The very first aspect of creating a magazine style site like this is really being able to identify your main topics. Often a blog doesn’t have main topics, it just has to do with whatever the blogger is thinking about. Niche blog sites are about a specific topic but on a magazine style site, it’s often about a number of different topics that are related or interrelated.
Why Identifying the Main Topics Is Important
Knowing the main topics can be essential to planning and designing a magazine style site. And that’s important for a couple of reasons, one of them is that we’ll use it to create site structure.
By site structure, I really mean URL structure, sort of a simple way of navigating around the site so it’ll be a babyofcolor.com/kids/ and then there’ll be a subcategory then slash and name of the article. So it’ll have a nice, well-structured URL which is very helpful for SEO. It also helps you scope and clarify what your site is about.
One of the things that we’ll be adding to this menu is a section for moms. As it turns out a bunch of articles have already been prepared that are directed at moms and don’t really fit comfortably under these categories. Having a set of main topics that encompasses the range of things that you want to talk about is essential and along with that it’s generally important to keep the number down to less than 10.
Main Topics and Sub Topics
In order to control the number of main topics, you can have some primary core topics as in this case: Planning, Pregnancy, Babies and Toddlers. They are sort of the fundamental core topics of the site. Then you’d have additional related topics like Kids, Teens, Family, Moms, Celebrities as being perhaps not a peripheral but at the core of what the site is about. When you’re thinking about those main topics, it makes sense for you to consider what your subtopics are going to be.
You can see that they’ve already considered that here on this site where under Kids, they’ve got this menu. So Kid Kouture which obviously is clothing and Kids Zone which is fun stuff to do with kids and then Health, Development and Education. These are the primary subcategories for how the kids section is going to be organized and again, it’s probably important to keep that set of subcategories down to 6, probably 8 at the most.
You have to remember the context in which people are going to make choices. Too many choices discourages exploration in the site so it’s important to keep the number of choices down in this kind of thing. So they need to be general enough that anything that you think you’re going to write about is going to fit inside of those categories and you might even consider having sub subcategories inside of those things.
Organizing Your Topics is Fundamental to Site Organization
Really, one of the first fundamental aspects of organizing a site is organizing your topics, organizing your topic list, understanding what the broad categories are and then what their subcategories are. You need to know what those are before you can move on to creating templates for displaying your content in different ways.
We really have to start off with understanding the organizational structure of the site which is in this case, the topics of the site.