Setting up Your Site Map
One way to set up a site map is to use a text editor. I use Word but any word processor or text editor will work. If possible, turn off the automatic formatting functions – like grammar checker, spellers, etc. – so you have the simplest form of processing going on. This will help keep your coding from going nuts when you move it to your site map page on your website.
Setting up your site’s page index on a processor also makes it easier to update the page. You can set it all up and then just copy and paste it to your site map web page once it is finished.
Decide on Your Headings
Headings help your visitors find what they are looking for. By dividing your website site map using headings, a person can look down the list until they find the "chapter" they are looking for. Small websites might only have 2 headings. Larger ones can have 7 or more headings.
Take a look at the pages on your website and write down the headings that make sense to you and will naturally group your pages. On my seashell craft blog (shellcraftart.blogspot.com) the pages have been grouped by the type of seashell craft that that they are a part of. On Google’s Blogger each post generates its own page so the site map links to those pages. Some of the headings are: Magnets, Sculptures, and Candle holders.
To make them stand out use the bold function and perhaps change the color of the text. If you know HTML coding use the font, bold, and perhaps italic functions. Remember to close statements with the correct back slash (/) command.
Group your Pages
Once you have set up your site map headings start placing your pages under the appropriate heading. Some headings may only have 2 or 3 pages others can have 10 or more. It all depends on your website and what makes the site map easiest for your visitors to navigate.
Give each page a unique name. Since you want the page information to be live, that is the visitor can click on it and end up on the page, you need to set up the page names as links.
HTML Coding for the Links
Live links require HTML coding. It’s a simple statement and to make things easier it can be copied. Then just change the page address and name, and it is done. The coding looks like this:
The HTML statement shown in the photo can be used as a template for your own links. Just replace the page address and the page name. The "target=_blank" will open a new page when someone clicks on the link. When they close the page they will be back to your website or blog.
Publish the Site Map
Once you have all your coding for your site map set up on your text editor/word processor you are ready to publish it to your website. Check it over for missing link elements. Some simple errors are forgetting to use the quotes both before and after the page address, and forgetting to close off code by using the back slash with the code in <> brackets.
Upload the page to your website or open a blank page on your website and copy – paste the coding that you have to your page. Publish your page/website. Once you know the page is up and running go to your website and try it out. This will help you find any broken links.