What comes first: website copy or web design?

Image is of a lady wearing glasses sitting at a table with an Apple laptop. In the background is a colourful wall showing trees with red and orange leaves, green folliage and butterflies. There are a couple of pot plants on the left hand side of the image. Image is for Rachel Amies's blog post discussing what comes first: website copy or web design?

I’ve recently rebranded from Crazy Cat Copy to Crazy Digital Creative. And this meant my website got a major overhaul.

Not only did I redesign my site, I also updated my SEO keyword research. And I rewrote most of it as well as adding some new content as well.

I’ve also had a few clients over the past year where I completed:

  1. SEO keyword research
  2. SEO website copywriting
  3. WordPress website design or redesign

And this inspired me to write this blog. What comes first: website copywriting or web design? This question is relevant in a few different situations, including where you:

  • are getting your first website
  • need an overhaul of your existing website
  • are rebranding

Over the years, I’ve seen many business owners engage a web designer or developer first. And they often do so without realising they need to provide their web human with written content.

I’ve also spoken to business owners who’ve used web develops to redo their site, where that web developer:

  • redesigned the site using pro forma text in places where the developer recommended there be text
  • then gave the redeveloped site back to the business owners and said “here you go, project finished”

This left the business needing to add their own content to their new website. Not only that, one business I recently spoke to was also left in the position of needing to migrate their new site from where it was built to their own domain name, to replace their existing site. (I recently did a Facebook Live about this).

So, what comes first: website copywriting or web design?

The order you tackle website copywriting and design can have a significant impact on the final result.

Some argue that web design should take the lead, as it sets the visual tone and layout for your website. After all, a visually appealing website can grab your visitors’ attention and make a lasting impression. And who wants to buy from a website that looks like it came out of the 1990s?

But a good-looking website is one thing. If it lacks well-crafted copy, it’s unlikely to:

  1. effectively communicate your brand’s message, and
  2. persuade your ideal humans to buy from you, or at least get in touch

And this is why many copywriters believe that website copywriting should come first. Engaging and persuasive copy can help you:

  • establish your brand’s voice
  • convey your key messages, and
  • easily guide your website visitors through your website

In other words, your website needs strategically planned and expertly-written content. Without this, your website may fail to engage and convert visitors, regardless of how visually appealing it is.

And this is why I like to write website content before building a website. I start off with the SEO keyword research, then write the content and build the site.

But wait, there’s more.

Other things to keep in mind

There are a few other things to consider when having your website designed or redesigned.

These include nailing your:

  • niche
  • target audience
  • brand values
  • unique selling point (what makes you different to your competitors)
  • tone of voice (as in hour you want your brand to sound like across your website, social media, emails and so on)

Why am I mentioning these things? Well, they form an important foundation for your business. And it provides a good platform for getting your website content and design the way you want it.

And here are some more things to consider:

  • Logo design or redesign: If you’re starting a new business or rebranding (or refreshing your current brand), then you’ll need to get a logo designed. I always recommend using a good graphic designer to do this rather than using tools such as Canva. You should always get a favicon as well as your logo, as the favicon contributes to your website looking professional
  • Professional branding photography: I’ve seen more than my share of websites that only use stock photos and no photos of the business or the business owner or team members. I always encourage having some professional photos done. Why? So that your audience can see who they’re buying from. It helps you build that know, like and trust factor between you and your ideal client or customer.


There’ll always be different views on whether website copy or design comes first. And even though I offer both SEO copywriting and website development services, I always begin with the SEO keyword research, then write the copy before moving onto the design.

But what I think most digital marketers would agree on is the fact that you need both elements for a successful online presence. Your website needs to look great. And your content needs to engage and convert your website visitors. And both should be optimised for the search engine gods.

If you’re ready to have your website written and designed (or rewritten and redesigned), I can help. I’m your one-stop shop for your website needs.


Image of Rachel Amies wearing glasses, white cat earrings, a dark blue top and a light jacket. She's leaning against a brick wall that's been painted colourfully in blue, red, orange and yellow.

Hi, I’m Rachel Amies

I’m a New Zealand-born, Sydney-based freelance digital marketing human. I’m an experienced SEO copywriter and WordPress website designer. And I’m ready to help you turn your website from ‘meh’ to ‘aMehzing’.

Let’s get social


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