Designing a website is like taking a script and making it into a movie. The movie director converts the text of the script into scenes and casts talented actors that will bring the movie to life.

Now imagine this, what if the director started shooting without a finished script?

Would that impact the quality of the movie? Would his decision cost the studio more money? Well, if it’s Steven Spielberg or Billy Wilder directing the movie than the answer is probably no.

Let’s put it this way: designing a website without enough content is a guessing game that negatively impacts and slows down the creative process. Yet for some reason, many clients wait until they receive a nice set of designs before they start creating or finalizing content. This is where the design can fail when you have to force, rewrite or shortened the final content to fit into the newly designed layout.

Content is the most important part of your website. The right content will give your business a voice; tell your business’s story and emphasize what you do and why your target audience should invest in your products and services.

Content includes photos, video, text, logo, graphics, and headlines.

The benefits of putting content first

#1 — Stop nasty surprises from derailing your project budget and schedule.

#2 — With a content-first approach, your designer can design better and more detailed set of wireframes.

#3 — Avoid endless rounds of iteration.

What happens when a content first approach is not followed or is completely ignored?

Compare and contrast both design and see how using lorem ipsum and real content can change the design for better or worse.

Example 1– no real content, placeholder text

 

Example 2 – real content, no placeholder text

Things to think about when creating or planning content for your site.

Preparation is key.

Ask yourself these following questions.

What sort of impression would you like your target audience to have about your business? Will your content engage your visitors? What message are you trying to communicate through your content?

Avoid

  •      Conflicting messages
  •      Duplicated copy
  •      Spelling and grammatical mistakes
  •      Outdated content

The content you provide to your designer during the discovery phase does not need to be final or perfect. Start by reviewing your existing content, maybe it’s not exactly what you want to say, but it’s a start. Revising existing copy is generally easier than writing from scratch so give it a try

Ideally, designers would love to receive final content from their clients at the beginning of each project, but it never happens and probably will never happen. Remember a design constructed without real content may look okay in the end, but it will never be as good as a design with real, actionable content.

So, should content be an afterthought? No! It should be one of  your first thoughts. While design helps lure the audience and draw their eye to an actionable area, content tells them what action should be taken.