Transitioning a Completed Website for Administration

During consultations for a new WordPress website, I am always take time to address the plan after the project is completed and the website has launched. Clients are always thinking ahead to expanding the website with new content or simply wanting a sense of control over how to manage their website without having to be dependent on a website developer like myself. This is a great question and one that needs to be discussed in every initial consultation by good qualified web developers. Completing a website and turning it over to a client requires a training plan catered to best fit the clients needs.WordPress Training
My response to clients is “WordPress is easy to update without having to rely on a highly technical person and you don’t need any expensive software. You can administer and add/edit your website from anywhere with simply an internet connection.”
All of this is true. In fact, not only is it all true but it is exactly why I use WordPress as a platform to build websites for my clients. It gives them the ability to put most of their budget into the product itself and gives them control over administration once the website has launched.
However, I understand there are a couple problems with my answer which always need clarification. First the term easy is a relative one that produces different expectations in everybody and second every person has a different aptitude for technology. It is fair and accurate to promote WordPress websites as easy to maintain. In fact, years ago websites with the same functionality and professional design would need a group of programmers and designers in order to provide website administration. So in that regard, maintaining a WordPress site is a piece of cake. But clients don’t know or understand this.
With anything new there is always a learning curve. A clients investment in that curve varies based on the business and the project.
Going through many site launches I have discovered two universal themes:
    • 1) Clients only want to know the basics.
    • 2) Clients want to make sure you will be there if needed.
Clients are mostly interested in having basic control over their website, editing textual content, adding new images and creating new posts/articles. Anything beyond the basics, clients want to know that someone is there is support them.
I have found for us the best offering we can provide is a WordPress Training Video Series. This provides clients with access to basic training and information whenever they need it, a month after launch, 6 months, a year. It is also broken up into short videos allowing the client to pick and choose the topic most associated with their need. This prevents someone from being quickly flooded with too much technical information. Clients can learn in whatever ways that suit them best and can also come back to me with bigger problems requiring higher technical skills.
Whether a website designer provides individual training, documented instructions or video training like we do, turning over a website for a client to manage and maintain is an important part of the website development project. A website launch has a defined ending point but training the client on website administration will give them control over their site, their business and will lead to happy, satisfied clients.
Until Next Time,
Matt