Content is the most important part of any website. It can be the text, audio, video and images that appear on each page. At a very basic level Web Design can be broken into two different parts. On one side you have the development of the actual pages, be it HTML, JavaScript, PHP, ASP, AJAX, Ruby on Rails, etc. On the other side you have the creation of the Content. Most Web Design companies handle only the first part which is the development of the actual pages. It’s usually up to the Client to develop the content that will appear on the pages.

Content can be a HUGE bottleneck. At different times during the development of the actual code for the pages, Content needs to be taken into account. That is why creating the Content for a website before hiring a developer is a great idea. It allows the developer to take into account the Content when designing the web site or web application. The Content that is provided to the web developer should not be considered the final copy. It’s just a guideline that the developer can use to better create the site.

It also means that the Project Managers on both side (client and developer) do not have to go back and forth as much with regards to the content that will be appearing on each page. The client will not need to scramble to create content that the developer needs in order to continue or finish development of the site. When the project leaves the design phase and the web site or web application has been tested, the client won’t need to begin creating the content at that time. This means the web site or web application can be released sooner.

Many times, the Client does not take into account that actual Content that will be appearing on the web site or web application until the entire development of the site has been finished. As stated above, this means that the release date of the project has to be pushed back while that Content is created. This can lead to poorly thought out Content. The Web Design company should be offering the Client suggestions about the Content. It should be optimized for Search Engines, and it should be as jargon free as possible.

Jargon Free. That’s a very important part of content. When writing Content for a website you want to make it as simple as possible. The Client knows and understand the business they are promoting but that does not mean that the users that come to the website will understand. Web sites exist whose Content is full of Jargon and overly complex text that can confuse the user. In some cases a dictionary of terms is provided somewhere on the web site or web application to help new users under the Jargon. If you find yourself needing or thinking about a dictionary of terms, then you are using Jargon. A dictionary of terms is almost an afterthought to make up for badly thought out Content. As with any rule there are always exceptions. If Content is being designed for a specific audience, then using Jargon may be the necessary, as it would be if you were writing a technical document.

Writing good, thought out, jargon free content is just as important as having a well designed web site or web application. It’s just as important and as having a site that is optimized for search engines. It’s as important as any other part of designing a good web site or web application. It should get the same time, planning and effort that the other aspects of web design and development do.

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