illustration of cabin in the woods being a good foundation for a village.

Unlocking the Mystery of Website Design: Does Layout or Content Take the Lead?

Some people think design is the most important for creating a new website. But I’m a big believer that content-first is key.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s essential to have a well-designed website that is easy to use.

Yet, content is the most essential factor in attracting customers.

People will keep coming back if the website has relevant and up-to-date content. But, if the website is poorly designed or difficult to use, people will not stick around for long.

Finding a good balance between both is definitely the way to go. You don’t want people put off by a cluttered website, but you don’t want them bored by a lack of information.

You might think that design comes first, but in reality, content is more important when it comes to your visitors.

Let’s talk about content first to support design.

How do you approach website design with a content-first approach?

You need to understand who your audience is, what problems they are trying to solve, and how to get them to take action.

Research and a marketing plan will lead you to the customer’s path. The quality of that information will help you set the page structure.

Which in turn helps set a good foundation.

I now start with the content when creating the page structure and layouts. First, you want to highlight the information a visitor will want to see.

Hint: Do some research with your customers to see what they are searching for or what frustrates them about other websites.

Why content is more important than design?

A design may be pleasing, but it will not be successful if the website does not have relevant content.

People get bored quickly, so all those neat design elements will only get you far. That is not to say that design is unimportant. Users will generally pay more attention to websites with good design than those with bad design.

Yet, if you have relevant and engaging content, you can still succeed without great design. So, you should focus on content first, but don’t leave the design as an afterthought.

Hint: Think about how you search for solutions to your problems; the information you seek is top of mind.

How to think about website design and content when creating a new website?

Content is what users get out of a website. Content decides what the website is about. It’s written in words; the message is conveyed to address the problems.

But, the design is how a user interacts with the website.

You need to think about your website’s goal and target audience.

Are you creating a product or service website? The content should include detailed descriptions of the services or products you offer.

Are you creating a blog? You will need to create articles with engaging titles that will attract visitors.

Are you trying to build qualified leads? You need to showcase your brand message while addressing the audience’s needs.

Hint: Don’t be afraid to add some personality to your content with images, videos, and more.

Why not design and create website content simultaneously?

There are many reasons why not to design and create website content simultaneously.

One reason is that it can be challenging to maintain both the website’s design and its content. The content can affect the design, and changes can influence the design.

For these reasons, WordPress is popular because it allows content to be created independently of the design. Then, when the content is ready, it can be integrated into the completed design.

Creating quality content first helps keep your website organized and easy to navigate.

Hint: If a business is working on a redesign, we suggest revisiting content to ensure it’s still on point.

Which is more critical – design or content?

The answer is both.

You need to understand your goals for your website design clearly. Once you understand that, creating the right content that will drive the design will be easier. The design is to help enhance the message and engage the customer.

Need help with your website design? Let us help you match the design with your content.