My Website designer has asked for content, but what is it?

I’ve been designing websites for almost twenty years now and in all this time, there is one phrase that seems to make grown men and women shake and look horrified. It will make an otherwise smooth running and easy project, jump off the tracks and go in to the too hard to  do pile … and this phrase is simply… we’re ready for the website content now, can you please provide it to us.

That one phrase and the inability of otherwise rational people to do anything about it can and I have witnessed this, delay a project for a year or more… and in some cases cause a project to be cancelled. The main reason for this, in my opinion is that clients over think your requirements, they don’t know what website designers really want… and they think that the workload involved is too large and as a result constantly put off starting it.

As a professional website designer I can tell you that we don’t actually need all that much, this process can be as involved as you want to make it. We have successfully developed full websites based on little more than a couple of paragraphs of text and a few photographs. But most clients don’t see this, they think they have to write a book and then send us hundreds of photographs… let me tell you exactly what we need.

  1. Logo – we need a copy of your logo, ideally in electronic format with a transparent background.
  2. We need to know the pages you believe the website needs, typically this is a home page, about us page, services / products page, portfolio page, latest news (articles etc), contact us.
  3. We need to have your companies full contact details and the name and contact details for the person responsible for the website.
  4. We need the email address that all website form content should be submitted to.
  5. We need to know what you do, tell us what you do… just write it in as simple to understand way as possible. Don’t worry we will rewrite it if needed… we just need to know what you do and to understand it, if we can.
  6. We need a few pictures if possible, they say a pictures says a thousand words and it’s true, people buy with their eyes. If you don’t have any pictures, don’t let this stop you submitting your content, just ask us to locate and use suitable pictures… we will go through the library of images we have and use those and in some case we will purchase images specifically for the job.
  7. Specific Content – the rest of the content we require comes down to what you and what you want, if you want to include some of your staff … we’ll need to know your key staff members … and if you want a photo we’ll need that too.

Just remember that you don’t have to make it too hard, as highly experienced website designers we know the content we require, we can often source content ourselves and if we need something specific we will ask. For example a recent client recently sent through their content, we used most of that but wanted some addition info… as we wanted to make the website more personal and quirky… to help generate interest and user integration.

Oh, I should mention perhaps that we are a little unique in that we’re pretty experienced at writing sales copy, that engages customers, grabs their attention and makes them want to do all manner of strange things… so feed us a few paragraphs or more and allow us to go to work on your behalf.

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