Basic Website Structure
A website is searchable by its domain name which usually structure as http://www.websitedoomainname.extension. You can omit the “http://” and just start with “www.” and still find the website you want to visit. The domain name contains lower case letters, numbers, underscore(s), dash, period, but not other special computer language used symbols such as “/”, “%”, “@”, etc... The owner of the website has to buy and register for a domain name that is not used or bought by other people. The domain name is usually paid yearly. Having a domain name is not enough. You need to have software to build the websites. And the website has to be hosted by a web server. Your web server integrates your domain name and programmed website, so others can find your
website by typing the domain name. A website contains many web pages. Most web pages contain the following basic sections:
- Header – This is where the logo stays and a container that has link to the home page, product research, site map, checkout, track your order, and login.
- Left or right Side Bar – The side bar(s) usually contain shortcuts where you can navigate to other pages of the site, such as, the search box, the register and login function of the site, and maybe the link to join membership. It can also contain sections for RSS (Real Simple Syndicate) feed, link(s) to other websites, or product(s) navigation, etc... It is up to the programmer or website owner as of how he or she wants the side bar(s) section customized.
- Center Column – In this section you will see the main content of each page depends where you are in the website. If you are in the home page, you will see the introduction of the website. If you are deep in other page, for example, the articles page, you may see links to all the articles so you can link further deeper into the website.
- Footer – the footer or the bottom section also has another navigation menu to other pages. You may also see the email address or the administrative information of the website. You can simply click the underlined email address to email the administrator and it will automatically direct you to your email server.
These sections of the site are usually fixed to all the web pages except the center column.
You can also find websites by doing a search engine keyword(s) search. Well known search engines are Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc... You enter keyword(s) of the item(s) or concept(s) you would like to see, a list of websites with its title and description will be listed. You browse and decide which website you want to visit. Just move the cursor to the title that attract you, and left click. There you go into a hosted website. You don’t even need to type in its domain name.
Most websites nowadays offer a lot of links in their websites. The links can link to a different page of the same website or it can link to other outside websites. The colors of the linked words or phrases are usually a different color than the default text color of the website. If you move the cursor to the linked words or phrases, with one click, it will automatically take you to the page or place the words or phrases was set to link to. If you are not sure if word(s) or phrases are linked or not, there is another way you can tell if words or phrases are linked. You move the cursor to the word(s) or phrases if maybe linked, if you see the normal cursor indicator changed to a “hand” sign, it usually means it is a link. Again, when you left click when the cursor turns into a hand sign, it will take you to a different page. You treat pictures and buttons the same way. By moving your cursor to the pictures or buttons on the web page, and left click. You will either go to a different page or get an enlarged pictures or the illustration of the picture.
If you click the link and the link takes you to a different website or web page you do not intend to go, you can always click the back page button < or > located on the top left corner of your browser screen. Some programs or web pages will let you use the back page button, some will not. Secured pages, such as credit card processing sites or bank account pages will not let you use the back page button. There is also a variation of links when you click. Some links will appear as a pop up window. Some links will go to a different page in the same window. Some links will open a different window. Some links will open in the same window but different tab. So pay attention to these variations. And remember, it is not you that cause some page to appear or disappear. It is the programming choices made by the website owner or the programmer.
When navigating on the web, try to remember the path you go through as you navigate websites. This way, you will have better understanding of where you are in the websites jungle. Sometimes you wonder how you get to a specific page and how you would like to go back to the original websites. These are all normal reactions and emotions when one browse the net. The www means World Wide Web. Navigating the web may appear complicated and cumbersome. Be patient, just keep trying. It is really not as bad as you get use to it. This www information super highway is here, and it will be here to stay. Once people get use to the www, it will be a very convenient way to get information, whether it is good or bad information. However, the information judgment is up to each person’s stipulation. I am here to give you basic information as how you can join this World Wide Web fashion. Be patient, be paperless, and be green.
Most Websites Contain the Following Web Pages
- Products (if it is a commercial site)
- About Us
- Contact Us
- Resources (usually appears on a professional site)
- Site Map
There may be more pages in a website. There may also be sub-pages in a website.
Home page is usually the front page of a website. It is the page that you will see the first time you go to that site. The home page usually contains welcome message and what the website all about. This is the presentation page like a front door of a house where people will either enter or move on to other places.
This page has all the products that the site sells. To buy a product, you just have to click the add cart button on the bottom of each product. After clicking that button you will be directed on the Cart Review Page, where in you can choose to delete other product that you don’t want to buy, or continue shopping, or checkout. When you chose to continue shopping you will be go back to the products page and add another product to your cart. When you’re done adding product you can choose the checkout. When you click the checkout button, you will be directed to Order Checkout page. From there you need to fill up the form where to ship the products and choose a shipping method. Then click next. After clicking next button you will need to fill up another form which is the “Bill To” form. You can simply click the checkbox “Same as Ship To” if you they have the same information or else fill it up with other information. Then choose a payment method. Then click next. That’s it, you are
Usually on the right side bar of this page you will see the shopping bag section. This section will show you the number of items you added on your shopping cart, and
the subtotal. You can also click the “View Cart” to go the product review page, and the “Checkout” to go to the order checkout page.
Don’t be surprised that some product pages are easy to navigate and to understand, while other product pages may be confusing. Websites are programmed by person. Each person is unique and observed certain characteristics. Therefore, each website is unique and different visitors can have different opinion of different websites. Whatever impression you have for a website or a web page, you are in control either to continue or exit the website or not.
About Us Page
This page contains the information about the organization owning the web site. The mission, the vision, and frequently asked questions sometimes are also included. Depending
on the purpose of each website and its associated company, the About Us page may have as simple as a mission statement or pages of contents that goes on and on.
Contact Us Page
From the menu itself, this page will guide you on how to contact the administrator of the organization. You can choose to email them using your email server by just clicking the blue underlined email address. Or you can simply fill out the form on the bottom with your name, email address, and message/comments/questions and click submit. Again, each website is different how the site administrator wants to be contacted. Just like every store has a different store hours and every person has a different business card format.
This page simply contains the list of links to the resources that the websites manager thinks you might be interested as well. You can simply click to the title on the list and it will automatically direct you to other websites.
Site Map Page
Site map is the list of all the pages of the web site accessible to you. This is to help you find pages on the web site easily.
Frequently asked questions page contains the questions and the answers. If you have question, navigate to this page to see if there is already an answer to your question. If you don’t see any answers to your question then you can contact the administrator (or usually refer as webmaster).
We hope this article will encourage you to surf the internet. However, don’t forget to get anti-virus protection. Now, you are free to go be a trooper. Internet, the World Wide Web, is fascinating. There is so much to explore. There is so much to know. Don’t be afraid. We are human that created technologies. Technology is here to help you, not against you. Computer price is lowered dramatically. Free WIFI access is becoming more popular. Smart phones are every where. There are all kinds of good reasons to own a piece of technology. Learning new things keeps your brain young. Life is wonderful. For us, we believe “your day is as perfect as your attitude.”