What is a Sitemap in Web Design?

A sitemap is one of the most crucial aspects associated with developing and designing a website, but what is it exactly and why is it so essential to creating an effective, user-friendly site?

Sitemaps explained

A sitemap is akin to a blueprint or road map for a website. It’s a visual representation created by a web developer to detail the layout of a website and its contents before it gets produced.

Usually drawn on a large piece of paper, a sitemap consists of boxes to represent each web page, set out in a hierarchy, with the most important at the top. The boxes for each page will detail what content will be included, with arrows to show how each page connects to each other.

A web design company will also list on the sitemap what the goals and functions of the website will be, so close collaboration between the website management company and the client is key to creating a successful sitemap, and, therefore, an effective website.

Easier collaboration

Since there are often lots of parties involved with creating a website, including the client, developer, designer, web hosting company and, possibly, an account manager, having a sitemap that everyone agrees on before the website is created ensures it can be developed smoothly and seamlessly, with fewer problems along the way.

By creating a website’s layout on paper before it gets put together for real, the website design company can make sure each part of the site will flow together and function effectively so that no costly or time-consuming changes would need to be made once the site is in the actual design and development stages

Improved user-experience

A sitemap also provides benefits for anyone visiting a website, as it allows a user to see how the pages are organised in a hierarchical structure, to enable easy navigation and an improved user experience. Since the sitemap includes details of what will be included on the website, it also ensures there’s no room for any duplicate or superfluous content. This promotes a high-quality website that will be favoured by search engines.

Indeed, search engines and web crawlers look at sitemaps when determining the ranking of a site, so it’s a good move to have an effective sitemap as part of your SEO strategies.

If you’re looking for effective web design services in the South West UK, contact us at Real Internet today.

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