Recently there have been many efforts to develop hypermedia systems. Hypermedia applications can be categorized into process-oriented and content-oriented. However, it is not a trivial task to build content-oriented hypermedia in a systematic fashion. Content-oriented hypermedia systems are developed primarily for the applications of marketing or information services. This paper proposes a methodology for building a content-oriented hypermedia system. Hypermedia contents are typically structured in the form of hierarchies. An index node can be used to gain access to this hierarchical structure. The proposed methodology adopts three types of nodes (content, index and function) and two navigation mechanisms (simple and operational). Furthermore, various design techniques are proposed for maintaining content-oriented hypermedia systems that have an evolutionary feature. To demonstrate its practical usefulness, the methodology is applied to developing a hypermedia system. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.