How to ensure the continued success of your new website

Don't let your hard work go to waste. Put in place a ContentOps system for content governance and to help you produce high-quality content at scale.

Published on
October 25, 2022
Reading time 5min
An illustration of a person designing a website

Congrats! You’ve slogged for months over the new website and now,  it’s finally “live”. The sad truth, however, is that by Day 2, your content will start to deteriorate if you hadn’t planned how you’ll sustain and continuously improve your website. 

Most people get so fixated on launching a website that they fail to discuss the more tedious yet important topic of how future content will be created, maintained and optimised.  

At PebbleRoad, our work goes beyond designing websites and apps for clients. While some design agencies “launch and forget” their clients’ websites, we never do. As soon as we embark on projects, we nudge our clients to think about the long term. In essence, we encourage them to shift their mindset from production in the present to quality control in the future, in order to ensure their website's or app’s longevity.  

We do this by introducing a system known as “Content Operations” that could help them to create effective content at scale. 

What is ContentOps?

Simply put, Content Operations (ContentOps) is a system that brings your content strategy to life. 

Just as DesignOps refers to the “orchestration and optimisation of people, processes, and craft in order to amplify design’s value and impact at scale” (Source: Nielsen Norman Group), ContentOps refers to “the combination of people, process and technology that are required to produce, distribute and maintain content in an organisation” (Source: Gathercontent).

ContentOps refers to “the combination of people, process and technology that are required to produce, distribute and maintain content in an organisation” (Source: Gathercontent).

ContentOps includes content governance to ensure future content meets the agreed standards. Content governance enables organisations to create and publish content in a predictable, repeatable and sustainable process, and to a set of standards.

Here are some key elements we highlight and discuss with clients whenever we embark on a project involving content:

Find the right people

Content is like a garden that requires constant care so that it remains up-to-date and effective. That’s why we always urge our clients to invest in an internal team, so that they can uphold content standards even after we leave. 

It’s important to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of this team. Here are some common roles you may need:

Roles Responsibilities Tips
ContentOps manager
  • Oversee day-to-day operations of the content team to ensure that the necessary people, process, and technology execute the content strategy.
  • Promote and advocate content best practices to the rest of the organisation.
Your ContentOps Managers are usually part of the core team.
Senior editors
  • Maintain content quality by coaching writers and producers and championing the style guide.
  • Coordinate content production and have final say on what’s published.
You don’t need to formally anoint someone as “senior editor” as long as there is someone senior enough to adopt this function.
Writers and producers
  • Create content (in all forms) by working with the subject matter experts.
  • Your writers and producers could be in-house staff or freelancers you hire on an ad hoc basis.
Subject matter experts (SMEs)
  • Share deep knowledge of specific content with the writers and producers during content creation.
  • Help to “fact check” content (e.g., during reviews).
Tech team
  • Develops and updates the content management system.
  • Advises on tech requirements and systems, based on business needs (e.g., translation, automation).

Determine the publishing model

Most clients lean towards either a centralised or distributed publishing model. To balance practical constraints while striving towards consistent and quality content, we usually recommend the hybrid approach:

In the centralised model (left), the core team creates, publishes, reviews and approves all content while in the decentralised model (right), subject matter experts write content on top of their day jobs and individual departments are able to publish independently.
Publishing Model Description Pros Cons
Independent (Decentralised)
  • Teams from departments have the right to publish independently.
  • SMEs write content on top of their day jobs.
  • Fast turnaround.
  • Minimal resources required for reviews.
  • Fragmented/ confusing user experiences.
  • Content is more likely to be organisation-focused, leading to lower user engagement/adoption.
  • Inconsistent standards and bottlenecks when SMEs are busy.
  • Core team creates, publishes, reviews and approves all content.
  • It owns the content strategy, and adheres to brand and style guidelines.
  • Consistent and high quality content.
  • Clear ownership and reporting lines.
  • Bottlenecks occur when demand for content surges.
  • Resources required to maintain a professional core team.
  • Core team reviews and approves key areas (e.g. information architecture) and key content.
  • Sub-teams directly manage their own content/areas e.g. news, events, press releases and courses.
  • Fewer resources required by core team.
  • Quality and consistency maintained.
Requires training, guidelines, workflows and systems to support upskilling of admins.

Define production workflows 

Next, we encourage clients to define and document workflows across the content lifecycle. If workflows are left undefined, it becomes difficult to keep track of the number of content changes required in the future, and projects can get stuck. 

Moreover, people involved in the content process may be unsure of their responsibilities or unaware of the effort required to complete a certain piece of content.

