Blog » Why Copy Should Come First

Why Copy Should Come First

Write Copy First

Copy is the building material your website is made of. If your website is a house, your content is the wood and bricks that the house is made with. Imagine working the manufacturing of plywood and bricks into the schedule for building a house. You exponentially increase the risk of going over time and over budget.

When you have a solid first draft of your website copy it serves as great background information for the project team. It provides key information to the people formulating the web strategy and helps shape the creative brief that provides direction and inspiration to the creative designers.

The Problem

Clients often say they want a new website. What they aren’t saying is that they want to flush out their product or service offering, refresh their tone, and dramatically overhaul what they currently say on their existing website. Many times the request for new or additional copy comes with little to no supporting material.

When you start the copy halfway through the project along with the site design, you are setting yourself up for delays. The back and forth to flush out exactly what to say will take 5 to 10 times longer than the writing itself.

The Right Way

Start your web project with a solid first draft of the information you want to have on your website.

This includes:

  • All the content or at least a description of all the content you want to include
  • A definition of your product/service offering
  • An understanding of who your target market or audience is (in written form)

You’ll need a project timeline in months rather than weeks if you plan to do any of the following while embarking on a web redesign:

  • Defining your product/service offering
  • Developing a brand name, logo and brand guidelines
  • Defining your target market or audience

Really the scope of work for content during a site redesign should be:

  • Organize and structure the information for the web
  • Figure out the best way to present the content
  • Edit copy for the web and make changes/updates

Anything more than this will typically cause the project to get behind schedule. These time overruns are not because the work takes so long, but because the decision making and approval process of exactly what you want to say involves a lot of politicking and back and forth. Expect it to take longer when more people are involved and especially if there is more than one final decision maker.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>