Why the Content Should Come Before the Website

May 18, 2020
by Laura

As far as services go, I know plenty of people and businesses might think I'm making a mistake by stretching myself beyond just web design and management. Never mind that having to choose between website design and content writing would be like asking me to choose between the ocean and the forest; (I love them both, for different reasons)...

But right now, offering copywriting and content planning services as well, feels perfectly complementary to the web services.

Why? Well you can’t have one without the other.

You can have the best looking website in the world, but it means nothing if quality copywriting isn’t there too, which is why I offer these services in tandem with each other. Even if someone only wants me for the website design, I find it difficult to get started if the content isn’t there yet (not impossible, but difficult).

This is because the amount of content you do and don’t have can completely change the layout of a website. Where you add call to action’s, how big the photos need to be, where headings need to go… all this and more, all depend on the content.

So how can there be a website without it?

If you come here often (hello there!) you may have noticed that I recently redeveloped, rewrote and redesigned my services page. Now, as a web designer I find it very difficult to not be forever tinkering with my own site, so having it change periodically is nothing new.

This particular change was quite major though, and was a prime example of the content before the design argument.

Or is it the chicken before the egg?

Obviously I already had a services page designed and live on my website, and as I’d done with many of my ad hoc updates, I was pretty tempted to shoehorn the new content into the existing design and be done with it.

The "Before"

The problem with that was, the content I had written for the new page followed a significantly different structure to the original. Not only had my services changed, but the way I talked about them had changed too.

More than that, I truly believe one of the key elements to feeling confident in your overall digital presence and in your ability to sell your services or products, is to have a strong website design that functions well and reflects your true personality.

A change is as good as holiday, and I knew I would feel more refreshed, honest and confident with a completely new page design. So I dived in.

The "After"

Some key changes:

  • Originally I had my website services separate to my content services, but as I believe these two items go hand in hand with each other, I needed my design to reflect that
  • I wanted to make sure anyone who landed on the services page cold, got the chance to get to know me a little bit better without having to click over to my About page; so I had to introduce who I was!
  • Since I’ve been working hard at reducing the amount of admin both for myself and my clients by setting up my systems in Dubsado, (and after having a chat with my biz coach about it) it only made sense to have a lead capture form embedded directly on the page
    • And again, this helps to prevent the number of clicks my audience needs to make in order to get the info or result they need
  • It was also important to me for my audience to have as much information as possible about my services without it being information overload
    • So I went into more detail about each individual package then I had in the previous version, briefly explaining exactly what the benefits were and outlining the inclusions in easy to consume dot point form

I retained a lot of elements that are already common in my overall website design, including positioning images half over coloured text boxes, or spilling over margins. I continued to pull out key messages by highlighting them with background images in their own section, and adding in a bolding element for important sentences.

All-in-all I couldn't be more stoked about my new services and my new services page. I've never been more keen to share this page with others and shout to the world about what I have to offer.

Thus proving my theory that good cohesive design and content that is true to who you really are, is essential to feeling confident in your online presence!

Ready for a website that reflects who you truly are?

Gain clarity in your digital presence, be confident in your messaging and save time in your business, with website design that engages users and reflects who you truly are.
My Website Design package will give you a beautiful, functional website that allows you to feel confident in your brand and build a real connection with your audience.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out the new live Services page and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions!

Until next time, look after yourself!
Laura x

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I acknowledge the First Nations people as the Traditional Owners of the land on which I live and work, i.e. Meanjin, Brisbane. Sovereignty was never ceded.
Copyright © 2022 Laura F Gosney ABN: 88 413 183 164
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