Website copy – how to provide content for web projects

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Most web projects follow the same process when it comes to website content.

The client (you) supplies the content, then the designer/developer (us) builds the website. It makes a lot of sense to do it this way. We design based on what you supply.

This means you will need to create a content document. The simplest way of doing this, for most project is is with a  Microsoft Word or Google Docs.

Tips on setting up a content document

Here are a few tips to check before you hit send!

1. Make sure it’s final

Nothing slows down the process like making large content changes after a site is already built. Small tweaks here and there are fine, but creating new pages or moving entire sections around takes time which will  slow your project down or may even be out of scope. Making changes to a Word document is easy. Making changes to a website takes a little more time. Review, peer-review and finalise your content before you send it and avoid headaches later in the process.

2. Start each page on a new page

This might seem insignificant, but each page on your website should start a new page in your content document.

A website is made up of pages, so it makes sense for the content document to be divided up the same way. This makes it much easier to scan through when we’re looking for a specific page in your document.

Start with a bold heading, then continue with your content.

3. Minimise document styles

Use a dark colour for everything (either black or dark grey) and a brighter colour (eg. light blue) for any notes/instructions you need to leave, like image placement. That’s it!

That’s all the colours you should need. Deciphering weird and wonderful colour schemes takes time.

4. Don’t design

All we want is your text and images. If you’re trying to describe a complex element like a slider or a pop-up, just write “POP-UP: This is the text on the pop-up”. Don’t try to ‘design’ one with Word’s less-than-spectacular drawing tools. 

If you’re struggling to describe an element – link to an example of it or chat to us about it.

5. Less is more

That old rule, definitely applies here. Only include your site content and any relevant notes. Nothing more.

6. Be consistent

Keep the styling of all element types the same. Style all headings to look the same. Style all body text to look the same. Style all lists to look the same. Consistency goes a long way, especially in large content documents.

7. Send images separately

Don’t copy and paste images into your document. This creates extra work for you (pasting them in) and us (saving them out). Word will also compress your images so they won’t come through at full size, and you’ll need to send them through again anyway.

Add the images to a shared Dropbox or Google Drive folder.

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