Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

WriteMaps.com: A tool for website planning

Category: Ajax, jQuery

Scott Jehl set out to make the website planning process more efficient and fun. Tired of dealing with expensive tools that were either way overpriced or simply didn’t meet his needs, he choose to build a site that did what he wanted and with the plan of letting others developers take advantage of the new tool. Hence, WriteMaps.com was born:

There are many ways to create a sitemap, most of which involve expensive software, tedious box drawing, and other annoyances that get between your ideas and your results. What if this process could be more collaborative and efficient? This is the question that led to the creation of WriteMaps. With WriteMaps, you can set up an account and work together on a centrally located version of your sitemap. Your sitemaps are available at all times from anywhere – so there’s no need to worry about exporting your files and sending them around.

Scott leveraged the jQuery library throughout the site and built a very intuitive interface to layout out a sitemap. Some of the coolest features include:

  • Toggling of views between treeview or hierarchical metaphors
  • Zooming in and out of a layout
  • Dynamic addition of branches to the sitemap
  • In-place editing of page names
  • On-the-fly creation of XML-based sitemaps
  • Print Formatting
  • Contextual Undo / Redo

Sitemaps can be stored for future updates and can also be shared with other users. The WriteMaps Blog also provides more information about the progress of the project.

Posted by Rey Bango at 6:30 am
15 Comments

++++-
4 rating from 47 votes

15 Comments »

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Are the sitemaps that are created compatible with Google SiteMaps? This would be a huge plus.

Comment by Site Smart — December 12, 2007

@Site Smart: Yep, you can export an XML (Google) sitemap from the file menu.

Comment by ScottJehl — December 12, 2007

Great and simple tool! I Like it.

However, I found a bug. When you create a new child page, then delete it, and try to create the same son page again, you receive a error:

siblingID has no properties
http://www.writemaps.com/index.php/scripts/mapbuilder/
Line 586

Comment by jpruizs — December 12, 2007

@jpruizs: Thanks, I’ll look into it!

Comment by ScottJehl — December 12, 2007

Thats an awesome tool.

Comment by Jon Hartmann — December 12, 2007

Great work as always, Scott.

Comment by Marc — December 12, 2007

I’ve given it a quick try and it’s clearly worthy of more exporation. Simple, productive – elegant. Thx!

Comment by Eric — December 12, 2007

I like it’s design – it’s beautiful!

Comment by Snowcore — December 13, 2007

Very nice tool – I’m working on a Django app at the moment, and it’s helped me easily visualize the URL routes that we’ll eventually have and I can see where it might and might not work. Keep up the good job!

Comment by digitalspaghetti — December 13, 2007

Seems to be useful just for small or middle range web sites – not for serious web portals. Anyway, nice app. Thanks.

Comment by Nick — December 13, 2007

@jpruizs: The bug you pointed out is now fixed. Thanks for the heads up!

Comment by ScottJehl — December 14, 2007

Very nice tool, I can see myself using it quite a bit.

Comment by onlinefox — January 9, 2008

@ScottJehl: thanks for listening, I know its late, but I’ve been on vacations so I didng check the tool again. Anyway I like it and sure im gonna us it!

Comment by jpruizs — January 12, 2008

@jpruizs: No problem. Enjoy!

Comment by ScottJehl — January 15, 2008

Wow! This tool rocks!

Website planning is very important when we discuss it in theory, but when you have to actually do it, its a bit frustrating.

I am just writing a series of articles to make website planning easier and more friendly and this tool will find place in my next post. Thnx.

If anyone wants to check here it is:
http://www.easysiteguide.com/articles/website-planning/before-you-start.html

Comment by usbkljuc — March 12, 2008

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