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Creating A-Z Indexes for Websites or Intranets July 18, 2008

Posted by cmvlibrarian in Cataloging, Web productivity.
Tags: , ,

Heather Hedden of Viziant Corporation Principal facilitated an informative Click U session on how websites and intranets can benefit from A-Z indexes.

First Hedden differentiated indexes from sitemaps. Though somewhat related sitemaps show users how a website is structured like a book’s table of contents while indexes guide users to key content/concepts. So while sitemaps might aid navigation it’s site indexes that can enhance site searching.

Given the effort and complexities that go into making A-Z indexes Hedden recommended that they be used for content not likely to be changed often and for small to medium size websites (about up to a few hundred pages). She also recommended double posting multiple synonyms unless it was important to educate users about a certain terminology in which case “See” notations are justified.

Hedden also described some of the strengths and weaknesses of two automated web indexing tools. XRefHT might benefit organizations with smaller budgets since it’s freeware. An alternative with stronger term editing features available for purchase is HTML Indexer. Using either of these tools can help librarians create fairly complex indexes without having to know any actual HTML or CSS.



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