Before you hire a web designer to build your website, it’s best to plan your website content. Having content prepared in advance can help your designer/developer complete your website sooner, as they can do the work all at once. It will also be less expensive than if you made content changes later on. That being said, it’s always OK to change content later.
Writing for the Web – Home Page
Your home page content should be simple and straightforward. Keep in mind the #1 rule for writing on the web: People don’t read, they scan. (Nielsen Norman Group)
Here are some tips for organizing your home page content:
- Have a purpose statement: In 1-2 sentences, describe to someone who doesn’t know you what your website is about, what you do, and who you are. If your website is for a local business, include the city or region. Example: Korra’s Kitten Rescue: We rescue, rehabilitate, and re-home kittens in Victoria, BC.
- Have an action item: What do you want your website visitors to do when they arrive? We’ll make this into a button at the top of the page. It’s good to start with a verb. Here are some examples:
- Request an Estimate
- Visit our Store
- View our Catalogue
- View Sales Items
- Download our App
- Include a short paragraph that describes what you do in more detail, and why someone should want to hire or work with you instead of your competitors.
- Featured Content: Do you have any other content that you want to highlight on the home page? (Testimonials, team members, services, products, etc)
Other Page Content
Your home page text should be kept fairly short, but for other pages, it’s OK to have more written content as long as it’s formatted properly.
Here are some examples of other pages you may want to include on your website:
- About Page
- News or Blog
Make a list of what’s important to your business. This will become your website’s navigation menu.
Here are some basic writing tips for web content:
- Put the topic at the start of the sentence/paragraph
- Keep paragraphs short
- Use list formatting when text lists exceed 3 items:
- Bold important words
- Use headings to break up content into readable sections.
- Proofread: check for spelling and grammar errors.
Photography & Illustrations
Photography and illustrations are an important part of your website. Here are some resources for both free and paid illustrations & photography.
- Hire a professional photographer – This option is best for local brick-and-mortar businesses, eCommerce businesses, and others.
- Purchase stock photography –
- Create fun illustrations with one of these new apps:
- Hire a professional illustrator – If you really want your website to be unique, hire an illustrator to create unique graphics for your website.