Is this site's navigation intuitive?

You Need Good Site Navigation

Good site navigation can make or break your website. Your visitors need to be able to find the pages on your site easily. On longer pages you may also wish to provide direct links to information that is on a different part of the page, or you may wish to link to specific information on another page, bring it up at the top of the view port. On a long page you may also wish to provide a link back to the top of the page.

These things are all easy to do within your editor environment but need to be planned in advance. You can always add links later, but having the mapping of your site in mind will make things easier.

Top Navigation Bar

If your site is only a few pages a horizontal nav bar at the top of the page will probably be enough. It is still an option with larger sites through drop-down menus. All navigation should be in unordered lists. These can be styled to fit in with your site design. 

With horizontal nav bars sometimes the bar is duplicated at the bottom of the page. Other times there is other common content listed at the bottom of the page, like contact information, privacy policy, or terms of service.

A Nav Pane

Often the primary site navigation is in a pane to the left or right, particularly for larger sites. This allows for more room for links than a standard (read easy) horizontal nav bar without drop-down menus. The left or right column position may also be easier for your visitors to find and use.

Combination of Bar and Pane

Many larger sites use a combination of the two options. More common but less frequently used links are put into the horizontal bar. These would be like a FAQ, contact information page, an about us or the company page, or various other pages that are needed but not on the main topic of the site. Then in the nav pane links to pages on the primary topic of the site would be presented.

If you have your site planned well you can have most of your navigation in place in a file that you can use as a master page. You will open this page and do a 'save as' your new page when you build an additional page for your site. Your layout and nav items can be in place rather than having to add them with each page. There are other more advanced options for dealing with your navigation section if your planned site will be large and updated frequently.

Your site needs to be easy to get around. This is accomplished by a comprehensive navigation system that is consistent from page to page. No page on your site should be more than three clicks from any other page, and ideally there should be a direct link from each page to every other page on your site. A site that is easy to navigate will hold your visitors longer and thus perform better.

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