Do you sometimes find yourself in trouble spending too much time supporting your past clients because you are busy building something new?
Although WordPress is a very easy-to-use CMS, your clients still mess up their website by their way of managing WordPress, or even just by trying to learn about it .
Your clients have a DIY mindset, so you have to give up on the so-called “maintenance service”.
There goes the horror story! These 3 scenarios above are just some of the situations that developers are really scared of. Because they will always be the one who gets the heartache and wastes their time fixing something each time their clients screw up something.
If you are in one of these situations, or if you just want to avoid such pain, why not give these 3 tips a go?
Walk Your Clients Through The Basic WordPress Tutorials
Contributing some time to creating WordPress tutorials for your clients and helping them understand their WordPress-based website is definitely less time-consuming than fixing things later. Don’t sacrifice tutorials just to buy some temporary free time. Plus, your client will be thankful for your experience and knowledge.
So, how should you carry out WordPress training for a client?
You can teach the client by yourself. Many freelancer developers and designers choose to teach clients via video tutorials or video phone. If you want to record tutorials for a client, then screen recorders like Camtasia or Screenr are the best (I love both). Sometimes a phone call or direct face-to-face explanation is required. The only problem is, you’ll have to be patient, extremely patient to take your client through all the WordPress basics. And you’ll have to repeat yourself a number of times before your client really gets it. And it will use up a lot of time. Wow, exhausted, ha?
One solution is you can charge your client for personal tutorials and make a deal in the project contact. If there is a bill for tutorials, you will find tutorials less discouraging and your client will definitely focus more on the lessons than when you are doing them for free.
Another solution is that you can use premium WordPress tutorial services like WP101 and Lynda.com or reach out for WordPress books, blog posts or some pre-made WordPress video tutorials. For premium tutorial services, I think your client will have nothing to complain about except having to spend some extra money on it (and of course you’re free from teaching). For ready-made tutorial resources around the internet, they are free (good!) but the chances are high that your clients are too bored or lazy to read them (and finally still call you for help), or they are low quality and have outdated information.
Guide Your Clients On How To Update WordPress Themselves
Updating and maintaining a website after the development stage is essential. Sadly, not all clients get it. Or even when they get it, your clients tend to take it lightly and want to do everything by themselves. Then, when their site gets hacked, they call you immediately.
Here is one lesson: make your clients understand that staying on top of the latest WordPress updates and securing a website is a job for a professional. Once they are clear about that, save your time and prevent potential damage for your client by providing them with a website maintenance service. Both sides sign the contract. Done deal. (You can read more on how to provide a maintenance and backup service for your client here).
However, there are some clients who don’t even bother with a “maintenance service”. They may think “if you can do it, then I can just show me how”. In this case, do your best and guide them on how to update and how to create backups for their WordPress website with as detailed an explanation as you can. Install a good WordPress backup plugin on your client’s website. You can trust WordPress Backup to Dropbox or BackWPUp to do this. Or, you can count on InfiniteWP or ManageWP to help your client easily update, backup and secure their website.
Above All, Build An Easy-to-use WordPress Website For Your Clients
Okay, the 2 tips above are just to help your clients become more self-reliant with WordPress management. The core value that you should always care about if you want to help your clients with WordPress is to create a really easy to use WordPress website. This is a really a big thing to do. Here I’m going to give you some notes I hope that you’ll go “Aha! That’s what I want” after reading them (and allow me to cover this topic in more detail since I’m really interested in it too in another article).
Creating a WordPress website with no admin-task nightmares for clients should include providing a user-friendly and deeply-customized dashboard for them. The admin dashboard should be streamlined to help your clients navigate easily. Another must is efficient support documentation. You might ask: How do I create a user-friendly back-end for clients while still meeting their requirements?
Plan, plan, plan, and plan. My goal during this phase is to think about the operations that are going to be used the most. Then I try to get the lowest amount of required interactions with the interface while making an effort to keep it styled as close to the default WordPress admin style as possible.
The client feedback I’ve accumulated over the years and continue to accumulate makes each project more intuitive and exciting to use.
Feel free to put your thoughts into creating a well-customized WordPress website, but remember that you should always stick to the out-of-the-box features offered by WordPress as well as theme developers. Why? Because they are simply less likely to break.
Share Your Experience!
I believe that most developers will not drop their clients off at the corner when the work is done. We all get it, right? Why should we risk our entire work just to save a little time and skip training the clients? Share with us your two cents. How do you organize things to teach your client WordPress?