The value of content before website design


This applies to both blogs and websites. I strongly believe in preparing website content before initiating graphic design. While some may disagree with me, I will fight the battle and dig in because the content is more important than website design.

The website design should focus on the user and their needs. It should focus on the user’s problems and the website’s ability to solve them.

It shouldn’t be focused on prepackaged templates and coding trends.

Design trends come and go, but focusing on the user should not be lost.

I will receive emails from people discussing their website design requirements. Often, these lists will focus on specific project criteria such as infinite scroll, hamburger menus and hero images.

Rarely does a person approach a design company and present data based upon their users, their needs and the ultimate goals for a website visit?

Website owners can get caught up in their competitors’ latest design trends and websites. They also believe that they have the best design elements. They lose sight of their actual visitors.

Too often, people get too caught up in the visual presentation and bells and whistles of a blog template or website theme. This is an emotional purchase that takes precedence over the desire to help actual website visitors.

Content First leads to educated design decisions.

Documenting your desired user flow and visitor paths is something you do after your graphic design is complete. This is a wrong approach as it makes you match content to your website’s design or theme. It should be the exact opposite.

Before you start falling in love with a website competitor, lusting after a template for WordPress, or reaching out to a graphic designer to help you, it is important to think about the goals and objectives of your blog or website.

Document your user personas and their challenges. Your solution offering. Then, create the pathways you want them to take on the website.

Graphic design is important, but it must be done at the right moment in the project. This will allow you to show the website, content and offerings in the best light.

Content and messaging are the foundation and building blocks of a website. They should be well thought out and documented before colours, fonts and layouts are even considered.

Design elements should highlight, complement, and showcase key messages and important content.

Concentrate on the Right Content

Although I believe content should be written before you begin to design, that doesn’t mean you need to write all of it. This would be difficult for website owners and businesses.

Clients should focus on the most important pages and sections of their website. During the sales process, I often go through a client’s website and identify areas that could benefit from custom design templates. These will depend on the client, industry and target demographic.

These are the areas that most benefit from a content-first strategy.


Main About or Company Page

Main services page and individual pages

Main storefront and individual product pages

Resource section, resource categories, and resources items


Templates for landing pages

Blog page and individual posts

Contact page

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