We've supported many customers with planning and creating their website content. On new-build Sitecore websites, our digital experience team constructs the site tree, applies the supplied content to components and modules, and then builds the pages using Sitecore's Experience Editor.

This important process can be a minefield if you’re not properly organised. So where do you start when planning and creating new content for your new website?

Our five-step guide will help...

1. Utilise your content team

A good place to start is getting members of your content team involved in the early stages of discovery and content planning.

Content teams are at the sharp end of your website, and can provide valuable insights that could aid the scoping of page templates and modules.

Through discussion with your content team any issues previously experienced which hindered content creation can be addressed and resolved from the get-go.

2. Determine site hierarchy

Analyse and determine your new site map. Which pages are high traffic pages, and which lie lower in the hierarchy?

Your analysis might result in defunct or legacy pages - and these are pages that won’t need to feature in your new website. But whilst these pages may not feature, the content within them may still be relevant for inclusion somewhere in the new website.

Take note of legacy pages though, as you'll need 301 redirects in place.

3. Create unique content

A new website design with new page templates and modules is driven primarily by content - each new page template and module is content-specific.

Although it's very tempting to copy and paste content from your old website and re-use it in the new website, you should consider that, although this may work on some pages, it won't work everywhere, due to the content specificity of templates and modules.

4. Prepare your content

If you have access to wire-framing software, that's great! But Microsoft Word documents can help. Make sure the presentation is clear and unambiguous, and include important page information like page titles, browser titles, meta information, tags, images (including Alt text), body copy, and modules in the order they will appear on the web page.

It's important to also format your images accordingly, as uploading huge images to your Sitecore CMS will drag down page load speed.

If you want personalised content, then you'll need to produce it for the personalised parts of your website. This will mean additional work for your teams - for example, if you have 5 pages you want personalised, then that means at least 1 additional piece of content per page, so that’s 10 pieces of content (1x original, 1x personalised per page).

As more and more customers today are demanding personalised experiences, preparing multiple content items should be part of any digital team's workload.

5. Share and care - track progress

Using collaborative software such as Jira to deliver documents and images to your digital agency ensures efficient communication on content issues.

This approach promotes clear communication, particularly around queries, and tracks progress.

You can create progress boards like 'Ready to populate' and ‘Approved' as this divides the content population process into easily manageable tasks.

In summary...

  1. Utilise your content team.
  2. Determine site hierarchy
  3. Create unique content (including personalisation)
  4. Prepare your content 
  5. Track progress

Want to talk content?

If you’re considering Sitecore as your website platform, or you’re already using Sitecore as your CMS and you’re stuck on content planning, or how to use the digital marketing tools, or whether you’re just looking for a safer pair of hands for your Sitecore website and want to make use of our 24/7 support, we’d happy to talk – just get in touch.