Written by: Eric Kiefer | July 27, 2023
A big part of our job is taking your content and putting it on the web in a way that entices search engines and looks great on all devices. There are many things you can do on your end to maximize our time and ensure that you're paying us web developer rates for us to be web developers, rather than paying those same rates for us to do data processing that could be done by someone without our skillset.
Outlining what it is you want to say and creating a sitemap before you post anything is a necessary first step in creating your content. We know web design, but we don't know your business. We can help ask the right questions, but in the end, what gets said on your website is up to you. The more refined and clear your content, the more time we have to perform the technical tasks that make your users' experience great. Remember that web users have notoriously short attention spans. No one is going to read a 5 page epic novel about the business's history. No one. Keep content succinct and get to the point. You know those awful recipe pages where you have to read paragraphs of useless fluff before getting the recipe? Don't do that. Home page, products/services, about us, contact. Go into as much detail as you need with products and services if you think that will help sell more. Website visitors who don't use your services, buy your products, or link to your content are meaningless.
If you must tell a long story, make it accessible via a "read more" link on one of your shorter pages. Let the user decide if they want to read more, rather than force them to wade through a lot of fluff to get to your product or service
Microsoft Word has stuck around for decades like a bad rash. For some reason people still insist on using it. That's all well and good until you send the documents to your web developer. Word uses a variety of special characters that have to be converted before use on the web. It inserts a plethora of unnecessary nonsense when you try to paste it into a content management system, and its pictures are generally unusable. Consider at least 15 minutes of extra time for each word document you send. Any text you send for a website should be plain text .txt. Bonus for sending HTML.
It's a lazy practice to just send a folder full of photos. 3 excellent photos are much better than 20 meh photos. Be cruel with your culling of bad pictures. Send the very best and leave the rest out. Generally we want the biggest version you have, preferably the original. iPhones have an annoying habit of resizing images. Don't do it. Send the image in its original size.
This may sound like we're trying to make our job easier at your expense, but in the end, the better your content, the better your site. We want your site to succeed, and we want YOU to succeed.