Advantages of having your content ready before designing your site – a guide for startups & founders

In this article I talk about why you should give your designer as much content as possible before starting on the design and also give advice on what to do if you don't have any copy ready when starting to design your new marketing site.

I just recently read an article by email marketing SaaS company ConvertKit, which talked about the importance of the written word and copywriting on your landing page and marketing website, which inspired this article. I agree, copywriting is quite important and I also believe that copy very much influences the design and structure of your site as well. Therefore, in this article I want to further elaborate on the benefits on getting most of your copy ready before starting on the design of your website. This is particularly important if you work with a designer or freelancer to design and develop your marketing site.

You might have heard of "lorem ipsum", the placeholder text often used in publishing and web design if the actual text (or copy) is not available yet. While designers can use it in place of the real copy, it isn't ideal and it makes things harder than they need to be. These are some of the reasons why:

  • With Lorem Ipsum text you can shorten and adjust the words and characters as you see fit and alter them to fit your intended design perfectly. However, once the actual copy is being provided it might not fit as easily into the given space and items might have to be readjusted to make all elements (text, images, other layout elements) work nicely together.
  • The less the designer knows about the intention of each page and its content, the harder it is to design for it. As a designer you need to know what the founders want to communicate on the page to decide the layout and design and layout elements are best suited for it.

What is the best way forward in case you really only have very little copy available (or maybe none at all)? To get the best out of your (freelance) designer, provide her with as much information about your website and each of its pages as possible:

  • You could provide your designer with the answers to the following questions: What will this page be about? What kind of information needs to be on there? What is the ultimate goal of the website and its individual pages?
  • You might be able to provide a draft or rough version of your copy for your designer to use. Your designer can use this to create their first draft of the web layout while you continue working and refining the final copy.

If you would like me to talk more about topics like this or have any questions, please get in touch with me.

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