SOS: what should I develop first Content or Design?

This is one of the most hotly debated topics in the web development and IT industry. People, companies and agencies, all have preferences of what they would like to do first, write content and design around it or design the wire-frames and then write content that fits in. And there is no third alternative to it. One has to choose between these, only these two strategies, when it comes to web development.

“It’s like a great Chicken and Egg debate, that’s raging since centuries.”

This question of what should one do first Design or Write Content becomes all the more challenging when you’re building a website for your startup, business or small company. It is easily done if you’re a technology expert but if you’re not then the question becomes daunting. And it becomes gigantic when you hire freelance designers and content writers to develop your website. From designers, analysts and project managers to writers and programmers everyone has an opinion on it. Here we look at both the aspects of this broad topic.

Design First

This approach is taken by most agencies who want to finish their projects quickly. It is also economical as content writers will have their boundaries well defined. They will know the exact amount of words to write for each box, section and page with pre-defined elements.

“It is also a cost-effective way for web development as design is expensive.”

But, what if your content writer thinks that more text needs to be accommodated based on your business type and requirement? What if the design is too simple and content is minimal, leaving no room for alterations or filters? In that case, your website becomes defunct and you will need to redesign the whole website, which can get a little costly. But if everything synergizes then your project will be a success.

Content First

Personally, I prefer writing the content first. Writing your content first will ensure it has the depth and information flow to engage your users and visitors, in turn, increasing website traffic and Return on Investment. After all, we build a website to capture potential customers and generate revenue.

However, here’s the catch with it. If the client insists on frequent content changes and does not freeze content on time than the whole project runs the risk of derailment.

“Design expense is huge due to constant changes and huge amount of content.”

Moreover, if you froze the content too early, created a design then re-writing expenses along with design alterations can become a huge burden. So, you should first put a vision before the writer, freeze the content of the whole website and then go for the design. If you want to save additional costs spiraling out of control.

Hire web development experts

If you’re not a technology guy then put your hands up and leave it to the web development experts. Let them decide priorities of development events. There are a few companies that provide professional web development services at affordable costs. You should consult and employ one of them. You only provide them with your vision and few references to align their ideas with your web project. You can ensure a smooth development with frequent communication and necessary interjections.

In my experience as a content writer, I’ve worked on many different type and size of projects and feel that you should go for each approach based on project requirements. You should also connect to the design team to get their valuable inputs, as, without their content and classy design, the content will lose its relevance. And remember, a client will only get happy and pay more if he gets a good revenue generation from the website.