The weirdest things surface when you least expect it. A month or so ago I was driving along the Auckland motorway. I passed a self-storage complex.
Rows and rows of garages filled with belongings. I imagined junk. Books. Furniture that won't fit inside an overcrowded house. Anything that's not needed on a daily basis.
The question to ask then is "Why keep it?"
I speak from personal experience.
I had a storage unit for about six months when we moved back to Wellington and were renting. For those six months I locked away everything that I didn't need.
After a month I couldn't remember what I had in storage. I never had a need to go back to the unit and extract that important book, or that favourite hat. I didn't miss the green suede jacket that I hadn't worn for six years but couldn't bear to throw out, or pass on.
It's amazing how many websites are like those storage facilities. Over time the addition of content gets out of hand. Pages become huge repositories of PDF's and downloadable Word docs. There are archives of news items – often years and years worth of articles. Pages and pages of badly written content. Pages and pages of dross. Pages and pages of content that's never read, by anyone.
When we design and build a website we do it from a content-first perspective.
- What is the content that will communicate exactly what your users need?
- Do your users need to know about the written equivalent of your green suede jacket?
- Do you need the content that was last read in 2003 for 34.6 seconds?
When I went back to my storage unit to retrieve my belongings I ended up throwing half of it out. I could have discarded more. I should have discarded more. I realised I only needed a fraction of what I had locked away.
It's the same with a website. Clear out the rubbish. You'll need to be ruthless. Once you do clear the clutter you'll have a renewed focus, a clarity of purpose. Your users will be able to find what they're looking for. They'll know that if the content is on the website then it's going to be useful to them.
Springload develops content for websites. We've been doing this for a long time. We know what's worth keeping, and what's worth chucking out. Empty your storage unit with us now.
Get in touch with our content team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image by jeepersmedia