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.


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.

TBH Creative

About the author | TBH Creative

TBH Creative is an Indianapolis-based web design and marketing company. Our services include web strategy & planning, website design and development, inbound marketing, SEO, branding, graphic design, and marketing reporting.

Since 2004, TBH Creative has worked with hundreds of companies in a wide range of industries, including healthcare, finance, and service. We specialize in developing complex, enterprise-level websites that convert.

We believe in clear communication, high standards of excellence, and beating deadlines. But beyond those ideals, what really drives the heart of our business is your business. We take pride in helping our clients achieve more with digital marketing and web design than they ever thought possible.

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