What does it take to create a high-performing website?
Seriously, web designers and digital agencies have to think about a myriad of elements, including visual content, blog posts, FAQs, social media accounts, and so on — not to mention search engine optimization and other technical details.
The workload is massive.
That’s why gathering content from clients is a huge bottleneck in many digital agencies.
This post is meant to be the first step in eliminating that problem, so let’s see how to create a comprehensive client website content checklist.
What is a website content checklist?
A website content checklist is essentially a list of items that design agencies gather from their clients in the process of creating or updating website content. These include everything from written copy to contact details, but we’ll get to that soon.
The checklist serves as a guide for collecting and organizing all necessary content before you start working on website development. It helps you streamline the content creation process, so you’re sure that the final product accurately reflects the client’s brand and messaging.
Why use a template for gathering website content?
Let's answer that with a question we can all relate to.
Which of these sounds easier?
Your client sends you homepage content, so you start building their site.
You create the About and Services page but realize that the images they’ve provided are watermarked with a stock image site logo. So you send off an email to get the right ones.
Ten minutes later you’re building the contact form and realize you don’t know which email the contact form should go to. Off goes another email.
In the footer there are some social media links. You dig through 30 emails to find them, but they aren’t there. You send another email.
You create the Home, About and Services page using the content and web-ready images the client gave you. When building the contact form you drop in the correct email from the content checklist you prepared for your client earlier.
Moving on to the footer, you copy and paste in all the social media links, collected upfront with the rest of the content.
The choice is obvious. Creating a website content checklist for clients is a game changer.
How to make a client website content checklist
Now let's get on to creating your website content template for clients.
One of the most important parts of gathering content is to provide a design checklist of everything you need upfront. The easiest way to do that is to have a master template which you can quickly scan through, delete the parts you don’t need and send that off to the client.
Obviously, some jobs are highly complex and need their own list, but many jobs will fall into a fairly standard website content template.
Below is a list of everything you’ll need from your clients for most website jobs. Feel free to take bits and pieces, or better yet, just grab our Google Doc templates by signing up below.
General & Global
These elements apply to all types of websites. Regardless of the industry/niche, you’ll need to add general information — these are relevant for both website visitors and search engines:
- Footer widget options
- Social feed
- Page list / mini menu
- Legal links
- Contact info
- Recent posts
- Certifications & Memberships
- Call to Action
- Brief about
- Opt in
- Sidebar widget options
- Opt in
- Recent posts
- Contact block
- Social media profile links
- Favicon (or create one from their logo)
More often than not, a home page is the most frequently visited page on any website, so it has to be visually appealing in order to impress potential clients. Our home page checklist includes the following details:
- Header/Hero Image
- Main headline
- Headline for SEO
- Site description
- Header button text
- Main content & images
- Unique value proposition
- Call to action
This is a critical web page because it gives clients the opportunity to tell a story about their business. That way, they can provide background information and establish stronger relationships with the target audience. Your client should provide the following:
- Main content
- Team photos
- Team bios
- Team social media
- Certifications & Memberships & Partners & Accreditations
- Call to action
The ultimate purpose of web design is to convert site visitors into full-time clients. This is where service and product pages come into play by showing visitors what’s offered.
Blog section helps websites build credibility and grab the attention of search engine algorithms based on keyword research. As a web designer, you should focus on these elements:
- Author Bio
- Author Image (gravatar)
- Several initial posts with featured image
- Existing content for website redesign
The general rule is to make websites as accessible as possible. You can do it with these elements:
- Alt-text for images
- Captioning for videos
- Color contrast
- Keyboard navigation
You should also collect data for the contact page:
- Phone number (s)
- Email address (es)
- Email to send form to
- Contact form fields
- Map address (es)
- Mail address (es)
- Supporting text
- Areas serviced
- Business numbers or license numbers if required
- Premises photos
Blog posts are important, but your client can deliver other kinds of relevant content as well. We are talking about these options:
- Testimonials including images
- Client images/logos
- FAQs page
- 404 page content & links
- Downloads & Resources
- Video embed code (client to upload)
Search engine results depend on factors like keyword research and content optimization, so you’ll need the following information:
- Target keywords for better search engine ranking
- Internal and external links
- Meta descriptions and alt text
Email is still the most popular communication channel, but that means extra work for designers. Here’s what you need:
- CRM/autoresponder credentials
- Lists to add subscribers to
- Tags to add
- Opt in
- Headline and/or subscribe text
- Button text
- Fields (optional/required)
Tracking & Scripts
Analytics helps clients understand website performance. As a designer, you’ll focus on these elements:
- Facebook pixel code
- Live chat script
- Reviews embed code
This section is important for agencies developing websites for online stores.
- Dimensions & Weight (if calculating shipping)
- Shipping method (s) & costs
- Payment method (s) and credentials
Last but not least, you need to collect legal information from your clients:
- Terms and Conditions or other legal info
- Custom copyright
Bonus tools and resources for timely content gathering
If there's one thing we're passionate about, it’s getting accurate content on time — without endless back-and-forth emails. That means minimal editing, less time digging through emails, and fewer mistakes.
To help you accomplish that, we've got a bunch of different tools and resources for you:
- How to get content from clients — A handy guide and video series on everything we've learned to get content in record time
- A 5 day challenge to help you not only get content faster, but improve many of your processes in just 5 days.
- Content Snare — Our tool helps you create a content process that keeps projects moving and gets you paid.
Taking your website content checklist for clients to the next level
Having a checklist is a step in the right direction.
If you want to make it even easier, you’re better off providing your client with a dedicated client portal where they can add all of this info directly.
Content Snare gives you all the key features for gathering information, content, and files from your clients. It streamlines the process with automated reminders, pre-filling, content approvals or rejections, and conversations.