4 Content Questions to Ask Yourself Before Your Next Website Redesign
When was the last time you took a good, hard look at your website’s content?
Wrangling content is like herding sheep – it’s not so bad if there’s a shepherd.
Content concerns tend to sneak up on teams toward the end of web redesign projects, often delaying launch several weeks – or in some cases, months. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
If you’re about to embark on website build or redesign, these key questions will, when addressed early and among the right people, help ease the pain.
- How much content do you have?
This may seem like an obvious question, but more often than not, answering it becomes a daunting task that gets pushed aside until it’s too late. Content inventories—exhaustive lists of pages and files—are a fantastic way to get a good picture of a website’s content. They are a pain, sure, but they are necessary. These are most often spreadsheets. Depending on the complexity of your website, they can be done by hand (this gets old after 300 pages, I assure you), or can be done with automated tools (like site crawlers).
- How good is that content?
So you’ve gotten to the second question! Fantastic, because by now, you have your inventory of site content. Now, it’s time for the audit. Take that spreadsheet—that content inventory—and add some columns that help identify the quality of the content. Does this page need to be rewritten? Is it out of date? Can we toss it altogether?
- What are we missing?
After taking a quantitative and qualitative look at your content, patterns have likely emerged. Gaps have likely emerged, too. At this step in the process, the content team should be combing through the audit to see what kinds of content needs to be rewritten, reworked, or created anew. Assigning points for level of effort to the content audit is a good way to get a sense of time and resource requirements.
- Who can fix that?
Phew. You’ve gotten through the tough questions. And by now you likely have a list of pages that either need to be rewritten or created from scratch. This information you’ve painstakingly gathered means nothing if you don’t identify who can accomplish those tasks.
This is undoubtedly a difficult process. Conducting a content inventory and audit is tedious and time-consuming, but it is requisite for the success of your web project.Investing the time up-front to get it out of the way (or getting someone else to do it) will ensure smooth sailing on the approach to launch.