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Who is a King? Design vs Content

What is more important: Design or Content? It’s a quite eternal question, which comes up every single time the beginner appears in the web. Everybody wants his website was noticed and had users, which would be willing to come back. These two things walking side by side, I can say, like the body and soul of a website.

As the saying goes, “never judge a book by its cover”. You examine how a site looks first and then you get to know what it talks. Of course, it all depends on individual, because every rule has the exception. There are people, who spend all the day long searching for inspiration, browsing the web looking for good design and caring less about the website content. There are also other people, which are interested in the useful information and they don’t care about design. But the most people don’t know what they are looking for and their searching end up in the incredibly beautiful website that has interesting content as well. Therefore this site would be bookmarked and shared on the social networks. If you want to have such kind of site, you should be sure that it has a good design and people keep coming back because of the quality and useful content you have. It sounds like a very difficult task, but not impossible.

Who won: Content or Design?

Before you would choose one from these two things, ask yourself first. Most of the people, who have created a site or just going to do it have any idea about designing a site and writing content for it. This person would go to the professionals which are able to do these things for him and to manage success, but first they need particular information, but not the general one. A writer needs any ideas on what to write about and I’m sure, without a mockup or sketch design, he would not be able to write something really good.

design and content

I do believe that content is the main thing, it’s a thing on which the whole website works. But still, content is a goal, but design is just a fulcrum and a bridge between your ideas and reality. When you manage to make a person stay on your site with the help of a good design, you need to make him come back with a quality content. I’m trying to say that formally the design is obtained as a secondary player, but it could be decisive reason in the certain case. If you spoiled the design, you would had low traffic even if the info would be best of the best. Design is the medium in which content is presented, both should be good.


No matter sell you goods or services, or just give tips and trick to the people on your blog. Content makes your site live and what is more important, the life of good content is much longer that the life of good design. Design goes out of style very fast, because new trends and tendencies in web design appears day by day. But good information is always on top, people can find out something interesting and new while consuming it. Try to stay up to date all the time, analyze the target audience and traffic in order to understand what is really interesting to your readers. By SEO tricks and updating the content all the time your site would have a chance to appear on the first Google page. SmasingMagazine is a great example of the website, where you can see the harmony in content and design.

design and content


As it was already mentioned, the design makes your site truly attractive. First impression appears in the first ten seconds once person opens a website. If the site design is uncool the chance that people would stay on your site and consume a content is very small. Therefore design has less chances to be updated as much as content does.

design and content

Of course, website design depends on the type of your business. If you’re a photographer or artist, your website should be the portfolio first. In this case the visual features are more important than the content. But still, don’t forget about the “About me” page. Here you have to show off all the power of your writing skills. Try to avoid heavy graphics, bright ad blocks and other catchy features. Make the design minimalistic and simple, remember one thing – less is more. It’s better to add more useful and quality content than create a complicated design construction, which would scare the users away.

No More Battle

There should be no battle between content and design on the website. It’s not a battle, but a partnership. Harmony between these two things is the key to success of any web project. I’m curious, what do you think about it? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

Nancy is a passionate freelance writer and blogger. She writes tons of inspirational articles on photography and web design, despite the fact that she is an economist by education. She enjoys reading, learning SEO and also losing her mind to French movies. Make friends with Nancy on Twitter

Discussion 4 Comments

  1. Stacy Summers

    Yep, you are right!
    But what you can say about cases when “Text is the interface”? I’m sure, you’ll find some cool examples of minimalist design with just text and spacing 🙂

    • Nancy Young

      Of course, there are a huge amount of examples around the web. Check them out: breadandpepper.com or henry.brown.name. They seems to be typography websites with clean minimalistic design and also, I believe typography is a part of web design.

  2. WIqim

    That’s true. “Harmony between these two things is the key to success of any web project.” Loved this article.

  3. Larry

    Great article. I do agree you need good design and content to have a successful website, however there are a lot of websites with great content but visually not appealing but still show up first page of google. However it all depends what the website is for 🙂

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