Web Design Question and Opinions

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  • Updated 10 years ago
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My web site is growing. I am at 30 pages now and I had to remove some things on my menu. I am wondering should I add drop down menus? I have added a site map so that people can see every thing when they click there.

Or should I target my site more and if I have more stuff create a second site even more targeted.

My personal opinion is that the bigger the site the better because I will have more information for people to use more content and more key words for the search engines to pick up and more search engine traffic because my site will macth more key words.

My web site right now is very targeted and I don't think I would have the time for a second site.

So I am just thinking that I should find a way to improve navigation so that everything is accessible and easy to find. If anyone has experience with drop down menus it would be much appreciated.

I am just thinking out loud, does any one have any ideas?

Thanks

Casey Stubbs--Winners Edge Trading
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Casey Stubbs

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Posted 10 years ago

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Kershnee

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Hi Casey,

Right now we do not support drop down menus. Although it is probably not quite what you have in mind, here is a link to a tutorial which gives you an alternative way to handle sub-pages: Creating Subpages - http://www.synthasite.com/tutorials/c...

It is also possible to add a drop down list to the body region of your page using custom HTML. Here is a link to an article that tells you how to do it: http://personal-computer-tutor.com/dr...

To implement this in SynthaSite you would:

1. Drag and drop an HTML widget onto your page
2. Paste the code they give you into the HTML editor
3. Edit the code to replace their examples with the items you want on your list. You need to edit the URLs and the display text.
4. If the items on the list are links to other websites, paste the URLs for each website into the example code. If the items on the list are pages in your site, you need to replace the URLs in the example code with the URLs of your pages. The easiest way to get the URLs is to publish your site and copy them from your browser window. Paste them into the code and republish your site.

I did a quick test run with the code provided in the link I shared with you above, and it seemed to work well. Please get back to me if you have any trouble creating your drop down list and I will try to help you to get it working.
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Peter

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Hello Casey,

Your site is very impressive and moving along quickly. Well done.

I think that you're right keeping your project on one site. It certainly helps the ranking and throughput. You've realised that navigation is a key element and the horizontal menu is finite. It looks as if you've reached its limit.

I would consider a vertical menu rather than a drop down. The vertical option is easier if you're altering frequently as this is offered in various style selections. You can look at the FAQ on style sheets to identify which styles have vertical menus see http://www.synthasite.com/synthasite-.... Drop down menus on a horizontal axis can still run out of horizontal space and you're back in the same situation. Your other option is a vertical menu with popouts. This would allow you to increase your main categories and also add extra popouts as sub-categories evolve.
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Casey Stubbs

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Peter What is a popout is that like a drop down menu?
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Peter

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It's the same sort of thing but happens in effect from the categories of the vertical menu and displays the sub-categories. It's like tilting your head 90 degrees while looking at a drop-down.

Casey I've just been doing some research on effectiveness of various types of menu structure. The most model successful seems to be what they call a wide and shallow structure.rather than a classical increasing hierarchical structure if you go down to 3-8 degrees it is more successful to have a broad spread of primary categories, followed by a reduced level in the mid tiers and opening up again in the final tier. The analogy : a tree structure. A large network of branches, slender trunk and followed by a broad assembly of roots. This was all researched in the 90's and early this decade it seems. So if that model holds true then you've concurred with the researchers :) haven't got around to the "prove it" discussions yet.
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Cosmic Sensorium

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casey, i think your site is doing great since last i visited.

aside from what's already been said, and considering i have a lot to learn on the subject, i think that the choice of menu depends mainly on (1) the amount of content and sections you are planning to have, (2) how much of your content you want to be accessible from any given page, and (3) how descriptive you want your menus to be. i guess that one way to think about building internal links in your site is by considering that these links and the text in proximity are counted as keywords by crawlers like googlebot. in this case, having internal links within your site's content can help you reduce menu space while potentially improving site ranking with use of different relevant keywords.

considering that you seem to want most of your pages to be accessible through one master menu, an expanding menu can be a good option. here's a tutorial for making one with just html and css: http://www.alistapart.com/articles/ho...

another option might be to prioritize which sections you want in your main menu, and have this main menu on every page (for example, as a horizontal menu). you can then have vertical menus with links to pages within each section, and additional links in the content.

over at The Cosmic Sensorium, i have the main sections listed in the top horizontal menu, and then at the very bottom of the page, I created a sort of footer bar with links to additional sections. within each section, i have links to subsections (eg, going to the photography page has links to each photography set). i also have implemented a google search widget at both the homepage and the blog (which are my 2 most common landing pages).
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Casey Stubbs

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Thanks for your help.
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Casey Stubbs

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I am afraid to change my style sheet because I have a custom banner and when I click to change they style sheet there is a warning message that I will lose my banner.
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Monique, VP of Customer Support

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If you change the style you will have to reapply your banner, if the new style supports banner images. So this is something to consider when changing styles.
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Mstgrr

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Hi Casey,

I'll give you my thoughts from a purely web design perspective- I can't begin to compete with the technical advice that you've been given thus far.

My advice would be to avoid having too many menu items- as a rule of thumb, visitors can digest a maximum of 7 or 8 items. Too many can be confusing. Think about menu items in terms of 'sections' rather than 'pages'. The language used to label each menu item is important, it needs to clearly indicate what your visitor is going to find on those pages.

For example, your menu might read like this: Home, About, School, Recommendations, Articles, and Contact. In addition, you can make your Home page more effective by moving bio info out into the 'About' section, and adding information like 'Trade-of-the-day' and the 'E-book'. Play with the new Layout tool and use the 2 or 3 column options to neatly display various bits of information. To further enhance the site, you can create "index" pages for each of the major sections (eg. School). By this I mean a mini-home page - each 'section' can operate like a mini-site but without having to build a whole new site from scratch.

If you still feel strongly that you'd like to include more items in your primary menu, I'd suggest that you try the sister Style to the one you're currently using - it's called 'BareNecessities' and is identical other than the left-hand menu bar. Yes, the down-side of changing Style is that you'll need to update the banner image on all your pages, sorry. This is a limitation that you'll need to factor into your decision.

Some of these concepts are tricky to explain. I hope that this helps you refine your site to something even more impressive!

Good luck!

Tracy
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Casey Stubbs

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Thanks Tracy, I am considering all your advice.
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Casey Stubbs

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Everyone thanks for the advice. I just updated my site and I decided to follow Tracy's advice and have a mini site. I looked at the drop down tutorial that cosmic sent and It was a bit too advanced for me I will be open to dropdowns if I can find a tool that will do all the work for me. I also looked at the vertical style menus and I may try that. I am for the moment going to test this new style and see how the traffic flows through my site. I want to see if I get people to the recommended section and if they are clicking. I am also wondering if I chould call the new tab "recommended" or "services" I tried putting them together but it was to long.

I am also considering putting the calender ebook and newsletter on another mini page.

Thanks again and let me know what you think of the changes.

Casey Stubbs--Winners Edge Trading