A defined content workflow tells people in all roles where the content is in the process when their turn comes, and it clarifies what they must do to deliver what’s needed when it’s needed.

For the content team, a well-defined content workflow helps to:

  • Break down the content process into manageable tasks.
  • Identify each piece of content’s stage of development.
  • Identify each step for the content to receive approval.
  • Identify who is responsible for each step and when they need to deliver their updates.

More importantly, it helps ContentOps Managers to recognise bottlenecks so that they can take measures to keep content moving toward production.

Create templates & guidelines

Once we’ve got the flows done, we tackle the guidelines and policies. Having a central set of content production guidelines ensures that content is consistent across teams and channels. For example, what format and template to use for different content types. This is especially useful for the hybrid and distributed models of working.

We typically help clients to create a toolkit with the following components: 

  • Guidelines: How to approach content (e.g., editorial style guide, channel guidelines, accessibility guidelines, etc.).
  • Content types: Content templates that guide all writers (new/freelance) to structure their content to the standard format. These, along with design templates, can continue to grow or evolve, with the changing needs of the website.
  • Policies: A list of mandatory or compliance requirements (e.g., new content policy, social media policy, content review policy). These will help teams say “No” and prioritise their work.

Train the team

In most cases, the project’s working team eventually assumes the role of the core team. Their involvement throughout the project equips them with the experience to: 

  • Develop consistent and quality content that meets user and business needs.
  • Manage content writers and work with SMEs according to defined roles and production workflows.
  • Enforce and continuously update the organisation’s templates and guidelines.

Once the content strategy, process and guidelines of the website/app have been defined, it’s essential to communicate this to the rest of the organisation so everyone (not just the core team) is aware that there is now a system in place to create and maintain high quality content for the website. 

For example, our client from the Ministry of Education (MOE) developed a Content Design Workshop with us to train MOE’s content owners in writing for the web. This hands-on workshop included: 

  • Interactive quizzes and real-life examples to test understanding.
  • Exercises and homework for content owners to practise rewriting their content.
  • Models and frameworks for content owners to apply in the future.
  • Turning complicated processes into step-by-step journeys.

After this pilot workshop by PebbleRoad, the client team rolled out “Train the Trainer” workshops to more content owners in MOE.

Invest in the right tech

There is a dizzying array of tech tools and platforms out there to help teams work more seamlessly in order to produce content at scale. 

Before diving into products and comparisons, you need to have a clear idea of what you want the tech stack to do, what technologies will help you achieve it and how it will scale over time. We help our clients think through their requirements and consider their existing tech before advising them on what they can invest in. 

For example, a tech stack for a product website could include the following:

  • Content management system (CMS) for publishing and managing content.
  • Content writing tools that can check grammar, style and preferred terms.
  • Digital asset management system for managing media assets.
  • Knowledge base software for building a library of customer self-help articles.
  • Marketing automation such as email marketing and personalisation.
  • SEO tools for keyword research and audits.
  • Social media tools to manage publishing to multiple channels.
  • Taxonomy management system for managing controlled vocabularies.
  • Web and behaviour analytics to track and measure visitors to your site and what they do.

Measure success

When the elements described above come together, it becomes easier to create and publish content on a more sustainable basis. However, we won’t know how effective our efforts have been unless we measure them. 

So be sure to establish a few relevant KPIs at the start. For instance, a governance metric would track if all pages have an engaged owner who is updating and reviewing content for gaps regularly. An engagement metric would monitor if support pages are being rated helpful or very helpful by users. Such indicators give the web team a sense of whether the content they publish is useful and relevant.

It can be done

Getting clients to see the value in setting up teams, creating guidelines and workflows, and getting their people trained might seem a little daunting. But we have had clients who have successfully formed in-house teams to take charge of their own content.

The key is to help clients shift from a project mindset (which focuses on creating and launching new products), to a product mindset, which focuses on taking ownership of a product to make constant improvements. 

The Customer Experience Team at the Ministry of Education team, for instance, is a great example. They picked up design thinking, interaction design and content design through a two-year co-sourcing experience with us. 

If you are keen to explore introducing ContentOps to your organisation, do get in touch with us at

This article was written collaboratively with inputs from the Content Strategy team at PebbleRoad.

Christine Oon
Christine Oon
Content Strategist

Great content can make a big impact. Helping to create that change is what motivates me.

Geraldine Lam
Content Strategist

Excited to make an impact and help individuals and organisations through content strategy!

Tay Qiao Wei
Content Strategist

I’m curious about people and what they care about. This drives me to create content that makes a difference.

Adam Rahman
Content Strategist

Equal parts curious and inspired how language and content can engage people.

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