Content development (web)
Web content development is the process of researching, writing, gathering, organizing, and editing information for publication on web sites. Web site content may consist of prose, graphics, pictures, recordings, movies or other digital assets that could be distributed by a hypertext transfer protocol server, and viewed by a web browser.
Content developers and web developers
When the World Wide Web began, web developers either developed online content themselves, or modified existing documents and coded them into hypertext markup language (HTML). In time, the field of web site development came to encompass many technologies, so it became difficult for web site developers to maintain so many different skills. Content developers are specialized web site developers who have content generation skills such as graphic design, multimedia development, professional writing, and documentation. They can integrate content into new or existing web sites without using information technology skills such as script language programming and database programming.
Content developers may also be search engine optimization specialists, or Internet marketing professionals. High quality, unique content is what search engines are looking for and content development specialists therefore have a very important role to play in the search engine optimization process. One issue currently plaguing the world of web content development is keyword-stuffed content which are prepared solely for the purpose of manipulating a search engine. This is giving a bad name to genuine web content writing professionals. The effect is writing content designed to appeal to machines (algorithms) rather than people or community. Search engine optimization specialists commonly submit content to Article Directories to build their website's authority on any given topic. Most Article Directories allow visitors to republish submitted content with the agreement that all links are maintained. This has become a method of Search Engine Optimization for many websites today. If written according to SEO copywriting rules, the submitted content will bring benefits to the publisher (free SEO-friendly content for a webpage) as well as to the author (a hyperlink pointing to his/her website, placed on an SEO-friendly webpage).
There are numerous methods on how to get started with web content development. However, it stands to reason that in a place (the World Wide Web) that had more than 250 million websites as of December 2010, with 21.4 million new sites launched in 2010 alone, that a website would have to either specialize in specific niche audience, have original content that stood out from its peers, or present common information in a new way, thereby making it standout among its peers.
Step one would be to determine the type of site you want to develop (and have a good understanding of why). On his eponymous web site, owner/developer John December, who describes a major focus of his site as “providing links to useful information sources, I continuously work to discover, evaluate, describe, organize, and link to online resources that can help my site visitors,” offers the following first step for content development.
- “Because the content of a Web site is the substance that draws and keeps an audience, the composition of your content should follow directly from your stated Web site purpose and audience. As a first step, you can prepare a set of content features that relate to your audience's activities, interests, and concerns. For example, a site about a school science fair might list rules of the fair, the location and details about the upcoming events, statements by judges, and descriptions of past winning projects.”
Currently the web content is no longer restricted to text, but has expanded to engulf other audio visual media. This includes video clips, presentations and a host of other interactive forms which can be picked up by the search engines. Content owners are also increasingly relying on content protection networks to achieve a greater assurance that their content remains unique and unduplicated on the web.