Content marketing and content strategy are hot topics right now, with countless blog posts about how to craft effective content for your site. This is not one of those posts.
Instead, I wanted to cover something more fundamental – the role of content in the other stages of a website project – planning, design, programming, and launch.
There’s always an urge to rush right into design, with the expectation of filling in the content later. Clients will often ask “how can we provide content without knowing what the pages look like?” With planning!
In the planning stage, we’ll discuss the goals of the website and produce sitemaps, wireframes, and a content outline describing the goal and type of content we advise for each page. Those planning documents can then be used as a guide to generate the content.
The content will then guide the design of the pages. What types of content will each page include… text, photos, video? Will pages contain 100 words or 1000? How will the navigation work?
All of those design decisions are informed by content. Design becomes an extension of your content, instead of simply decoration for it.
The content also dictates the functionality of the programmed site. What types of content will each page include? How will the user interact with it? How will updates be posted? All of these are taken into consideration when programming the site, as the content management software is customized to meet the needs of the project.
With the site live, the content process is finished, right? Just the opposite.
Once live, a website requires new content to keep the site fresh, boost SEO rankings, and keeping visitors coming back.
Stay tuned for a guest post from Edward Baldwin of Recurve, who will discuss content generation in more detail.