Website Navigation

Web Publishing Tools, Techniques and Methods

Many web publishing tools provide functionality to layout the overall structure of a website using a graphical user interface.

A website layout consists of a hierarchy of web pages with the home page appearing at the top and "children" and "grandchildren" underneath.  Using this website blueprint, the web publishing tool is able to dynamically create navigation menus.

In the example shown below, the web authoring tool would automatically generate a menu for the home page that is comprised of three menu items: "About Us", "Products" and "Services". Similarly a list of products (i.e. A, B, C, D) would be dynamically created on the "Products" web page.

The advantage of using a Web Publishing Tool that can generated menus is that all hyperlinks are maintained when pages are added, deleted or moved to a different location in the web.  This saves development and maintenance effort and helps to prevent those dreaded "dead links"!

Website Hierarchy

Website Hierarchy

At the bottom level of the web, it is customary to list the "siblings" in a menu to allow visitors to navigate between related pages (e.g. related products).

Many Web Publishing Tools will automatically create "Back", "Up" and "Next" hyperlink buttons as in the web page that you are currently viewing.  Some web authoring tools will also create Site Maps.

Web Authoring Tools will also allow you to create hyperlinks from any page in your website to a page in the same web or outside the web (example: red arrow in above diagram).

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