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Website Workout: Paging All Others

– Posted in: Design

Throughout our website workout, we’ve examined the purpose of your website–the first and most important thing you must answer–talked about its general design, and explored common pages: Home (in two posts), About, and Contact. Today we conclude the workout by looking at other pages that may be on your site.

If the purpose of your site is primarily to blog, then you may not need any additional pages. In all other situations, you will need something more. Some additional page options:

  • Descriptions of Products or Services
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  • Articles (Helpful information that is always available, i.e., not in a blog)
  • Image Galleries
  • Policies and Other Legal Notices

Let’s take a brief look at each of these.

Descriptions of Products or Services

This is the most common type of additional page found on any website. There may be one product–such as a book the author has written–or tens of thousands. Services are usually simple, as many businesses offering services are offering one type of thing. Still, the contractor offering home repair services might have different pages for different categories, such as plumbing, electrical, and others.

Products may need multiple pages. Usually, sites provide a list of related products, but people expect to click for more information about the specific item. Even then, there are sometimes tabbed areas for a general description; specs; information on warranty, installation, or shipping; and sometimes even reviews.

Elaborate or simple, product and service pages need to convey sufficient facts about the item, and have copy that persuades the visitor to become a customer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

A well-done Frequently Asked Questions page (or section) can satisfy peoples’ need for additional information without making them call or write. It can also convey important information about your policies and procedures (such as handling returns), providing visitors with transparency as they deal with you.

FAQs can also be useful for delivering more information about your products or services, particularly if there are only a few. Rather than filling a page with loads of details or a long list of features, a FAQ can address specific concerns in a friendly manner, and continue to persuade the visitor to make a purchase.

Articles

Although you may have a searchable blog full of good information, there may be some knowledge that you want always available and easily accessed. Putting it on a page that is accessed through your menus keeps that data handy.

You may also want pages that highlight particular blog posts or categories, often with an excerpt of the contents. This is another way to provide your visitors ready access to key information.

Image Galleries

Artists, photographers, and even people selling visually-oriented products may want pages devoted to their images. A gallery will typically have an array of small-sized images with a means to bring up the selected image in full size, and an easy way to switch to the next one. Some will feature a rotating slide show.

As always, the purpose is to showcase the material to capture the interest of the visitor.

Policies and Other Legal Notices

They are boring, and most visitors won’t want to read them, but you still may need various legal notices. This might just be a simple description of basic policies and procedures, a privacy statement, or an elaborate terms of service agreement. Usually, these pages are accessed through links in the footer, not the main navigation menu.

If you have a very basic site, you may not need any, but check out similar sites and see what they have. You might be able to use similar wording in a statement of your own.

Workout Exercises

Except for the notices, every page should be supporting your primary purpose, and compelling your visitor to take a specific action, whether that’s buying a product or visiting another page.

Make a schedule to visit every page in your site periodically to ensure that it is still doing what it needs to. Keep your website in shape with a regular workout, and it won’t end up weak or flabby.

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