Designing content. Wait what?
Design your page around your content or design your content around your page? For larger enterprise companies with mountains of content, designing pages around content is ideal. On the other hand, a startup without as much content can design content around the page. At Contentstack, we've seen both methods work successfully for enterprise firms and startups alike. In my experience, most designers prefer to see the content upfront in order to deliver designs that match their client’s needs.
Let’s say you have a marketing campaign page for your product and the primary objective is to drive sign-ups. If the design team didn’t have access to your copy first, they may not have prioritized the call to action properly on the page.
Responsive design – a must-have
The days of building a non-responsive website are over. With so much of the market shifting toward mobile, tablets and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices, having a non-responsive site won’t cut it. Google is fully aware of this and has started grading your site's SEO based on mobile friendliness. Before planning your redesign or first launch, responsive design and development should be a requirement, not a question.
Managing content across all channels
Whether it’s a tiny screen like on the Apple Watch or a Jumbotron at a sports event, you’ll need your content to look perfect. Content delivery via the JSON format is the future because it’s lightweight and has become the de facto standard for mobile app content delivery. It allows content to be easily optimized for different end points, ranging from smartphones to emerging IoT form factors. Recognizing this early on, Contentstack stores and delivers all content in JSON.
Staging your content
When you see your content and design come together, it’s a rewarding experience for all the teams involved. Staging your content in an environment identical to your production one will allow your team to start editing your content in real time. When I say identical, I don’t mean just really similar, I mean exactly the same OS, same DB, and the same plugins. Talk to your DevOps team; they’ll understand.
Contentstack allows users of all skill levels to mantain and update their own authorized content, including images, videos and more. Best practice should always be to check any changes on the staging environment before committing to the production environment push. With built-in version control, you can easily roll back edits and start over if need be, or continue to iterate while maintaining a detailed version history.
Stakeholder review (aka business UAT)
The stakeholder review stage is when the website is designed, developed and content is complete. This typically happens within a few days or a week before a big marketing deadline or an important announcement. In larger companies, the web marketing team will need sign off from members throughout the organization in different business units and upper management.
Some of these teams may not have been involved in the initial content creation but will usually have some additional input – sometimes a lot. Having the ability to manage content in a CMS quickly is key here. You may want to try and identify these stakeholders who have strong opinions earlier on so you can get them involved in the preliminary stages when design decisions and content are being determined.
Okay. Everyone has signed off; let’s go live! Time to push your staged code repository to your cloud infrastructure. DevOps to the rescue! Production delivery is usually done during off peak hours, typically just after midnight to account for multiple timezones. Having scalable cloud infrastructure to deliver to thousands, or sometimes millions, of users is critical. The DevOps support team is there to ensure the smooth delivery and backup of your environment. If at any point site traffic is exceeding the configured infrastructure, your DevOps team can quickly ramp up some virtual machines with your scalable cloud environment to support the extra usage, eliminating the risk of a potential outage.
Post production management
Your SEO optimized site is now live, your Google Analytics is firing, and pixel tracking is in place. Maybe you explore a little bit of A/B Testing with Adobe Target or Optimizely and find you’re not getting the traffic or demographics you desire. After performing a deep dive into your analytics, starting with your first month’s worth of data to reach statistical significance, you’ve come up with some targeted content changes you would like to make. With Contentstack, you can deploy your content changes and update your SEO keywords or tags on the fly to start getting the traffic or user base you desire. It’s as easy as type and publish.
Time to publish
Now that you have read about some industry best practices for content management for mobile, web, and IoT, you have the foundation for accelerating your business into the future.
Interested in how Contentstack can help you be successful in your mobile, web or IoT endeavors? Contact us for more information on Contentstack or a demo.