How to Prepare Content for a Website:
Tricks and Tips

See also: Writing Marketing Copy

In this article, we examine how to start to develop a website, how to build its structure, and how to turn the process of "making it up" into an orderly set of actions.

A key step that should happen before you start working on web design is content preparation. What is the content for your website going to be?

Content is a collection of all the materials that make up a website: images, graphics, videos, music, and, of course, text.

An important condition for creating a coherent site is first to decide on the content you want: you can either write the text yourself or use a writing service, select pictures, and photographs and draw a prototype. Only after this should you proceed to web design.

Preparing website content - writing notes.

The mistake that all beginners make

Modern technology allows you to create websites easily enough, so there is a temptation to immediately begin to implement a vague, intuitive picture, which is in your head, without a preliminary sketch.

As a result, you get useless and nonfunctional sites, which then have to be remade. “Remaking” a site is very difficult as it means rebuilding an ill-conceived initial site to reach a new level of quality. And you don't have to. What you need to do is build a good site in the first place before you start filling it up.

"I'll see how it works first, and then I'll redo it." This doesn't work. Doing visual design is not the same as designing. A project is a basis for design; without a project, design works as a decoration, masking a lack of clear structure.

The benefits of the "content first" principle

By creating a clear, intuitive structure you know what your site should consist of, and you can separate the essential from the secondary. Hierarchy is your weapon. Each block of content should fall into its proper place.

For example, you may have already thought that a blog will be incorporated into the site. It is much easier to find a place for this at the stage of general formation, rather than trying to build it into a ready-made system which resulted from working "by feel" without a preliminary plan. At the heart of any system is a system. Usually, if we’re talking about a blog on a site, it's better to plan the content too. Of course, there are a lot of content writing services that will help you to write anything quickly, but you also can do it by yourself. A content writing plan is everything.

  1. The ability to come up with special techniques that work for the content

    If you try to reproduce a website structure from the beginning, even just by sketching a diagram on paper, it becomes clear which points are key.

    Does the site provide a lot of links to other sources? If you articulate it right away, you can come up with a special graphic move to display the links - that is, make the design effective for presenting the information.

  2. The site comes out clear and concise.

    An idea works if you can describe it to your grandmother and she understands what's what. This rule even works when creating websites. The simpler, the more effective. But simplicity is sometimes the hardest thing to achieve. A simple and understandable interface can be achieved if you have a clear plan and structure: what, where, and where from. And most importantly - why.

  3. The likelihood of endless amendments is reduced.

    If you build a site for a client, it is important to first collect all the information that they can provide – text, photos, etc. The completeness of the information will not only help you to shape the site itself but also approve the content with the client immediately, so you do not have to make corrections to pages later. Sometimes, if your clients’ content is full of mistakes, you can use an online content writing site to rewrite it. Don’t be afraid to do this.

Development and preparation of content for the site


Imagine you're building a website for a flower shop. The lack of an initial prototype can lead to a page full of bouquets, but you can provide the visitor with a lot more information. You will be able to see this right away if you have a plan from the beginning.


Immediately start linking blocks, figuring out the content and structure "as you go."

The Right Approach

List in writing all the elements that will make up the site. You can do this in a text editor, or by hand on paper.

Write the names of the main blocks. It is clear that the flowers themselves are the main part of the presentation of your business, so you can start with this section. This block should have subsections - on the types of flowers, and simple or more elaborate bouquets. By the way, a web content writer or any other writer can help you with that. Use it as a small tip.

You are the main connoisseur of your business, so you determine the hierarchy.

Another section of the menu - the people who work in your company. You can ask each of them to talk about themselves and their work - so the section will gain content and a "live" face. Do not treat any section of the site as an afterthought. Each section should be beautiful, concise, and self-sufficient - then over time, you will be able to update and expand it. Does each member of your team have a favorite bouquet? Tell us about it.

Think about what else can set your site apart from others and the competition. The creation process is always interesting. You can build a photo gallery of how each bouquet appears - from the florist's sketch and the purchase of the necessary flowers from suppliers - to the realization and the happy ending: the bouquet is caught by the bridesmaid. Do you think that this way of the presentation clearly shows the client the whole complicated story of creating a bouquet? Great. Include this element in your list of blocks for now and you'll find the right place for it in the next step of the work.

Writing the names of the blocks you came up with on separate strips of paper is an effective way to decide on a structure. Trying different ways to group separately cut-out headings (modules of your site, entities), you can trace and analyze the interaction of different elements of content on the site.

Where best to place the information about your colleagues' favorite bouquets - on the page "team" or in the form of labels in the catalog of bouquets? These are the kinds of questions you need to solve even at the stage of "paper" design.

It is very important to start making a site, already having the big picture, schematically drawn on paper. This is the only way you can assess how logically the structure works.

If you lay out in front all the headings of the modules of the site, you can see the value of each unit.

For example, the idea of a photo story about the history of the creation of the bouquet should not get lost. Place a paper strip with the name of this block next to the others to see if the different categories argue for their "weight".

What else? Customer reviews. Should this section be a separate block or an additional line on one of the pages? Remember the principle of "self-sufficiency" in each section; don't lump together topics that can work on their own.

Analyze all sides of your business. You showed the team and bouquets, explained delivery options, provided customer reviews, and made a separate block with the "Story of one bouquet" - that's already 5 items on the menu. Is there something you can combine or add another block? Swap the paper with the headings if you can't think of a more visual way. Find a place for each item in advance, rather than trying to build them in later.

Write the text. Once the structure is defined, you can start writing text. It is best to write everything in a simple Word document, divided into paragraphs, so it will be easier to assess the overall content of the site. Qualified content writers always do it like that. Add headings and subheadings as this will set the structure and will help a lot when you will create a site in the designer.

How to properly fill a site with content

What to do if there is no text yet

It happens that the information is not enough, but you need to provide a prototype of the site. But in this case, too, to first proceed to the design is the wrong approach. Even with the most minimal set of inputs, you need to plan out the future site in blocks before you start working on it. After that, it is important not to make another mistake: often at first use the "fishy" text or lorem ipsum, that is, filler text. It seems that such a filling of the site content will give the perception of the composition of the page. But if there is no "real" text yet, a random set of words will not solve the situation, but simply fill the space.

As soon as we see meaningful text instead of "fishy" text - the perception changes. Text can be fictitious, but most importantly - it creates the impression of real information that really could stand there.

In addition, this way you can "enliven" the text while making it more functional. For example, you can write not only the date but also the day of the week. It's a nice detail that doesn't cost anything to add, but it immediately changes the feeling for the user - or the client to whom you're presenting the prototype. Do it yourself, ask your colleague, or hire a cheap writer to do that. But it's best to not leave the space empty or with meaningless text.

If you take care of such details at the stage of "made-up" text, you won't have to redo the page grid later because of an extra line.

Another advantage of this approach is that by working with real text we can set certain rules for presenting information on the site.

About the Author

Janice Stanley is the owner of Woffex content writing service. She worked as a content manager for five years before deciding to start her own company.