A Rant (Mostly) About Web Content

Keith Robinson goes off in A Rant (Mostly) About Web Content. He notes what most of us have first-hand experience of from dealing with clients: many people don’t realise that a website needs good content to work.

I know this all too well. So many of the websites I’ve built through the years have only survived for a short time past their initial launch. They die the horrible death-of-crappy-content when the client adds poorly edited copy and amateurish, oversize photos. And it sucks to see something you’ve created be ruined like that.

Posted on February 11, 2005 in Content Management, Quicklinks, Writing


  1. Making a site for yourself, or for friends, is great because you are in control even after it’s done. When you hand it over to people who you won’t be seeing again, it’s hard to let go. I don’t do a lot of client sites currently but I’ve definately been turned off from webdesign on a few projects where the site wasn’t kept up to the quality it should have been. A few designs though have been for people that I’m still connected with and they don’t mind me logging in and doing some fixer uppers every so often. Those are actually the sites I’ve felt best about long after I’ve handed them over.

  2. Most of our (where I work) customers seem to put the newest lowest paid/skilled intern in charge of website content. He or she then gets to paste the CEO’s powerpoint content into a WYSIWYG editor.

    We only have two, who add and maintain content daily. It’s ironic that the customers with the best search enigine ratings have the oldest sites with the most restrictive plaintext CMS.

    I think it’s important to restrict the CMS in the right places, instead of putting everything wide-open for free-form editing. Sadly, you can’t sell that idea to a customer.

  3. Can’t agree with you more, Roger. Last year we designed a web site for my former boss. It was beautiful and fast at first. It even validated as XHTML Strict being written in ASP.NET!

    After we turned it over, it didn’t take long for them to turn it into crap. Every time I see it now it makes me nauseous. Like you said, it sucks to see it ruined like that.

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