Architecting a New Website

When going through the redesign process, every single page is examined to determine its role and where it fits in the navigation, or the site’s architecture. Figuring out what and where pages exist is an important part of determining how your new website will both look and function. 

Let’s explore this more. 

What’s Website Architecture? 

Think of your website architecture like a road map with a starting point, end points, and various stops along the way, all connected by roads and pathways that can help you get to where you want to go. 

In a technical sense, your site architecture is the structure of your web pages. It is how your pages are organized and how your content is delivered across your website. It includes the hierarchy of pages as well as any technical considerations that can make it easy for both users and search engines to access the various parts of your website. 

Best Practices in Architecture

There are many resources that deep dive into this topic, but in general, good site architecture: 

  • Uses easy-to-understand URLs: the URLs or addresses you use for your pages should be easily identifiable. It’s best to avoid long or complicated page names with random letters and numbers, capitalization, or complicated naming conventions. 
  • Logical hierarchy: the pages on your website should be organized into logical categories and subcategories (i.e. folders)
  • Considers user experience: the links that exist within web pages help users (and search engines!) navigate throughout the website and find information. It’s important for links to be relevant and purposeful. Additionally, whenever a user lands on a web page, it’s critical that the experience is a good one. That means reduced page load times, pages that look and function at their best on mobile devices, and have clear pathways for users to find what they need or take action. 

Making Our Pages Work For Us

The process of architecting a new website involves reviewing each and every page on Wilkes.edu and determining: 

  • What content can be updated or transformed to better serve users? 
  • What content is no longer being used and can be archived? 
  • What content is duplicated and can be consolidated? 
  • What content can be combined to make it easier for users and search engines to find what they’re looking for? 

This act of archiving, migrating, rewriting, removing, and reworking content is a time consuming process and one that involves multiple team members.

The goal is to create a website that can answer users’ questions and guide them to take actions in as few steps as possible. We’re focused on creating a new version of Wilkes.edu that’s easy to navigate and explore. 

What’s Happening with Our Architecture? 

Currently, our team is in the process of constructing our new site architecture and migrating our existing content from Wilkes.edu so that upon launch, we’ll have a complete site that includes all of our key content in such a way that it’s easy to locate and interact with. 

After the site has gone live and our website needs updates, we’ll continue to consider and prioritize best practices in site architecture to make sure the new Wilkes.edu stays organized and offers a great user experience. 

Questions or comments regarding the redesign may be directed to:

Brittany Terpstra
Associate Director of Web Services
brittany.terpstra@wilkes.edu

Kim Bower-Spence
Executive Director of Marketing
kimberly.bowerspence@wilkes.edu