Most of the web design techniques I perform are either self-taught or a process I read offline. 90% of what I do day-to-day is through past mistakes and triumphs.
When planning a structure of a site, I have to write out (yes, with a pen and paper) the structure of the site. I miss the days of Frontpage that would create a site tree demonstrating how pages link to one another. Once that is complete, I structure out the templates (if I am building them from scratch).
Years ago, when I upgraded the City of Duluth, Georgia to WordPress, I followed these very same steps. It is a document I always keep handy if I find pages are filled loosely.
The Duluth site was such a massive undertaking due to each section displaying its own sidebar content. Because of this I had created 16 page templates just for the departments alone, not counting the custom post types for Public Notices, Press Releases, and etc.. The good news in the most recent version of WordPress (version 3.1) releasing soon, it took more extra time to make sure that the site template is absolutely correct and working before I move forward with any stripped version. Items I have planned for next week are:
- Submenus are being handled from custom menus.
- Blogging templates completed.
- Restyle and redo the footer.
- Style for forms.