Website content and website design are two of the most crucial factors that can have a positive or negative impact on the overall success of the website.
Traditionally, several small businesses and new website developers choose to create a website design first and then fill it with content.
While this appears to be the easiest way to build a website, it might not be fruitful in all cases.
A more strategic way to develop an effective and successful website is by preparing the website content first and then creating a website design around it.
Choosing this approach will not only give you a robust outline for the website but also act as a roadmap for the design team to develop a compelling website.
If you are still unsure about using this approach, here are 5 reasons why preparing website content before website design can be beneficial for you.
Content-first design improves the user experience
Whether you want to create a website for your business, e-commerce store, blogs or portfolio, user experience should top your list of objectives you wish to achieve from your website. The user experience is the ability of the website to engage with its visitors. Audiences often prefer to visit websites that are fast, easy to navigate, have better accessibility and are user-friendly.
Using the content-first approach will give you a better understanding of the message you want to convey to the audience. It will act as the foundation for the design team to develop a user-friendly interface that enhances the content. Having content at hand will give designers the flexibility to create a seamless website layout and provide a more satisfying user experience.
Creating a website design first and content later may end up overpowering the actual message behind the content. Users easily get distracted from websites where the content appears to be forced into a layout it wasn’t built for. Moreover, it may make it difficult for you to redesign the entire website and enhance its visual appearance.
Speeds up the process
A common mistake made during website development is trying to finish everything in a week or months’ time. However, developing a website from scratch can be a long and overwhelming process. To design a website that is not only functional but also conveys the exact brand message requires constant brainstorming and the exchange of fresh ideas between different stakeholders.
Developing content before the website is designed can streamline the process to a great extent. It acts as a shortcut to reach the finish line without getting distracted by the various obstacles that come in the way. This is because writing website content first will avoid miscommunication and the sharing of any irrelevant information. It will align the pace of both the design team and the development team.
Content delays are a common bottleneck that affects the progress of a website. Having website content ready will minimise the chances of delay during the development phase. It will further decrease the chances of revising the website design to fit longer or shorter content pieces.
Better selection of design elements
The design elements of a website are often referred to as the colour schemes, fonts and visual representations used alongside the content. Design elements make the website appear livelier and set the right mood for the users. For example, a business website will often use hues of black, grey, white and brown to demonstrate professionalism. Whereas a fashion website will be more colourful, with the pictures of latest clothing sets placed strategically besides the text.
Design elements enhance the overall visual appeal of the website and make it more engaging. Generally, when using visual representations on a website, a lot of emphasis is given to the alignment and placement of the graphics as well as the text. Adding elements before the text might leave little room for the content on the webpage. It may also require revisions to ensure both text and elements fit in properly.
Website designers need to ensure that the elements on a webpage resonate with the message of the content. Choosing the right alignment, tone, style and colour palette will help users avoid getting confused. It will also help in organising the content in a way that is easy to see and understand. Thus, writing content before developing the website will give designers an idea of the design elements to choose from depending on the mood of the content.
Improves website visibility
The key to improving website visibility lies in strategically planned search engine optimisation (SEO). Creating content in advance gives website developers the time to enhance their SEO based on the latest trends and demands. Delaying the content creation until the website design is completed may also put SEO at the back and result in missed opportunities for improving website visibility.
For example, when creating content, you can include relevant keywords in the text, headers and meta tags. However, if the website design is approved first, you might look for alternatives to adjust the SEO-oriented headers and meta tags to complement the design. Writing an SEO-based content before creating a website design will further make sure the content flows seamlessly from the heading to the end. It will also give search engines well-structured content that is easy to crawl and index.
Creating a website requires the active participation of clients, the design team and the development team. A website design is a simple layout of what a website will look like. It is a blank canvas that only focuses on the design elements of the website. However, content is the soul of a website. It adds life to the blank canvas and tells readers what the website is all about.
Working on website content before design will improve collaboration between the client and the website developers. It will help clients visualise the final product. Moreover, having content ready before the design can foster better communication. By just looking at the content, the clients can provide valuable feedback and suggest design improvements based on their vision. It will further ensure that the website meets the requirements of the clients and aligns with their brand identity.