Content is the most important aspect of your website. It is what compels your viewers to come to and continue engaging with your site. Sure, the images and all of the other bells and whistles might give the viewer warm fuzzies when they see them for the first time, but without content that can draw the viewer into the real message and offerings of your site, they will soon get bored and leave.

In the olden days of The Internet, before there was even a glimpse of responsive design, not to mention separate themes for smaller devices, it was easy to build a good-looking website and then add in the content—sort of like building a pantry then filling it with groceries. However, today’s Internet, with the various different viewport sizes of all of the different devices your viewers will use to view your site, the actual placement and sizing of content is of the utmost importance.

Here’s where many encounter this challenge: it is easy enough to start building a site from creative designs and use Lorem Ipsum content for placement until the final content comes in. But 9 times out of 10, when the actual content drops into place, things look odd. Something as simple as a headline, which was designed to hold a few words, will look disorganized when the real headline is even a few characters too long.

The Importance of a Content-First Approach to Website Development

A lot of what web developers do after the initial build of the site is to spend extra time fiddling with the CSS for the site as a whole, as well as using overrides for specific pages and areas of a page to band-aid these issues. This can take much more time than anticipated as well as possibly pushing up the cost.

Like the old cliches about mobile-first websites, we now must face the reality that websites must be built content-first. The time and budget required upfront will pay off in overall efficiency of the development time and cost, and yield a better user experience in the long run.

When possible, if final content is provided before the build-out of the site begins, most of the time-intensive final layout band-aids will never be needed, thus allowing your site to go live on time and within budget.