If you are new to website building, it’s important to understand what is the anatomy of a website. Without this knowledge, you’ll be blasting your content all over the page which can be very confusing, thus leading to a bad user experience for the readers. In this article, let’s go behind the scene to check out the elements that make a good website structure.
A website has most of these features (if not all) and they serve a specific purpose to communicate with readers about your online presence.
#1 – Header
The header is the top bar that sits above the content and it is essentially known for building online branding. In other words, it gives readers a general impression when they land on a website. Some use logos, header images or a combination of both.
Attractive images with captivating tagline are some of the factors that make readers come back to your site. Therefore, it’s worth spending some time to create a good quality header to reflect the brand of your website.
#2 – Menu
Beneath the header is a horizontal bar known as the primary menu. It contains the main topics or pages of a website and serves as a primary bearing for readers when they browse around.
Unless you have a huge website, keeping the menu in less than 8 topics or pages will make the menu bar looks less cluttered. If you want to accommodate more pages, check your WordPress theme to see if it allows you to extend a secondary or tertiary menu that usually sit under the primary bar.
#3 – Breadcrumbs
This feature basically tells the reader where they are on the website and how they can trace their navigation back to the main pages. For example, when you see Home/Website Building/Website Anatomy, it tells a reader that he or she is navigating from the ‘Homepage’, through ‘Website Building’ category before landing on the ‘Website Anatomy’ post.
Most WordPress themes come with breadcrumbs feature so do make sure you activate it within the settings.
#4 – Content
This area is where you display your web content. Creating a good quality content should always be the main focus when starting an online business and it should encompass some of these elements;
- A HI title, H2 or H3 subheadings followed by segments of short paragraphs.
- Informational content that derives from proper keyword research and analysis (AVOID keyword stuffing).
- Videos and images that are relevant to the topic of discussion (AVOID video or image stuffing).
- Internal and external links to give more information resources to the content (AVOID buying links).
- Call-to-action to lead readers to your website goals.
- Commenting area to allow reader engagement; the more people leave comments on your blog, the better quality your content becomes.
As for word counts, the general recommendation to engage comfortably with the readers is between 600 to 1000 words. Tips; the more you write, the better quality your content becomes. A content width of more than 30 words tends to make reading a bit difficult. Hence some themes offer sidebar columns to make the width smaller.
When reading from a mobile device, you’ll find that the main content occupies the entire width and whatever items that are placed on the sidebar will be pushed towards the end of the screen. However, this only applies if the theme is mobile responsive.
#5 – Sidebar
The sidebar feature is basically a column that resides on the left, right or below the content area. When the primary menu doesn’t have what the readers are looking for, chances are they might find it within the sidebar. Widgets (specific command boxes) are used to add functions into this column and they can display a variety of information such as;
- The biography and social profiles of the author.
- Newsletter signup.
- Testimonials from clients.
- Teaser to other popular articles.
- Resource pages.
- Recent comments on blog posts.
- Event updates on a calendar widget.
Having said that, you do not need to include all of the above. Remember, a cluttered sidebar especially one that is stuffed with advertisements will make your website look ‘sales-aggressive’ and that tends to drive people away from your site.
#6 – Footer
Every Space on a Website Counts
So there you have it, the anatomical breakdowns of a website and the important roles of each element to make every space in the website counts with helpful information. Some of the orientation might differ according to theme selection, but they shouldn’t be too far off from what I have just described.
So, are you ready to put your anatomy knowledge into practice? The best platform to get started is to use a WordPress. If you haven’t got one yet, simply create a domain name using the SiteRubix platform to launch your website within minutes. Have fun!
If you need any help creating a blog or a business website with WordPress, just leave your questions in the comment area below and I’ll get back to you.