So, You Want a Website? Part 3/6
This is the third post of a six-part series that is covering each of the key elements that go into building an engaging and effective website. You can read Part 2: What Makes Good Design here.
Content, content, content! Content is one of the most important elements of website planning and one that many tend to overlook, or rush through as an afterthought. It’s easy to jump the gun and want to go straight to designing or developing, but without the content, there can be no designing or developing. Content informs the design, and design informs the development. Your content is the difference between four pages and forty. It determines how the user should flow through the site. It influences how many sections a page has and how many buttons. It determines the images you need and where they should be placed.
Content is king.
The Typical Website Process:
See where content falls in that timeline? It’s #3. It’s that important.
If you’re creating your own content, plan on it taking, at least, one month.
Make sure you have the basic pages: About, Services, Contact. You may need individual pages for specific services, and you’ll need copy for each one. If you’re selling products, you will need a short and long description for every item. If you’re working with Design It Please, the homepage copy is the one page you don’t *have* to have ready in the beginning. We’ll work on that together.
SEO & URL Redirects
And don’t forget about your SEO page titles and meta descriptions! You’ll need both for every page and post on your site. Are you redesigning your site? If you’re reorganizing your page structure, don’t forget to keep track of your URLs! Make sure that you have a list of the old URLs along with their new destinations. That way, setting up the redirects will be quick and easy!
You’ll Need Imagery, Too!
If you don’t have imagery, plan on having a budget for it to be created or purchased. Your logo, infographics, charts, graphs, headshots, team photos, product photos, icons, and other imagery will need to be used throughout the site. And be aware that no, you can’t grab any image you want from Google images or Flickr. No, you can’t use Microsoft Office clipart. No, that low-resolution image you took on your iPhone 4 won’t work. Yes, Design It Please can create graphics for you. Yes, you can hire someone else to do it. Yes, you can find stock photography resources online.
If all of this sounds completely overwhelming to you, you’re not alone. The #1 place where clients get hung out and projects get delayed is during the content phase. But, don’t worry, we’ve got you. Design It Please can write it for you. Get in touch if you’d like to talk.