Most people are familiar with Traditional Site Structure, where you arrive at the home page and then visit About pages, Contact pages, etc. Fewer people know about the various other page types, often not accessible through primary navigation.
The Hidden Life of Websites includes pages accessible to links only from other sites, through clicking on buttons to sign up for email lists or to make a purchase. On some sites you might never find all the pages, if for example some aim to attract people from a different market.
Next, there is an introductory post about How to Assess Your Website’s Needs. You need to know what the site is going to do, decide which platform you want your site to be on and find the help you need to set it up. Many of these will have implications for your site structure. However, the one over-riding consideration is your market and their needs.
In the Introduction to the Awareness Ladder I describe a simple model that can help you work out what you want your website to do. Clearly your site will be very different if aimed at people who don’t even know they have a problem, and not actively seeking a solution to a problem they are aware of.
In The Awareness Ladder and Your Website, I suggest ways your sites can meet the needs of people who are on different rungs of the ladder. Knowing what you want people to do to move from each rung to the next may decide where they enter your site and once on the site, where they go next.