What comes first the design or the content?

It's like the age-old question of chicken vs egg: When planning your website what comes first the design or the content? The answer will likely vary depending on if you're asking your designer or your copywriter. After all, you can’t have an effective design if you don’t know anything about the content but you can’t write impactful copy without knowing how it flows in the design.



Don't worry. It's not an impossible situation. It just requires the designer and the writer to work together on two key steps:

Site architecture 

Before the design starts, you should develop the site architecture. The menu will guide much of the design and, obviously, the content. Your writer may lead this part of the planning but, more than likely, a team of people will have input into the site map and structure.

Wireframes

The designer will take the lead here. Using your defined site architecture and stated website objectives, the designer will develop a set of wireframes that will give the design and content a framework. The wireframes will account for pages that need to communicate different types of content and give a structure for the content writer to work within. That framework will also provide necessary constraints as the design is developed.

 Read more of our thoughts on the importance of site architecture and wireframes. 

Once the wireframes are approved and communicated to your team. The heavy lifting starts. Now the design concepts are created while, often at the same time, the content is developed. When the two pieces come together, there will likely be some fine-tuning involved to tweak the content or rewrite calls to action to best fit the design.

With the right planning, design and content come together to create an effective, strategic and functional website.

So which comes first? Neither - it's all about the strategy. Need some help developing your website strategy? You've come to the right place. Let us help you realize (and maximize) the potential of the Internet.

Barb

About the author | Barb Ruess

Barb is a project manager and content editor at TBH Creative and has worked online since there was such a thing. She uses her skills to manage development projects, organize websites, and create and edit content. She likes to blog about content writing, search engine optimization, and offer tips for a successful website project.

View more posts by Barb

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