HTML and CSS Reference
index or table of contents page that links to all other Web pages. With this structure,
the main index page would display general information, and secondary pages would
include more detailed information. Notice how logically the information in Figure 1-13
is organized. A Web page visitor can easily go from the home page to any of the three
modules. In addition, the visitor can easily get to the Module 3 Quiz by way of the
Module 3 link. One of the inherent problems with this structure, though, is the inability
to move easily from one section of pages to another. As an example, to move from Module
1 Page 2 to the Module 3 Summary, the visitor would have to use the Back button to get
to the Home Page and then click the Module 3 link. This is moderately annoying for a
site with two Web pages, but think what it would be like if Module 1 had 100 Web pages!
To circumvent the problems with the hierarchical model, you can use a webbed
model. A webbed Web site structure has no set organization, as shown in Figure 1-14. A
webbed Web site structure works best on sites with information that does not need to be
read in a specific order and with many navigation options. The World Wide Web uses a
webbed structure, so users can navigate among Web pages in any order they choose. Notice
how the Web site visitor can more easily move between modules or module summaries with
this structure. With this model, you most often provide a link to the Home Page from each
page, resulting in an additional arrow going from each individual Web page back to the
home page (which is difficult to depict in these small figures). Many Web sites today utilize
a graphical image (usually the company or institutional logo) in the top-left corner of each
Web page as a link to the home page. You will use that technique later in the topic.
Most Web sites are a combination of the linear, hierarchical, and webbed structures.
Some information on the Web site might be organized hierarchically from an index page,
other information might be accessible from all areas of the site, and still other information
might be organized linearly to be read in a specific order. Using a combination of the
three structures is appropriate if it helps users navigate the site easily. The key is to get
the right information to the users in the most efficient way possible.
Regardless of the structure or structures that you use, you should balance the
narrowness and depth of the Web site. A broad Web site is one in which the home page
Figure 1-14 Webbed Web site structure.