Lesson 14: The Main Pages of Your Website
Your website should have at least 4 pages.
1. Your Homepage
Your website´s homepage is the one which should be seen when users visit your domain - http://www.yourdomain.com - either by typing the complete URL in the address bar of their browsers or by following a hyperlink to your site anywhere on the world wide web.
Your homepage´s file name should be "index" - here´s why:
Your web server (that´s where your website is stored on the internet) always
automatically looks for an index file when someone tries
to access a directory URL. Your domain´s URL - http://www.yourdomain.com -
is the root directory of your website.
Other directory URLs are for example the subdirectories of your website, such as ...
While the file name of the default webpage in each directory of your site must always be index, its file name extension may be the most frequently used .html or alternatively .htm, .shtml, .php and some others.
The screenshot below shows you what happens if you don´t use an index file in any of the directories of your website. You see, a list of all the files within this directory will be displayed in your visitors´ browsers instead of a webpage (click for a larger view).
From the navigational point of view, your homepage should at least provide direct links to the most important pages and subdirectory index pages of your website.
2. A Sitemap for Your Website
A sitemap is pretty useful if you have a large website with dozens or hundreds of pages. It´s basically just a simple webpage with a well organized list of links to all internal pages of your site. This way, your visitors will have it easy to jump quickly to the pages they want and also the search engine spiders will crawl and possibly index your entire website much faster. Optionally, you may also include a short description for each linked webpage right below or beside its link.
It´s good to place a link to your sitemap inside the footer of all your webpages.
Below are examples of simple sitemaps. I have included copies of these pages in this
tutorial, so you do not have to be connected to the internet to view them.
3. Your Contact Information
Don´t hide behide an anonymous website. Every serious website owner has his / her contact information somewhere on the website. The best practice is to put it on a separate page, along with some additional information about you or your company.
You should at least provide your postal address and optionally your phone number, too. Don´t worry, very few people will actually call you. But especially when you are selling something, then a contact phone number is a must and it will add a lot of credibility to your website.
4. Legal Docoments
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