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Building a Website: Why the Copy Comes First

What's in this article

When building a website it can be easy to get carried away with designing and worry about the copy later but this can cause problems later down the track. Do you want to know why website copy should come first when building a website? Look no further! In the following paragraph, I will explain why copy should be the primary consideration when building a website.

Copy is the reason for your website, it shows visitors what solutions you have for their problems and sets the context and tone of voice to be communicated and backed up through design. Creating the copy first also ensures the key stakeholder’s goals are met before getting too far into the design.

In this article, we’ll go further into the reasons why copy should come first in the website-building process and the ideal way to get a website built.

Ensures Website Goals Are Met

Usually, when someone builds a website they have an idea of what they want to communicate to their audience, the copy is what conveys that message, so it should be the first consideration when building a website. Without a clear understanding of the message and the language to be used to communicate it, the design and functionality of the website will be difficult to plan.

By having the website copy completed first the tone of voice and language can be used throughout the website-building process and create less friction during the other stages when building. Check out this article on creating a goal and a strategy for your website copy

Sets up the Tone of Voice

The tone of voice and messaging ideally would be created before the visuals. Every business or brand has a different tone of voice depending on its audience, so addressing target users and their pain points with a tone of voice and language that connects with them is best carried out with copy first then design.

It’s best to create a tone of voice and language that matches the company brand identity before going too far into the design. Get started here with creating a tone of voice for your audience

Saves Time and Money

Starting with the copy can help save time and money in the long run. By creating the content first, revisions can be made before the design and development stages, reducing the need for expensive redesigns later. It can also help streamline the development process, as the copy can be used as a guide for the website’s functionality.

Help With the Planning and Structure of a Website

The website copy also plays an important role in planning the site’s structure. The copy can help determine the organization of the website’s pages, navigation, and layout. Understanding the content that will be included on the website can help determine how the site should be structured for optimal user experience.

Writing Copy Around Design is Difficult

When the copy is created first this allows the design process to move more smoothly without too much focus on the copy details. With a design first then copy approach, it can be very costly to make edits because we’re having to redesign the website around the new copy

On the other hand, if there is no budget to redesign then it will very restrictive for the copywriter because the designer may have allocated too much or too little room for the copy. Because the copywriter is restricted they may not be able to communicate the message of the website properly.

Either way, the final output is affected because of the design first and the content later approach. this may have an effect on SEO because the message wasn’t expressed properly because the copy had to be created around the design, also the initial goal of the website may get lost in the re-building of the website.

Ideal Website Build Processes

There are many ways to approach building a website and budget can have a massive influence on building a website too. here are some ways you can build a website that are copy first


Write the copy yourself and design the website yourself with a web builder. Great if you have the time and a low budget to get started. Or if you have a bit more of a budget you could write it your self then send it to a web designer too. For small businesses, this can be a great approach because you will have insight into the business, insight that a copywriter may not have.

To get started on writing your own copy check out this practical guide on writing website copy


Another approach is to outsource it to a professional copywriter before getting a web designer to build it for you. Ideally, you want to get your copywriter and web designer to work together on the copy from the very start.

This approach is great because they can both make sure everything works from an SEO standpoint and ensure the design and copy fit together properly as well. Usually, it’s best to have a copywriter and web designer who has worked together previously and knows how each other work to produce the best outcome.


In agencies, they have one or more people who specialize in every aspect of building a website, and they will guide you the whole way. The copywriter and you work together to develop a message the business wants to convey. Once the message has been created, i.e copy, it will be sent to the design team, the design team consists of a UX/UI Design team.

The UX/UI team creates the design, accessibility and look of the website based on the message, this will be in the form of wireframes and mockups which will be sent over to the developer team after your review who then bring the project to life with code and other technical aspects of the project.

Need a hand? I've got 3 ways to make your life easier.

1. How good is your website at booking clients? Answer 26 questions and get actionable tips today and see where you can improve your website

2. Branding design: Stop blending in! Get a captivating narrative, stunning visuals, and a memorable online presence with brand design

3. Web Design: Your website isn’t just a portfolio, it’s a lead magnet. Get a website that books.

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