Web101: How to Organize & Communicate Your Content
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - Nathan Walasek
The process of building or re-designing your company’s website can be a daunting task. Part two of the five-part “Web101” series explores easy ways to efficiently relay content & ideas to your web partner.
Organization is Key
One thing that’s often glossed-over when starting a large web project is how to prepare content for your web partner so that it’s well-organized and easy to understand. As a web designer, I’ve had the displeasure of trying to sift through dozens of rapid-fire emails with incomprehensible subject lines and folders full of unlabeled images and documents.
Having a solid plan for your content not only makes life simpler for your web partner, but it also benefits you by reducing your billed costs for time spent. Below are a few ways in which you can make the process easier and more efficient.
You know that your need to provide your web partner with content for the site, but do you remember exactly what is needed? Can you recall that your company’s logo was requested in vector, color, and monochrome versions? Do you know what content you’ve already provided and what is remaining? Together with your web partner, compile a checklist of all the assets you’ll need to collect so that nothing is missed.
Spreadsheets are a great way to understand the purpose of each page and keep an inventory of your content. Create a document that lists all of your pages, the URLs for them, some notes on their purpose and where that page’s content can be found (e.g. name of an email, a shared folder, etc).
A shared folder is a place to store files that can be accessed by multiple people. These cloud-based services are usually offered for free (with restrictions on how much file space you are allowed to use). Some examples include Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive.
Give your web partner access to your shared folder and both of you will always have access to the most up-to-date version of the documents and files needed for your site. Utilizing a shared drive also makes it extremely easy to illustrate which files belong with each section of your site.
Here’s an example of how a shared folder’s hierarchy might be setup:
If you must resort to email as your primary means of communicating your site’s content, try the following tactics:
- Use concise subject lines
Begin each subject line with your company’s name, followed by the content you’re delivering (e.g. “Mysite – About Us page content”). Your web partner is often juggling multiple projects, and a clear subject line will help each one separate.
- Send fewer emails
Hold off on sending content that’s not completely ready. It’s better to wait until your text has been proofread and revised to avoid sending last-minute changes which can get lost.
- Avoid forwarding emails
It’s often best to copy-and-paste important information into a new email instead of forwarding a long email chain. It’s much quicker to reference something when you don’t need to dig through a series of replies and unrelated conversations.
In part three of the “Web101” series, we’ll cover what you should expect during the design and development process.
Did you miss the last post? Get caught up: Web101: What to Expect When Working With a Digital Web Partner