A sitemap is a list or diagram that represents the hierarchical structure of pages in a website. It shows the hierarchy of the website content, shows how the content is logically organized, and helps visualize a path to specific content.
Note - this is not the xml sitemap used by search engines to index pages on your website.
A sitemap is not a wireframe; wireframes show the page layout of various content types (contact us, general information, product page, service page, section landing pages) and outline the functionality on each unique page. A website wireframe will also show relationships between content and potentially areas for dynamic content.
A sitemap is a planning tool used to map out the structure, navigation, and page hierarchy of a website. A sitemap helps visualize and organize content into logical groups that hold meaning to the users of the site and assists in prioritizing content in navigation menus.
There are two common types of sitemaps, the sitemap outline and the sitemap diagram. A sitemap outline is represented as a numbered list of pages that shows the page names and hierarchical level in the navigation where the page will be presented – a lot like a table of contents. A sitemap diagram is more like an organization chart with visual elements representing pages, forms, galleries, calendars, etc.
A website sitemap is one of the first things produced during the planning phase of a website design project. If you have an existing website, we generally produce a sitemap for your current website to ensure every page and element is considered for the new website.
The new sitemap is then created using information gathered during creative briefs, notes from conversations, new marketing strategies, business goals, and an analysis of page/content relationships.
Below is an example of diagram style sitemap for WebMistress.com. If the sitemap is large and/or complex, we will include a legend as well.