“Houston, we have a problem.”
We’re a long way from reaching our destination!
Is your designer or developer a long way from finishing your website project. Is the launch date a million miles away?
The length of time it takes to create a website depends upon its size and complexity.
Template websites can be completed within days, bespoke websites can take months.
One important element that can have a huge impact on the time it takes to create a website, is content.
Often overlooked, content, whether that be written, photography or video is the most important part of website design.
We encounter many customers who choose not to invest in content writing, instead opting to do it themselves.
They then wonder why their website is not live when they were expecting it to be or pass blame and frustration
towards their web designer/developer for the delay.
Why is the website not ready when expected? Because the right content hasn’t been written in time for the agreed milestones,
or, no content has been written at all!
You’re not alone, It happens a lot, trust me.
As I write this article, we (5and3) have three website projects sitting waiting for content.
They’ve been in development mode for 6 months. One website nearly a year. It’s not for want of trying on our part,
and we’ve tried pushing and driving our customer, we’ve even suggested that we take over and produce the content for them.
Crikey, one customer we’ve written the content for and yet it's still awaiting their approval three months on.
We could just go ahead and place that content into the website and launch it. The only problem is that it’s
not just the written content that we’re waiting for. Their website is critical in showcasing work, and so,
they opted to take pictures of products themselves. It is these pictures, product photos, that we’re also waiting
for as well as the content.
So, the website is just sitting there in development mode gathering dust and quickly becoming outdated as technology is moving on faster than we can shout.
Launch your website quicker
My point is if you’re investing in your business with a new brand and website, why stop at the most critical part: Content.
Believe me when I tell you that you shouldn’t waste your valuable time writing content for your own website, if:
- You haven’t any content writing experience
- You haven’t defined your website structure
- You have no content strategy or plans in place
- You simply don’t have time.
You should invest in a professional content writer: Your brand tone of voice, thinking outside the box,
viewing things from your audience's perspective, grammar and spelling are important skills for any writer of content.
Your content writer will play a pivotal roll in helping keep your web project on track.
For if you decide to go it alone, more often than not and with all the will in the world, you simply won't do it.
Trust us. We’ve seen it and have experienced it many times: Customers wanting to save on the expense of content by going it alone,
only to not deliver at the right time and then blaming the web agency, designer or developer for missing the project deadlines.
Photography and videos are other key examples. Critical in showcasing and promoting a brand, products and/or services.
Without a serious investment budget, your website will not only look terrible or perform badly, it simply might not make it
into the public domain. Equally, If you choose to tackle photography and video your self without a clear brand and creative
direction, project management and skilled professional, even if you choose to take the shots yourself under the direction of
a pro, your project (website or print) will not happen and will most certainly look homemade.
No, wait a minute. It’s content.
Badly organised and cluttered content! Arghhh
“There’s too much content on my website!”
“Less content is more!”
In some respects, it is though, but it all depends where on the website the content is located.
I can’t begin to tell you though how many times a customer has said to me, ‘ I think there’s too much content on my website.’
“I just want pictures.” We’ve heard it all, to suggest there’s too much content on an existing website tells me immediately that
either the content its self is substandard or the design of the website is poor.
Great content, no matter how long, should be displayed intuitively and engagingly by use of great user interface (UI) and user
experience Design (UI). For it is these design processes that make a website great
quality content is Gold Dust
Content is king and original quality content is gold dust. If you believe there is too much content on your website then it hasn’t been designed properly in the first place. The art of great design is to take content and turn it upside down, inside out and into something that is enticing, engaging and easily digestible.
The key to successful website design is to signpost users to your content, to read more, if they wish to, at a click of a button. This quality content will bring in new and organic visitors whilst retaining existing visitors (customers) for longer periods on your site, building trust and loyalty in your brand.
If you don’t invest in your content, written, photographic and video, then not only will your website project stall, you won't reach your full traffic, visitor and customer potential.
Speak with our experts today to find how we can take the delays and stress out of content writing.
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About the Author
Chris Heighton / Creative Director
I'm Creative Director and Brand Consultant at 5and3 based in East Grinstead West Sussex. My role is to create and implement our customers'
marketing strategies, conceptualise, create, develop and evolve inspirational brands; from logo design to full company brand identities and experiences, posters to brochures,
email campaign to fully responsive websites. As Creative Director and brand consultant, I ensure that our clients' image is on brand, leading our team creatively to deliver solutions that maximise results.
If you have any questions at all please feel free to message me on Twitter @chris5and3.