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Planning the Home Page Writing for the Web The Internet Writer’s Handbook 2/e
Contents • Background • Site introduction • Links
Background The Internet Writer’s Handbook 2/e
Purpose of the Home Page • An introduction to your site that • Sets the tone • Creates a first impression
Purpose of the Home Page • The location of the main menu/table of contents, where readers can find information. • A home base to which readers can return when they are lost.
Home Page Filename • Home.html • Index.html • Contents.html
Logo Site name What’s new Purpose Scope Audience Annotated menu Navigation Date Author Sponsor Footer/contact info Home Page Checklist
Site index Table of contents Site map Shortcuts Search engine Site help/guide Glossary What’s new Mission About us Author info Page for different browsers Printer-friendly page Links to the Following
Home Page Elements • Top of page: • Banner/logo/graphic • Site title • Navigation • Introduction • Bottom of page • Footer/contact information
Techniques to Use • Keep the home page simple. • Focus on the purpose of your site.
Techniques to Use • Keep the home page one screen long. • Put the important information within the focal point. Draw people’s eyes to it.
Scrolling • Minimize the need to scroll by fitting information on one screen. • Put the most important information at the top.
Techniques to Use • Size page so it fits within the screen dimensions. • Balance information. • Group related information.
Techniques to Use • Include a link to the home page from every page in your site.
Site Introduction The Internet Writer’s Handbook 2/e
Top of Page • Every page should make it clear • What the page is about • How it relates to the site as a whole • What is available • Who is responsible for the info • How to get there (navigation)
Writing and Formatting Page Introductions • Word each introduction the same. • Format each introduction the same.
Purpose of Site Introduction • Get attention by providing a hook. • Give readers the idea of the • Purpose • Scope • Target audience • Content • Briefly describe contents (advance organizer).
Purpose • Help readers decide whether to continue reading. • Attract Web “spiders” that create keyword databases for search engines.
Ways to Begin • Welcome. • Invitation to explore the site, interact, participate. • Hook to get attention.
Ways to Begin • Why site is important. • Site’s benefits. • Who is responsible for the site. • Statement of how often the site is maintained.
Techniques to Use • Get right to the point. • Use direct, simple sentences. • Use lively text. • Use links immediately. • Keep it short.
Parts of the Introduction • Purpose • Scope • Audience
Purpose Statement • State the purpose of the Web site--your objectives. • The purpose of this site is to . . .
Scope Statement • State what is and what is not covered in your site. • Explain your criteria for including and excluding information. • Be specific.
Audience • Describe intended primary audience.
Intros to Avoid • Ads • Counters • Apologies • Dull facts or quotes • Jumping right into the content
Intros to Avoid • Hi, I’m . . . • Lists of awards you have received • Requiring registration • Requiring that readers adjust their browsers • Overemphasis on self
Overdone Phrases to Avoid • I hope that. . . • This site focuses on. . . • This site is designed to. . . • This site is intended to. . .
Links The Internet Writer’s Handbook 2/e
Links to Include • Link to each major Web page in your site. • Annotate menu items.
Link to the Following • Introduction (if long) • The following optional sections: • Mission statement • What’s New (if long) • Glossary • Site map or index • Site help • About us • Pages for separate audiences • Table of Contents (if long)
Example • Links for various audience types
Table of Contents • Use to show: • The length of the document. • Organization and hierarchy of topics and subtopics. • Type of information. • Overview or map of site. • If a viewer has visited all topics.
Table of Contents: Organization • Pick a logical organization: • Simple to complex • Alphabetical, etc. • Keep the structure fairly shallow (no more than three links deep). • Have no more than about fifteen choices for any one group of topics. • Consider providing several tables of contents, each organized in a different way.
Writing a Separate Table of Contents Page • Put Table of Contents in the page title to help readers when they refer to their bookmarks ( ____ Table of Contents Page or Table of Contents: ______ ). • This name will also appear at the top of the browser.
Linking to the Table of Contents • Always provide a link to the table of contents on each Web page.