It can never be a straight forward debate. There are pros and cons in both cases. It is an equivalent of egg vs. hen scenario in web designing. No one can give you a less than tricky answer. There is going to be a lot of ifs and buts and we would decode them all in this post.
If you are paying up for design without content in hand, wait for a disaster to happen. Responsible web design companies gather enough content and theme from you first. They don’t leave it too much for you to experience in the hindsight. Design first is a costly affair too. It is not the economical way to do it. Two ways, things can go wrong about this. Firstly, if you underestimated the length of your content you end up paying for too much design. It makes you lose money plus it adds to too much graphical distraction in your website. Secondly, you may have asked for simple and minimal design, being impractical optimistic about your content. Your content quantity may require a lot of space fillers via design. A redo makes you lose more cash than making it right the first time.
Having content professionally ready before you take a look the design may backfire too. It curbs the effectiveness of design. You are getting limited while picking designs for a completely done content. In case of budget web designing, you may not able to pick from selections in web design. You are walking in into a web design service with a serious disadvantage. Nevertheless, the pros include an amazing fit for your website. But it only works when you don’t have a shoe string budget or not too demanding about extravagant web designs.
In an ideal plane, the designers and content creators should work on the same page. In reality, it can hardly happen. Most web development or content creation teams are geographically distant. You can’t enjoy best of co-ordination of two departments over an internet chat. Regardless of how effective it will be, you can try to bring both teams together if you have the chance. The teams will decide who gets the head start. Spinning design based on content will sound more appealing. But making a little edits in content for an amazing design is less taxing. Seasoned designers know ways to give you lot of leeway and flexibility in adding varying quantity of content. We cannot rule out chances of modifying content later, while retaining the theme.
Web design companies showcase their portfolio. While picking a design from portfolio, you know what to expect. If you ask for unique design, they give you a prototype upon which you can plan your content. Major part of the responsibility lies on the shoulders of the client. Client needs to take care of communicating and clarifying about every tiny detail.