Zach Shepherd's WordPress Blog

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Sunday, September 2, 2007

The Necessity of Content in a Website

In reading a recent article about “Reviving Anorexic Web Writing” on A List Apart, I was struck by both the Amber Simmon’s approach to ensuring adequate site content: not beginning the design process without it in hand, and her differentiation between content and copy: that copy is just the marketing fluff while content is what the site is about. She makes the point that while reduction of copy on websites is a good and necessary practice, reduction of a site’s content is in many cases ill-advised. The archaic practice of “eliminate, eliminate, eliminate” is sometimes applied to content without thought to the fact that without content, there is no reason for a site to exist. She continues on to point out that alt text is more important than often thought (if it’s just a picture and the visually impaired wont be missing anything by missing it, why do you need it in the first place?) and that footers are often under-utilized (why can’t you put something other than copyrights and links, such as actual content, down there?).

It seems to me that people in web related fields (web design, development, writing, etc.) often forget the importance of website content, even though it seems like an impossible thing to forget, because without the content, the entire site is pointless. Logically speaking, content should serve as the foundation for the website, with everything else serving to enhance it. Why isn’t the content-first method of web development the most popular one? I can’t think of a good reason not to use it.

posted by Zach at 2:30 am  
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