How To Organize and Prepare Web site Content
Learn why it’s important to prepare website content before you add it to your website, and how to get that done.
Sure, WordPress will let you update your website content easily; edit text, replace images, update links. But if you wait to edit this content until after it’s in your site, the end result will suffer.
This first phase to prepare website content and getting it ready properly will save you and your team a lot of time and avoid headaches. With your content ready, the site will launch on schedule and ready to bring in new business.
The pros and cons for completing the content before we create the website.
complete site content before design
review content after the deisgn
Here are 3 Top Tips for Content Management: Collaborate, Organize, and Review
Let's Get Started With Managing Your Website Content:
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STEP 1: Team Collaboration
Why We Need To
In a team of two or more, working together is an important part of any project’s success. Let’s get on the same page (pun intended) so we know what we are working on.
What are we collaborating?
How do we collaborate?
There are several options for Document Collaboration: The best way to keep the content organized, accessible, and up-to-date it to use a cloud-based service, like Google Drive, DropBox, or iCloud. These shared-environments and tools offer cloud-based document editing, allowing for multiple team editors to work on the same document at the same time while seeing each other’s edits. And all images are available for all group members to see. No need to email files back and forth, just look in the folder.
Emailing files can get unmanageable very quickly, especially when emails can contain the same file names with updates. After a few emails like this, it’s very difficult to track what you’ve sent or omitted. Often we forget what was sent… so we’ll send it again. How many times have we all received an email with images, only to get the same email a week later “not sure if I sent these?” with the same images. Well, we are not sure if they are the same so we have to save them. But later we find they are duplicates. How do we collaborate?
Why not track
changes in Word?
Working with Word files and DropBox is not as easy to set up as Google Drive and Google Docs. And emailing Word files does not guarantee other’s changes will carry over to your documents. Imagine that more than one team leader is working on the same document/page. Each editor makes their own edits to a single Word file, and some overlap the others’ edits. All of these editors send back their individual edited document to you. How do we know which document to use, which edit to favor, etc? This can be avoided using a collaborative approach. With one “live” document in the cloud, edits are instant, live, and always updated; this simplifies and clarifies which document to use. There is only one.
Break It Down:
STEP 2: Gathering The Content
So that it’s clear what goes where… Keep It Simple, Sarah… Name your files and organize them in folders.
Where do we put everything?
Folders. Create a folder with the same name as the page, like “team” for example. For any project (like a website, brochure, video) it’s extremely important to stay on top of all of the content. If your images and files are not organized, it will be very confusing to know that “IMG20198632Anu7.JPG” is for the “Sarah’s Bio” section of the About Team page. In order to know which image belongs to which page, create a single folder for each page. For this example, we will name this folder “About” and place all images we want for this page in this folder. Since we also want good SEO (read more on that here), we want to name the image “sarah-smith-cio-company-name.jpg” which will be very clear what this is.
Can we embed images inside the document?
No. Although it’s familiar to drag your images into a document so that we know where you want them, there are 2 reasons why we don’t want to do this. ONE – We can’t refer to that image. Websites require images to load from a source. This means we have to load that image with code (img src=”the-image-name-here.png”) and that means it needs to be an image, and not a text document. TWO – That image is probably too small (low resolution) in your document for us to use. We need to make the site scalable for multiple screen sizes. Learn more about image file formats.
Does each page need the text document to be in that folder?
Yes! Usually we have only 1 text document for each page. This is a clear way to know what text belongs just to that page. For extra clarity, name that page “about” so we know it’s for the about page, or “team” for the team page. Just imagine if all of our text documents were named “text” – that would be difficult to locate it if we were in “recent documents” on Google Drive with dozens of “text” files.
Break It Down:
STEP 3: Review, Revise, and Finalize
Why is it important to get this done first?
Saves time and money. Getting your content completed before we put it in your website will save a huge amount of time, frustration, and ultimately, money. The sooner we get this content completed, the quicker you can get in on your site. Also… and more importantly, how can we design and build a website if we don’t have the content?
Can we just do this after you put it into the website?
Technically, Yes. But you don’t want to start your new website with errors do you? Reviewing what content you have in folders is a lot easier and quicker than navigating a website to see what content has been provided. With all of your content now in front of you, you can easily see what will be included… if it’s not in the folders, it’s not going to be added to the site. Updating the text before it goes into the website is a straight-forward and more familiar environment. Simply make the text edits to the pages, include all of the images, PDFs, and video you want for your site pages. Your website guru will do the rest!
What else should we check to complete the website content?
Break It Down:
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