As anyone who has had a project on hold will tell you, a lack of content can cause serious problems for your business.
Within a single project, late or missing content can lead to a number of issues.
As an example, let's say your client in conclusion delivers the content after the designs and functionality have already been included. Regardless, you find that the content does not align with what you had originally discussed with the client. As a consequence, you will have to deal with unforeseen (and unbudgeted) work to reconfigure the design accordingly.
At the same time there is the fact that a lack of content (at any stage of a project) can cause problems for other websites you are working on. As you stress over late material from a client and waste time emailing and calling them to track it down, the rest of your work suffers because you're not focused and your availability goes overboard.
But that's why you have processes in place for your business, right? They are there to account for the common obstacles that try to get in your way. No matter how much your clients (inadvertently) try to hinder your progress, you have already anticipated their movements and have found a way to avoid them.
When it comes to compiling content, your process should dictate two possible courses of action:
- Collect all content from the client before the project begins.
- Offer a content creation service where you write all content on their behalf.
Anything else proposed by your client must be rejected.
Why am I saying this?
Realistically, you could start sketching designs and building a website on a staging server. Dummy content could easily fill in those gaps until the content is ready. Why delay everything just because your customer has become insensitive or keeps making excuses for delayed content?
But this is what happens:
Let's say you're being generous and ask your client to provide all logins to WordPress and the dashboard within a week. You will most likely find out from them on Day 8 wondering where or how to get those credentials. Either they don't remember their password or they don't know what you mean by "domain." (Ugh.) The same is likely to be true of content. «('Oh, we're finishing the last couple of pages.' Sure….)
This is when you become the babysitter.
You drop all the work and try to guide them through the process of locating their credentials or completing their pages. You think this will be the fastest way to get the access and content you need, but the conversation ends up turning into something like this:
Your: Who did you buy accommodation from?
Client: I don't know what that is.
Your: You know, the company that hosts your website. GoDaddy. Bluehost. Flywheel.
Client: I thought you said we were building the website on WordPress?