In my last corporate job one of my tasks was to create a new web site – pretty much from scratch. The basic design and layout was decided within the first couple of weeks of the project and then the hard part…filling those empty layouts with content. Adding the content took months and months and I don’t think my bosses ever understood what was taking so long. Writing relevant copy, making illustrations, collating product information is very, very time consuming and then formatting it to go onto the site was a job in itself.
There are thousands of “web providers” out there that will be happy to take your money to design and create a web site for you. But when they are finished what next? All they’ve built for you is an empty vessel that needs filling. They don’t know your product and aren’t going to spend the time to learn it. You need to fill the vessel with content but as I allude to above it’s a) time consuming and b) tricky for the non-programmer. One of my friends called it ‘web geekery!”
Without content your site can still be a viable online brochure for your company but only for people you personally drive to it. No one new will find your site because without content the major search engines downplay and even disregard sites without updated content.
Since branching out on my own I’ve come across 5 or 6 situations which all lead to support my headline – Content is king – but a complete pain in the neck.
One of my web developer partners have a client on their books, who paid for a web site a year ago and is paying a monthly maintenance fee, and still has the empty vessel – no content, just the shell site. Others have recounted stories of companies getting half way through and then just stopping because no one has time to create the content.
My “web geekery” friend has some GREAT ideas swirling in his head. He’s started the process of creating his site with a local developer only to find that the Content Management System (CMS) chosen by the developer is so user-unfriendly that it’s become impossible for him to upload the content that he has, to his own site!
I don’t if it was Julius Caesar who said “Caveat Emptor” just before he bought Brutus a new knife set, but “Buyer Beware” is still a phrase we can all still live by – especially when it comes to launching a new web site. Before you sign any commitment to create www.the_next_great_thing.com make sure that a) you have content to fill it and b) that your developer gives you easy-to-use tools to help you get your message. If you don’t have the content or don’t have the time you should seriously consider using a contractor to create it for you – someone just like me! Contact me via my web site at www.dsm-llc.com or my Facebook page.