Identify your primary WordPress user (client) at an early stage of your project to properly build your site.
At Fresh Consulting we love WordPress as a marketing website platform because it enables our team and client to collaborate better on a project. To prove our love, we have produced more than 90 WordPress sites since 2009. Over time, we found out that identifying the type of WordPress User (client) is an important factor for a successful project. Failing to identify them properly can result in poor user experience or wasted budget. In this article, you will learn how to identify your WordPress user and how to build your WordPress site around it.
Understand the User
At the initial meeting with your client, you want to ask key questions which help you identify the type of user you will be dealing with. Here are key questions you should be asking right away.
- Who is responsible for managing the site? Is the client going to take over or are you providing ongoing maintenance?
- How much technical background does the primary content editor has? Do they know HTML and CSS?
- What portion of the website do they want to edit? What do they care less about?
User Type A: I’d rather pay for you to do it
This type of user rather pays an agency to manage everything for them so they can utilize their internal resources towards their core function of the business. This type of user may still want to publish a blog post on their own and occasionally update a few page copy here and there. But they’d defer editing pages composed with complex page builder UI or lots of HTML.
If you have a client like this, you just want to make sure you are in control with the code base with Source Code Control system such as Git. At Fresh Consulting we make sure we version every code change and test changes before we push anything to the production site. We also make an effort to write good code and comment on them so that any in-house developers can fulfill the faster turnaround for requested updates.
User Type B: I want to edit some but not all
This type of user is looking for the ability to change website content internally. Many of the clients in this category had lots of complaints about their previous website setup which basically limits their ability to change content and have to pay for developers to update everything. This type of client also comes to us and specifically asks for WordPress or alternative CMS in place so that they can be in control of content and some functionality.
If they have a technical person on-site, you don’t necessarily have to do anything special to let the client do their own editing. In most cases, clients do not have such resources internally. So you will need to provide solutions that allow users to easily manipulate content on their site. At Fresh Consulting, we create custom Shortcode which allows users to easily display a design element such as a call to action buttons and run functions such as encrypting email addresses. We also make use of Custom Fields which takes custom input from clients and display nicely designed pages of products, team bio, office locations, and etc. It lowers the learning curve on the client-side significantly and they don’t need to understand a single thing about HTML and CSS.
In this situation, we constantly evaluate what part of the website deserves Shortcode and Custom Fields to minimize the impact on budget and still allow for editing capability only where needed.
At this point, it’s a little more difficult to keep every file change synced to Source Code Control because a user can install and remove any plugins at any time. We’d still encourage clients to involve us in updating functions but this does not always happen. Be sure to enable server-level website backup so that it has a backup of both database and codebase to revert back to when a user accidentally breaks the site.