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Redesigning my site – What is more important? Content or Image?

When approaching a web design project the organization undoubtedly wants to address the content as well as the image. Five questions often present themselves:

Which should come first? Content or Image?

Both – they can be built out simultaneously. They aren’t dependent on each other.

Most organizations are more embarrassed – or more viscerally so – with the way their site looks. That often makes it easier to address first. It is also true that the redesign is more likely to be outsourced than the content. The site is outdated for the very reason that it’s become a low priority – so if the content is going to be done in-house – it’s going to keep occupying the back burner. This is all fine – getting fresh minds on the look and feel can serve to focus the visual voice of the organization.

Don’t you need the flow of the content while you work on the design?

No, we can use gibberish, lorem ipsum, or the content of your existing site. To a designer, it doesn’t matter what the words are. But more importantly – your words should evolve, expand and change. The first launch of a rewrite should serve as a reset on the way you approach your website. Now that you’ve let it languish like the shoemaker’s children; commit to keeping it up to date and being more proactive about making it a place prospects can learn more – not just about you – but about their problems and their solutions.

I guess before we finish up the design, we need to develop our content, right?
No. Develop the key pieces of content and let the deeper pieces – case studies, portfolio pieces, white papers – come later. Everyone is going to the internet to find solutions. Yours is not the only place they’re going. Even if they came to your name via word-of-mouth from your most-trusted advisor – they would likely look elsewhere too – so make sure you are findable and look presentable.

How can we think about our content without getting overwhelmed?

Make sure the top-level content says what you do and what problems you solve, so they know they are in the right place. From there you can deepen but make sure those pieces are tight, clear and readily findable.

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