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Web content development is the process of researching, writing, gathering, organizing, and editing information for publication on websites. Website 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.
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 website development came to encompass many technologies, so it became difficult for website developers to maintain so many different skills. Content developers are specialized website developers who have content generation skills such as graphic design, multimedia development, professional writing, and documentation. They can integrate content into new or existing websites without using information technology skills such as script language programming and database programming.
Content developers or technical content developers can also be technical writers who produce technical documentation that helps people understand and use a product or service. This documentation includes online help, manuals, white papers, design specifications, developer guides, deployment guides, release notes, etc.
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.
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 check on plagiarism and achieve a greater assurance that their content remains unique and unduplicated on the web.
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