Basket (0)

Smartmailm Notice - do not publish


ATTENTION! If you have a recent Smart Mail account it is probably hosted on our new service. Please click here for help and settings for the new server

Planning Your Website

Websites  can have a lot of information on them, so it is important to plan your website so that information is presented in a user friendly way.

A lot of things that go into making a good website sound  a little like motherhood statements, but it is often surprising seeing the most basic of mistakes being repeated on many websites.

SmartSpace websites provide many tools and widgets which make the job of designing a good website relatively easy. Finding more about SmartSpace and what it can do, should make your job a lot easier

Planning Basics

When planning a website, here are some of the issues that you need to be aware of, to obtain a good result.

  • Always consider viewing the website from a client perspective.
  • Remember that many first time visitors to your site will come via search engines and will know nothing about you or what you do. What may be obvious to you, may not be fully understood by your prospective clients or members
  • Before going ahead and attempting to create your website, write down some of your priorities and attempt to put these in some order of importance
  • There is limited real estate on an website Home Page so  consider carefully how that will be used.
  • Before commencing, write a checklist with plenty of space between items for additions and alterations to your plans
  • In the planning process, stay focussed on your checklist and the priorities. They can become very complex things so try to keep it as simple as possible

Here are some of the practical things you will need to do:

  1. Decide what items and sub items will be in the menu system
    • SmartSpace can create multiple menus but the most important will be the "Top Menu" which is a small collection of basic links (eg Home, Contact, About) and the "Main Menu" which is a semi automated, full function menu system which can easily generate drop down lists
    • Many website disable the Top Menu and only use the Main Menu
    • You can use content or product categories to automatically generate a menu item with a sub menu.
    • Seriously consider what items should be in the menu system
    • These are the things that need nto be accessed from any page on your website
  2. Decide what items you want to appear on your Home page
    • Depending on the template selected, your choices may vary considerably
    • Be aware that SmartSpace uses content categories to group information together
    • Content panels on the Home page can include anything from content previews, to a collection of links or just about anything else
    • Think of your Home page as real estate - there is only so much you can fit onto a block of land and you don't necessarily wnat every square metre of the block covered with buildings
    • Your Home Page does not need to contain everything you need to tell the visitor, but it must retain them or draw them in and make it easy to find the information that they are looking for
  3. Put some thought into catgorising the information available on the website
    • All the content is any one category can be used to automatically create a menu
    • You can use existing categories or create categories of your own
    • Remember that some categories of content update automatically, whilst others depend on your numbering to show them in menus - select or create categories accordingly
    • Content must be published for it to appear to the public on the website
    • Where content in a category is ordered by number, content without a number is still viewable, but it will not appear in any menu lists or previews - you will need to link to it directly for the public to be able to view it
    • Be aware of both the content category id and the content id as these will be needed when you start setting up your menu system and front page
  4. Carefully consider the images and/or graphics that you will need across the website
    • Remember the old saying - An image is worth a thousand words - wise use of images can say a lot about your business in an instant
    • Often, you may need more than one version of the same image so that it will appear correctly in different situations - the website backend will usually have infomation on image sizes that you will need for the selected template framework
    • Each time you upload an image, a total of four versions of that image is created for different purposes
    • Normally the image will be resized to a managable size for both display and download purposes
    • Ensure that if you need an image to be the size you created it, untick the resize box before uploading
    • Store your images in albums which reflect the types of images you are uploading
    • Create albums as you need them - you can easily convert an album into a public slide show or gallery with minimal effort if you store your images in albums correctly
    • Usually (although not always), attaching images to content using the tools provided is the best way to include images in your content
  5. Create your content before you set up your website template
    • You may want to create pages with little or no content in them to ensure that your layout will be satisfactory
    • Take note of the ids of the content you create as you will probably need then when doing your template setup
    • Be aware fo the difference of category ids (this will produce a list of records) and page ids (this will produce one record)
    • When you are creating your website, Smartspace will provide specific advice on issues affecting the design and development of the website you are working on.

Extra Tools Needed When Creating a Website

  1. Image Editor
    • Most digital cameras and mobile phones come with simple image editors powerful enough to help create your website
    • You will need to be able to
      • Crop photos to size
      • Save images in web friendly formats
      • Be able to produce images with tranparent areas and specifically coloured background areas
      • Combine images, graphics and text
  2. Get The Firefox Web Browser
    • This is far superior to Internet Explorer in developing websites - it is faster and easier to use
    • Add ons are available which will help develop you site
    • The Web Developer Toolbar and Firebug are two addons which may be handy when developing your website
    • If you are in doubt as to how to go about your setup, phone or email SmartSpace support once you have a plan in place. They will provide more detail on what you need to do create a fully professional website.
  3. Digital Camera
    • Being able to take photos of operations performed by your business, products you make or sell, your staff and other elements of your operations can give clients a real window into your business
    • There are plenty of resources available on the internet which will help you take great photos
  4. Recording Device
    • Keep a file, diary or book with your plans and progress of the development of your website
    • You can also record ideas for future development
    • Follow your plans and record what has been done and not done


The Smartspace website framework system is designed to make great looking websites that can grow with your business, group or enterprise.

The structure of the website allows for separation of the design, content and style of the website.

Smartspace support is there to assist in the website development and ongoing maintenance, but it is important that good decisions are made early in the development process, to ensure that the website is an effective business tool in the long term, not just for a short period after you get it up and running

Keyword Search

Search Content:
© 2024 Smart Service Systems Terms and Conditions of Use Privacy Policy A Smartspace Website Log In