Organise your information

Every website needs a well defined folder structure.

Information for your website

Have a look at the information for your website. How is it organised? Does it break down naturally into sections and sub-sections? Is it organised at all? If not, your first job must be to get it into some kind of organised shape. You can begin by sketching out the overall structure of the required information in a diagram that looks a bit like a family tree:

Folder Structure

If your information is well organised it will be much easier to create a website with a good structure which will help with the navigation, see Navigation and menus.

About folder structures

Websites can be structured in many ways using various folder structures. A few common types are explained here:

Spiders web

This is where a site consists of a number of pages and each page is linked to all the others, meaning that you can navigate the site in any order you wish.

spider-folder-structure
Forced march

This is where a site consists of a set number of pages which you can only see in a specific order. A good example of this kind of site might be an ISP's registration site where you are taken through various pages i.e. choosing a level of service, then personal details, then bank details, then a confirmation screen, and then finally you are finished.

forced-march-folder-structure
Flat site

This is where a site has a home page that links down to a collection of sub-pages but it doesn't go any further than that. If it did it would be a pyramid type site.

flat-site-folder-structure
Pyramid

This is probably the most common type of structure used for a site and consists of a single homepage that links to multiple sub pages or sections which in turn link on to more, producing a pyramid  shaped hierarchy

pyramid-folder-structure

Folders in Plone

Using the Plone CMS you can easily create a simple, nested structure for your folders. Each folder you create can contain multiple pages, multiple sub-folders or a combination of the two. Your folder structure, if well defined, will help with the navigation of your website. Folders and their contents are always listed in the navigation menu - like the one on the left of this page - unless you request them to be excluded. See Navigation and menus for more information.