What’s a taxonomy and how can it help your website?

Have you ever heard the word taxonomy when discussing website design? Don’t worry this has nothing to do with HMRC 🙂

Some web design companies advertise their service as offering ‘truly bespoke web design’, but how true is that?

Almost anyone can do a Google search about colour theory and there are dozens of options available for getting a cheap and cheerful logo put together — but is the way your website looks, enough to make you stand out from the crowd?

Are your products the same as everyone else’s?

If you have a selection of products on your website with individual or categorised characteristics like size, weight, colour etc, the quick and easy way to list those specifications is in the main body of text – a bit like what I’m doing now as write paragraph after paragraph.

But what if you want those characteristics listed neatly for hundreds of products, in styles that can be changed wholesale rather than individually for each product (the time consuming way)? That’s where custom taxonomies come in.

Here’s a simple example…

The easy way to bring some clear understanding to the phrase ‘taxonomy’ is to take a quick look at the AutoTrader website, or eBay or Amazon for that matter.

When you do a search on these sites you’re presented with a sidebar or some kind of filtering system what allows you to pick from ‘taxonomy terms’ to help find what you’re looking for.

Example: You might search for a Ford Focus and there are hundreds – maybe even thousands of results, but the AutoTrader have used taxonomies like ‘Colour’, ‘Year’ and ‘Fuel Type’ when listing vehicles to help you find what you need. Each taxonomy contains a set of ‘Terms’ like ‘Blue’, ‘Red’ and ‘Silver’ within the ‘Colour’ taxonomy, or ‘2017’, ‘2018’ or ‘2019’ within the ‘Year’ taxonomy and ‘Petrol’ or ‘Diesel’ within the ‘Fuel’ taxonomy.

Could you use a system like this in your website?

At Leeming Design I offer a completely custom service which, if required, can include custom products with custom taxonomies to help your visitors find exactly what they’re looking for, and here’s a small selection of sites that I’ve built for clients and included such features:

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