal or marketability is if that domain name will look good up on a billboard …or in a commercial. This is particularly important if you’re looking for a business domain name. And it’s as important for your personal domain names too.

5.) No Hyphens: Whenever possible avoid using a hyphenated domain name. I learned this one the hard way. The two main problems with hyphenated domain names are that many people forget where the hyphens go ….or they forget to use them altogether. Hyphenated domain names can also lose traffic to similar domain names that don’t have hyphens.

An example of this is:
A visitor wants to return to your domain name which is:
http://www.jacksonville-plumbing.com
but instead types in:
jacksonvilleplumbing.com
they could end up being inadvertently directed to your competition’s website.

6.) Other Domain Extensions: If you find the perfect domain name ending in .com then it MIGHT be wise to buy other common domain extensions that are available as well. You could then use them to redirect visitors to your domain name that ends in .com.

For example, if you are able to purchase the domain name jacksonvilleplumbing.com and you definitely have long term plans for your website, then it would probably be a smart idea to go register Jacksonvilleplumbing.net too. Then just redirect the non .com domains to your .com domain name.

This has two benefits:

  1. when people type in jacksonvilleplumbing.net they will automatically be redirect to jacksonvilleplumbing.com and
  2. it will avoid other businesses from purchasing a domain name that is the same as yours but using the different domain extension …and potentially stealing traffic and potential customers from you.

7.) Keyword Loaded: Select a domain name that uses keywords that are related to your topic. If your website sells a plumbers services then try and choose a domain name that contains the word “plumber” in the domain name.

8.) Geographical Distinct: If your website is for a local business, then you can use your geographic location in your domain name. An example would be jacksonvilleplumber.com

9.) Avoid Numeral Substitutions: Using numbers in a domain can work alright, but stay away from substituting common words with numbers. Numbers in a domain name can often be confusing and hard to remember. Examples of this are: do NOT use the numeral “4? instead of “for” or “2? instead of “to”, etc.

10.) Avoid Slang: Stay away from slang spellings of words for the same reasons that you should stay away from substituting numbers detailed previously. Its one thing to think up a great brand name that’s easy to remember, and it’s definitely another to buy a domain name that uses “u” instead of “you”.

11.) Zero vs Letter O: The number “0? is often times mistaken for the letter “O” …and vice versa. Make sure there is no confusion between the two in your selected domain name!

12.) Easily Branded: Back in 1995, no one had even heard of “Google” yet now this is an exceedingly valuable domain name. Google.com is now a well branded name. Though, don’t get too carried away with being clever. It’s just that a ‘brandable’ domain name can go a long way in making your website successful.

13.) Be Unique: The more unique a domain name is then the easier it is to remember. Just remember to stay within the limits of the other rules already stated above when searching for your unique domain name. If you can be clever and pull it off, finding a unique domain name could pay off generously in the future.

14.) Easily Understood: When a person reads or hears your domain’s name for the first time it should be understand what your website is all about. Of course, there is often a give-and-take between finding a domain name that is easily understood and one that is easily branded too. Recalling a domain name easily after having heard it just once means you have found a memorable easy to understand domain name.

15.) Copyright Issues: Always stay clear of domain names that are infringing on an existing business in order to avoid infringing on another person’s copyright.

Be sure to give your domain name clear consideration so your business won’t end up on a list of the worst domain names for this year. If you’re not sure what I’m referring to, take and read this email I received back in 2007: The Top 10 Worst URLs.

If you have friends or family members that you can easily talk with, try “bouncing” some of your ideas “off” them. You could start by thinking of your ideal domain name and then throw out as many words and combination of words related to your ideal domain name as possible. Sooner or later someone is bound to have a flash of genius, and help you discover a great domain name!


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