Website Design – The Basics

This brief guide describes some of the elements involved in website design.

Website Design Structure

Broadly speaking, the outer framework of your website may be referred to as the structure. At the minimum this usually consists of a header, a menu or navigation system, an inner section, and a footer.

Website Design Structure Overview.

Menus and Navigation

In website design the terms menus and navigation are roughly interchangeable, a menu being a type of navigation.

You can have navigation elements in more than one place on your website. They can be below the header, above the header, inside the header, or somewhere else.

The terms primary and secondary navigation refers more to their functionality than their position. Either may be positioned above or below the header. Primary navigation would usually link to your main static pages.

Secondary navigation, on the other hand, would usually be lower-priority. It is usually for pages relating to some technical functionality of the site. An example usage would be for a user’s account profile.

Website Design Navigation Closeup.


The content is the text, images, video, audio, anything added to the website within the framework. The content is typically displayed in the inner section. This is why it is sometimes referred to as the content area.

The content may be static pages which give info about you or your company. Or it may be occasional updates in the form of a news feed or blog, usually known as posts.

Using WordPress, content is easily managed by you in a convenient interface similar to a word processor.


I am maintaining a glossary of website design terminology here.

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