Content Driven Websites

Content Driven Websites - Step 3

Create Design to Support Goals and Content

You have now uploaded most of your content, organized it, had a few ah-ha moments in putting it together and are generally pleased with the overall flow of your website. Now you can add some spice to your message.

Remember that the content is the life of your site and the design is the body in which it lives.

Review the website with your graphic designer. Show him or her how the website meets the goals that you have set for it and point out some interesting elements to which attention could be drawn. Focus on the main message, but also on other, perhaps smaller yet important, bits that might tweak your visitors’ interest. Customers want to get what is meaningful to them. Remember that they get the what, when, and how from the content and not from the design.

The more organized the website is before you hand it over to the designer, the more freedom and space he or she will have to creatively bring your goals to life within your parameters. This is going to help you reach more customers.

When your website goes live, instead of having a beautifully designed website with "Under Construction” as the content, you will have complete content that will get you what you hope to achieve with your website. Whether this means selling products, reaching customers, or communicating how much you love cat pictures, having a website is more then just a web presence, you need to use your content to determine the audience you want, and to convince people there is a problem and you have the solution. The content determines if someone will be back to read more. If your content is complete when your website goes live, your SEO will be much stronger than releasing your beautifully designed "Under Construction” site. We repeat, having complete content will reach more customers.

If, on the other hand, the design were completed before the content is fleshed out, it could substantially limit how impactful you could make that content—a better organization would be ruled out. Alternatively, a new design would need to be generated and re-implemented, adding cost to the project. 

Still, the right design may not be crafted on the first try. Work together with the designer until you arrive at a design that works. Just remember that without content, there is no website.

Once the design is finalized, hand it over to the technical people to move your project to Step 4: Implement website. You’re only one step away from a website that complies with industry standards and is search engine-friendly.