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    I’m just now taking my first small steps into the world of “freelance” web-design. When getting a lot of “little” clients or (clients who are small business’s or people who want a little website for whatever reason) they tend to bring with them very little and sometimes zero content for their website, no photos, no copy, zip, nada, nothing. Just curious to see what everyone’s opinion is on how much content “we” as web designers should come up with for our clients? I have developed a client brief for clients to fill out but sometimes it still doesn’t help?


    During the design/development phase, it’s usually up to the developer to put in dummy content (I personally prefer random Wikipedia articles over Lorem Ipsum) and some placeholder images, but then once the site it done (or sometimes, before that), the client will have to come up with REAL content. They’re the ones who really know what the site should be about, so they should provide that information.


    I’m not being hired to write copy, I’m being hired to design and develop a website.

    I need to know what message the client wants to deliver and I’ll put in placeholder text for headlines and call to actions for what I intend for those areas. Big block copy is always lorem ipsum.

    If the client has no copy and has no intentions of writing copy (or paying somebody else to) then they probably don’t need to hire me to build them a website.


    What I’ve done is offered it as a service. I happen to actually like writing content, or at least taking concepts (like who they are, how long they’re in business, etc) and create well written content from it.

    So it’s become an opportunity for me to provide one more thing. Even if they say “no” in the beginning, more often than not, they say “yes” when we’re almost at the end of the project :) I don’t think most people know how difficult it is to sit down and manufacture content.

    To be completely honest, they would probably save some money hiring a writer to do it. I think I’m getting to the point now where I need to sub-contract that work out because of time shortages.


    Thanks for the input everyone. It has been my point of view that as a web designer it is our jobs to arrange and present a clients content in a attractive, and accessible way for their users, customers, visitors etc. But I feel it’s NOT our job to fill in the blanks and create this content for our clients.

    Even though I might be able to put copy together to describe the clients business, services, or what ever else their content may be. This content needs to come from the owner of the website. The client is the one who truly knows what needs to be said about themselves or how they want it to say it (or at least I hope they do).


    I agree with the above.

    Some reasons why I tell clients/prospects that THEY must provide me all the content are:

    1) My writing style won’t match their style and probably won’t project the exact mood they’re after for their site.
    2) It makes THEM responsible for typos, grammar, and so on. No way I want to assume that responsibility.
    3) It helps me judge how serious they are and how easy/hard it’ll be to work with them.

    I’ll use placeholder text at first, usually real text from fillerati because I don’t like lorem ipsum.

    I will make suggestions about their wording if something strikes me and I’ll try to correct whatever misspellings and typos I happen to notice, but I make it very clear that THEY are ultimately responsible for all the content.

    If they insist that they need me to edit/create content or if I have to do lots of work on the images they provide, I may agree – but it’s an extra service that’ll cost them. And for this sort of stuff I charge them a bit more than my usual rate, because it’s something I’d prefer not to do.


    I’m with Josh. Offer it as an additional service that will generate more income. Most small businesses don’t require a ton of content and even if you have to out source it, writers for that type stuff come cheap.

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