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Why a wiki?

A wiki is a content management system, that is to say it provides the ability to create and organise website pages. "PmWiki" is the content management software used, it has a template based page layout, easy text based editing, and is straight forward to install, update, and administer.

What we do

  • provide wiki based websites for community group, personal, and small business use.
  • support community groups with our offer to set up their websites for free, and provide full documentation for feeding and watering the website.
  • provide ongoing maintenance, eg maintaining the current version of the wiki software and add-ons, if needed, at very reasonable rates, but its just as easy to do it yourself.
  • provide training so you can
    • update content yourself
    • maintain the website yourself
  • can help you set up your own home network based intranet. A wiki is the ideal flexible solution for your intranet.

What is important

Your website is about

  • usability: content and navigation.

and

Content

Content is what brings visitors to your site, keeps them on your site, and brings them back to your site. Content is value.

Content needs to be current, well written, and with a navigational structure or network.

Navigation

Navigation is how people use your site. Visitors to your site want to be able to find what they need quickly and easily.

To find information, it must be present - see content above, and ideally located obviously and with a minimum of clicking and page refreshes. This is where a wiki comes into its own. As well as a mandatory search function, any or all of an index, site map, categories (or tags), menus such as a sidebar, topbar, or similar, assist in finding out what is available and where, hyperlinks provide a network of cross references to enable people browsing to follow their own interests.

Utility

Can your visitors (customers, group members)

  • find the information they want? (see navigation)
  • contact you
  • purchase or pay for your product or service (if applicable)
  • obtain value from your website

Do your visitors (customers, group members)

  • have a reason to return to (revisit) your site?
  • have the opportunity to link to it
  • have a reason to recommend it to others?

Layout and structure

A familiar paradigm for your website will assist your visitors to find the information, products, and services they want, from you.

A good starting point is the following template, which can be varied as required.

Logo

Title
Header menu
Side

bar

Body of page

Website content

Footer

The logo shows your branding, and facilitates navigation back to the home page.
The title can be your full company name, club name, or website name, with additional branding, slogans, etc.
The header menu, if used, is conventionally along the lines of Home | Products | Services | Location | Contact | About | Search.
The sidebar can be your primary navigation, or can be sub navigation within a subject from the header. menu.
The footer can be used for additional links, perhaps (if not placed elsewhere) Contact | About | Sitemap | Index.

Logo

Title
Header menu
Body of page

Website content

Footer

Variations on structure can include

  • sidebar on right
  • sidebar or header menu only
  • footer menu instead of sidebar or header menu

Practices to avoid

  • floating menus that move to a fixed place in the view port
  • drop down menus
  • pages that require horizontal scrolling
  • pages that require vertical scrolling
  • wastage of screen space with large margins

Good practices

  • flexible layout that caters for a variety of screen sizes and resolution
  • print page contents, do not print menus, sidebars, and other 'website only' display or navigation information
  • keep page size to that which requires no vertical scrolling on, say, a 1024 x 768 pixel screen
  • Anatomy Of A Perfect Landing Page

Security

  • provide security to prevent spamming if write internet access is enabled

To come

readers and writers

standards

accessibility

usability

Page last modified on 2014 Nov 26 01:12

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