Why Website Copy Should Lead the Design Process

If you’re not starting every website project with the copy first, you’re losing money and time. 

Pretty website designs aren't enough. Visitors decide in seconds if they'll stay or go. You need words that instantly grab their attention and convince them to take action. Good copywriting is that powerful. 

It’s a sensitive topic for both copywriters and designers, but honestly, copy first is the key to successful web design — not just in terms of results but also for streamlining the process. 

In this article, I'll explain why. 

Speed and Efficiency

When it comes to website design, time is everything. Clients want their websites up and running as quickly as possible, and designers want to sign off so they can move on to the next project. 

By having the website copy ready first, designers can speed up the process and avoid delays. Plus, having a clear brand message and tone of voice helps create a design that fits the brand's vision and goals more quickly.

Since 2019, I’ve worked with countless web designers, and all of them have said the same thing: Having the copy for website ready to go before the design process starts makes life so much easier!

Copy Leads Design

Copy is the foundation of any successful website because it sets the tone and voice of the brand. When website designers clearly understand the brand message, they can create a web design that complements and enhances it. Therefore, designing without a website copy is like trying to build a house without a blueprint — impossible. 

Time and time again, the web designers I’ve collaborated with say that working with my copy from the start of the project improves their designs. Because copy leads design, creating without it means designing blindly.

Copy Sells

Great web design is crucial because it attracts attention and builds authority. However, the website copy does the heavy lifting when it comes to sales. The right words on a blank page can be more persuasive than a pretty website with no substance. It’s the copy for websites that connects with the audience, tells the brand's story, and encourages action. By starting with copy, web designers can create a website that not only looks good but also drives actual results. 

For example, one of my consulting clients tripled their sales in just 24 hours after tweaking their homepage's website copy. This is a trend we see consistently across industries. 

Waste No Time

Starting with the copy for website doesn't mean that design isn’t as important. Website designers use creativity to bring the brand's message to life. Having the copy in place first allows designers to make more informed decisions and create a more cohesive design. 

Pre-2018, when I was still designing websites, I took the website copy I was given and shaped it into place. Better quality copy needed less tweaking, meaning projects were more likely to go live on time. 


‘Copy first, design second’ is a critical step in the web design process. By starting with the copy for websites, designers can save time, create more strategic designs, and ultimately create websites that connect with the audience and drive results. 

The key takeaway? If you're a web designer, remember the power of words when you get a website copy for your next web project.

What’s Next?

Ready to create a successful website design with the help of a copywriting expert? Drop Gibson Copy a message today, and let us help you create compelling content that boosts sales and conversions.

Dr Hannah Gibson
Founder of Gibson Copy

People Also Ask

What is a website copy?

Copy for website consists of the text you use on your homepage, about page, product pages, and other main pages across your website. It includes headlines, subheadings, body text, and calls to action (CTAs). Essentially, website copy refers to any text on your site that isn't part of your blog posts or content marketing.

How to structure website copy?

To structure copy for websites effectively, focus on clarity and engagement. Use compelling headlines to grab attention. Include concise subheadings to guide readers through key points. Break up information into brief paragraphs or bullet points. Conclude with a strong call to action that directs visitors toward the desired goal.

How long should a website copy be?

The ideal length of website copy ranges from 300 to 2,000 words for optimal results. For blog posts, experts typically suggest a minimum of either 300 or 500 words. However, there's no strict rule regarding the exact word count for any particular page.

How often should you update your website copy?

There isn't a fixed schedule for updating or adding website content. Some pages, such as a blog, may require regular updates, while others, like a contact page, are typically more static. Nevertheless, maintaining an updated website is crucial for effective digital marketing and a positive user experience.