Content vs Design – Which is More Important?

The initial purpose of the Internet was to facilitate a better and easier exchange of information; firstly between the scientists at CERN. After the successful implementation the project became global.

Nowadays, Internet is a common entity, which is almost (I put almost mainly for the conservators) irreplaceable and the tendency is that the entire humanity is to be become addictive on. It is possible to solve many difficult problems only by a single click, and as a bonus the entire world seems to be living in a small village, since we all are communicating super-fast due to this great invention. Another important matter is the fact that there are so many websites that we are wasting too much time on to find the proper information.

This richness of the online presences could be annoying but surely there are many other advantages leaving the disadvantages in the shadow. Launching a website is by far not a fad, but rather it is a necessity. As I said, due to the richness of the websites it is very hard to have a considerable amount of visits which in fact is the main purpose. It really doesn’t matter which kind of website someone is launching (e-commerce, portfolio, blog, presenting an organization etc) the success is in a direct relationship whit the traffic achieved.

We have already covered few very good articles which we think we should refer here: Tips for Encouraging Others to Link to Your Blog, Top Blog Design Mistakes, Tips and Trends on Creating Depth in Web Design, Importance of Checklist and Ideas, What to Consider Before Approaching a Web Designerand What Is An Unconventional Layout.

A serious online presence is always studied by the specialists and is in an eternal process of improving. This article is written with the special purpose to highlight the elements which can bring more visits in order to become successfully. Definitely, there are two main components which constitute a website:

– The Design
– The Written Content.

A lot of specialists of the online medium say that between these is a harsh competition; some consider that the design is primordial, others believe that the content is king; mostly it depends on the job of the specialists questioned! Personally I consider it a major error; a website can be a battlefield, it is the place where these two components are becoming a team to be enjoyed by the users. So, how should content and a design be created to obtain the best composition for a website? Are here some rules?

Obviously, there are recommendations about how to realize this joint but unfortunately nobody can establish a precise rule. It will be great to know if you enjoy these and it will be ok if you come with other tips!

1. A good design is attracting the people but a good content is maintaining them:

I believe there isn’t an Internet users who didn’t spent some free time only to navigate without a clear purpose and who didn’t visit a website only because the design was attractive. It’s been demonstrated that the design is the one who makes people come to the website, it is the power of the visual.

On the other hand, the content is the one who maintain the traffic; people come to your website but at the same time they should be maintained. In other words, something is required that should make the readers come again and again, and this is the content. Having a good content is a guaranty that the visitors have something to enjoy when they come to the website.

2. The design of a layout and the written content should have the same message:

Usually the design and the content are made by the different people (and this is a positive aspect) but in spite of that, the overall message should be the same. Think of a website which has as public target the kids, here they can find the latest news about Donald Duck, the little mermaid and the design is made properly with the idea. The written content should be very similar otherwise everything could go down, for example having an ironical voice with kids is disastrous. The designer and the writer must be friends and not the guys who want to demonstrate each other which are the best.

3. The design and the written content are the key factors in obtaining a better position in the search of the engines:

I repeat this is much more than important, the designer and the writer aren’t two different entities; they are part from a team. The ultimate job for them is to be the number one in the search of the engines. The algorithm of positioning is very complicated, very flexible and secret so it is a difficult task. This algorithm is based on many visual elements but also on the content. Now, everything is clear: the success of the website is in connection with the position in the searches of the engines which is dependent by the design and the content.

4. A website is a live presence which needs maintenance:

Due to the very changeable algorithm, a website which today is on the first page when someone searches for a specific term, tomorrow can be penalized and situated on the tenth page. This fact means that every day the website should be updated to the latest changes to avoid any problems. Regarding the design, the changes couldn’t be so important but when we speak about the content there are so many possibilities.

In a nutshell any important website needs a strong policy and everything needs a good schedule, else it is very hard to impress when the competition is so powerful. All the actions or even the redesign should have a clear idea behind and the designer and content writer must collaborate with the SEO specialist.

Sharing is Caring
  • Hi Diana,

    Content is the king no doubt about that but you should also have a better design and navigation structure to maintain your king reputation just like a real life king.

  • Ava

    I’m guessing by the way everything is smushed left on this page and the paragraphs are way to width-y, you are going with content.

  • Content is the king …. but … nothing should be taken to the extreme

  • Maite

    Content & Design

    I found this web (is a nudist web) html5, css3, content and desing, is curious.

    • leonlee

      great. the webdesign is so brief.

  • Content vs Design – Which is More Important?

    Get rid of that title , seriously one is nothing without the other.
    Content is made easier to understand and interpret by the use of design.

    Simple example would be to write an article in a word document but leave out any form of styling; no bold, no larger or smaller text, no underline-Basically keep everything the same.
    Then apply some typography. Content (in all it’s king glory) is still there but with the aid of design, the article is now ten times effective.

  • Amanda Gonzalez

    Thanks for your insights, Diana.

    Really, content is everything. As Darren said, content is much more powerful with the aid of design, but it can (just) stand on its own two feet without it. If your content is rich, informative and valuable but your site isn’t attractive, your prospectives will return. Just ask Jakob.

    Web design doesn’t stand a chance if it doesn’t contain good content. You won’t find too many prospectives returning to your site if it’s gorgeous but has no substance.

    Usability, on the other hand, is a completely different conversation.

  • Jarrett

    Please tell me how visual element affect the Search Engine Algorithims as you say in #3.

    Other than the img alt tag I cant think of any especially because search engine Spiders and bots ignore CSS altogether.

    But I am hoping I am wrong because anything that affects the SERPs, I am interested in.

  • tuca

    thanks for this interesting post, there is no winner is just how somebody can find a website.anyway good ideas here!

  • Doing research for a web design class in College where they asked which is more important. THIS…is a FANTASTIC post!

  • Everyone knows that ‘content is the king’. To get good ranking in search engines Content certainly plays a major role. After getting the visitor on the site, the design too plays the vital role to make the visitor sticky to the site.

  • Interesting article indeed. I always thought that content is the most important aspect of a website, but Diana has rightly pointed out the impact of design as well. Thanks for sharing this article!

  • Kamal

    Contest vs Design- Actually both. One will have not have its importance without the other. For a website to be good, content should be worthy and design should be appealing.