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Why Should You Create A Sitemap Before Starting Visual Design

A sitemap is a an effective tool for planning a website and organizing the site content.

The sitemap provides a visual snapshot of website architecture so that teams can create positive online experiences. It may be tempting to rush right to design without devising a map, but don't fall into the trap. A sitemap will organize your workflow and save you time on every build.

What is a sitemap?

It is a flow chart that communicates information about the website architecture, such as navigation, pages, sections, and how the content is connected. Blocks are used to represent pages, and the lines show how pages link along the user path.

What are the advantages of using a sitemap to design a website?

A sitemap provides a visual snapshot of the website architecture so that teams can create positive online experiences.

Here are the benefits of a sitemap:

  1. Plans How the Site Will Work
  2. Optimizes your site for usability
  3. Compels the SEO Process
  4. Increases Project Collaboration
  5. Informs CopyWriter
  6. Helps the Designer
  7. Instructs the Developer

It is in the website planning that you can connect with your client and get into the issue at hand. A sitemap helps the client, content writer, and web designer get on the same page. Creating a staggeringly extraordinary website, or just a great one, starts with a site map. This foundational diagram sets the stage for collaboration and makes the design and development process go smoothly.

What does a sitemap look like?

A sitemap is a diagram or flow chart. It can be as simple as a list, but having a pictorial representation is helpful. This one was created using slickplan.

They have tons of website planning tools.

Sitemap generated by slickplan

Here is another sitemap created in Sketch. There are several ways to go about it. The most important part of the process is thinking about the site from the user journey to keyword research as well as the aesthetic.

Reach out to me if you have any tips to share. I'd love to hear from you.

Written By Michelle Hansen