The Pitfalls of Placeholder Copy

Christine Benson

While shopping for a Christmas present for my nephew, I came across the message to parents page on the ROBOTGALAXY site. I was surprised (and amused) to read the following:

Wow. This is live, right now.

Here's another past placeholder faux pas from a Greenpeace press release:

Placeholder copy is just one symptom of a widespread epidemic: In so many website development projects, the lack of established process around content development allows that content to fall through the gaps in a million different ways.  

Beyond effective content planning and creation, the entire site needs to be put through a QA process. Make sure someone reads the copy on every single page. If the copy isn't important enough to be proofed, it isn't important enough to be published.

Hire someone to do this if you don't have the resources internally. If you contracted a writer to create your content, have him or her review it on the staging server before you launch the website.

If you're trying to educate, influence, or inform, it's important to not look like you just slapped some text up on a page. That's no way to win trust or influence decisions. Users don't care that you were on a deadline, and they don't care that you can fix it later.