Building a Website Without Content

Building a Website Without Content

Every website has content. And every website has a design. But these two things are much more closely tied than they seem.

Whenever we begin a new website project, one of the first things we’ll ask for is written page content and images. Why? Because it’s what we base most of our decisions on throughout the entire process.

Yet we’re often asked the question “Can’t you just start building the website and we’ll insert the content later?”

The answer is no. We’ve tried it in the past, and refuse to do it again. Having content in the beginning is the ONLY way to create a quality website design that works.

The Metaphor

Building a website is like building a house. There’s a LOT that goes into it, even before the actual construction work begins.

Planning a website without knowing what content needs to be covered is like creating a blueprint without knowing how many rooms are needed or what size lot you’re working on. We’re not going to get very far.

Blueprints vs. Website Wireframes: There isn't much difference.

Blueprints vs. Website Wireframes: There isn’t a big difference.

Likewise, when the time comes to actually build the house, we can only do so much without proper materials.

Your website content is the type of wall, windows, doors, floors, cupboards, countertops, and everything else that brings the final structure together. In theory, your architect can put placeholders in while you make the decision. But this approach creates twice the amount of work overall. And what are the odds that your choices are actually going to match the size/dimensions of those placeholders?

The Scenario

Say we build you a website using Lorem Ipsum. The pages have a polished layout and design, so the only thing left to do is insert the actual content. Sounds easy, right?

But what if your content is too long- or too short- and the formatting is all wrong?

What if your text doesn’t fit well with the font size and style?

What if the word lengths are different and don’t break down properly on mobile devices?

Responsive websites adapt the content to fit the screen. Without proper planning, the content layout just won't work.

Responsive websites adapt your content to fit the screen. Without proper planning, the layout simply won’t work.

What if you intend to highlight a particular product or service in your content, but there’s no link that leads people to it?

And on that note, you’ll miss out on page-to-page structure as a whole. There’s no way for visitors to flow naturally from one page to another when we have no way of guiding them.

This is terrible for user experience, and terrible for your website’s performance.

The Conclusion

As a creative design agency, our first priority is giving your business the most marketable products possible. That’s why we insist on getting your content before we’ll start building your website.

When content is a significant part of the planning and development process, you’ll receive a website that actually sells. It will tell a consistent story. It will lead your visitors straight to the information you want them to see, and it will work to meet- and then exceed- your business goals.

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