Congrats – you’ve decided to build a new website!
So … what next? Or rather: What first?
Whether you’re DIYing your website or hiring a copywriter and web designer to create your dream digital home for you, you’re probably wondering what you should focus on first: your copy or your design?
Well, while the truth is that you can tackle either one first, I personally love to have a wireframe before I start writing my client’s copy.
“Wait, wtf is a wireframe, Cass?”
Don’t worry, I’m not going to drop some random webby jargon and leave you hanging.
A wireframe is a simple visual skeleton created by a web designer or graphic designer to mock-up what your website will look like.
It isn’t a full design concept; that’ll come later.
Instead, it just shows a basic layout of where elements (like your hero header, intro copy and call to actions) of your website will go.
Why I ask for wireframes
As a copywriter, I love working with wireframes because they show me what type of copy I need to create. I know how many headlines I need to create, how much micro-copy needs to be crafted and how long each content area should be.
It makes my job a whole lot easier. And rather than creating copy and hoping my client can make my copy work for their site design, I know I’m creating copy they need.
In saying that, it’s really not a big deal if my client doesn’t have a wireframe. I can – and do – work around it!
Why web designers ask for copy before they begin designing
In the same way it’s easier for me to know what to write if I know where it’s going to be going, it’s easy for web designers to create your wireframes if they know much copy will be included.
If the web copy is provided before they start designing, they’ll know the size of text boxes and headlines to design. Plus, they’ll also get a better idea of your brand style and personality!
So … which one comes first?
Well, it’s a little bit of a chicken and an egg situation.
Which is a good thing! It means no matter what situation you’re in, you can make it work for you.
Official creator and word nerd at Wild Spirit Co. I’m a former journalist and communications manager turned word-wrangler for hire. These days, I fist bump with clever entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses searching for words that woo and copy that converts. I have nine years of experience tucked into the waistband of my yoga tights (which I do everything but yoga in) and am the go-to girl for personality-packed communications that blend strategy with storytelling.