Planning Your Website
The first step in creating your site is to plan it out. Answer the following questions:
What do I want my website to accomplish?
Who do I want to target with my website?
What do I think they are looking for on my site, right away?
How can I effectively organize the information that I want to share?
What can I do to keep it updated on a regular basis?
It is important to remember that we can never truly know who will stumble upon a website, and when. Each of the Army sites online are a small reflection of the work done worldwide. So while it is important to contain information specific to your Corps or program, it is also a good idea to provide links to the Divisional, Territorial and National websites, for users who may be looking for something specifically offered there.
Now that you have a better idea of the overall goals of your site, take time to plan out your page structure. This will make putting your pages together much easier, and will keep your site organized!
Decide on the pages you want to include information on, such as: Schedule, Staff, Salvation Army Links, Youth Programs, Beliefs, History, Community Projects, Social Service Forms, etc.
It is easiest on the website visitor if you can condense your individual pages into a few larger heading groups. "Schedule, Staff, Beliefs, Youth Programs & History" could all be under an "About Us" heading, while "Community Projects, Social Service Forms" etc, could fall under a "Services" category.
Below is a helpful way to organize your pages, utilizing the same parent/child page structure that you will see in the WebManager:
- About Us
- Youth Programs
- Senior Programs
- Character Building
- Community Outreach
- Social Service Information
- Online Donations
- Thrift Stores
Build the Content
Now that you've got the page structure set, begin filling out the content for each of the pages. For example: Do you want to have a short introduction message on the front page? Do you plan to have a small bio of the Corps officers/program leaders, or just contact information on a staff page? Do you have the photos or graphics that you'd like to include? A copy of your current schedule? PDF files of permission slips or social service forms that are to be made available?
This list can be as extensive as you make it, but it's a good idea to have these options decided before you begin building the site!
The next step: Logging In