To some, content is nothing. To others, content is king. But to us, content IS KONG.
Coined several years ago, the phrase “content is king” is mostly a motto echoed and reinforced by the blogging community. Visit any of the most popular and successful blogs out there and you will see that they repeat this message over and over again until you’re, quite frankly, sick of the sight of it. To them, there is nothing more valuable, nothing more important, nothing more crucial to the success of their online presence than their content. And they’re dead right.
The simple truth is blogs live or die by their content and regardless of how pretty the site looks, how wonderful its boasts or claims (“earn six figures a month blogging online!”) or how damn beautiful its origami logo is, no one will ever pay any heed to it unless what it has to say has substance, passion and life. What’s even more interesting though is that this focus on content and its importance to the success of a site doesn’t just stop at blogging and, over the past few years, we’re actually seeing a resurgence regarding the value of content in the web design industry as a whole.
ignoring content should be considered a grievous sin, just below beastiality, punishable by an eternity of being forced to use IE6 whilst listening to Justin Bieber
The CMS effect
I say resurgence because, not so long ago, when the Content Management System was the new and fancy nerd kid on the block and everyone just had to have one there was a large scale shift in the way bespoke web sites were developed. No longer were they about creating individual pages on a site but rather they became about designing dynamic templates that would allow the user to build their own. Whilst this may have provided the client with a sense of convenience and value for money, the side effect was that suddenly the onus and burden of creating and delivering engaging and enticing content had been taken off the shoulders of the web developers and placed onto the clients themselves. We, the professionals, were now letting amateurs build their own sites out of Lego building blocks instead of helping to craft them a truly potent and powerful product.
Recently though web designers and developers have started to notice this and that whilst its easy to get seduced by the technological power of CMS’ they can sometimes have the unhealthy effect of making us neglect the actual content itself. The fact is by ignoring copy and imagery and leaving the responsibility of it all entirely up to, often, the untrained client we are actually reducing the quality of the end product. Content should never be an afterthought, it should always be the driving force behind the entire project, regardless of whether it be a site, app, blog or whatever, because without knowing what you’re going to say, how can you possibly know how to say it best?
The power of good content
The reality is that content is more than just words or images that fill up pages or make up site hierarchies, they are messages that the site conveys, the personality it imbues, the tone of voice it inspires with and the imagery it engages and draws the visitor in with. Good content is perhaps the most important part of any online project and something that requires a lot of deep consideration right from the beginning. Content should influence the design process, it should dictate the strategy of marketing and the message being conveyed. Without content you have no site, you just have hollow shells of templates that mean nothing.
We believe in content. We believe in spending the time required to make it good, to make it worthwhile, to make it engaging. It should influence everything of what we do, from design to build to launch. Ignoring content should be considered a grievous sin, just below beastiality, punishable by an eternity of being forced to use IE6 whilst listening to Justin Bieber. In fact, we believe in it so much that the adage ”content is king” doesn’t do it justice in our eyes. We’ve moved it on and stepped it up, making content the biggest and baddest king of them all – Kong.