Congratulations on launching your client’s website. The project played out exactly as you had envisioned. The client likes it and you’re on the verge of sealing the deal so you can move on to the next project.
In addition to the payment you received, you have a new project to add to your portfolio and showcase your handiwork. Double win for you.
One major problem though:
The client you’ve designed the site for happens to know so little about WordPress. The oversimplified WordPress is so intimidating in their eyes. The experience is akin to the first time you ever drove a car.
Remember being handed the keys and being asked to drive? Recall the feeling? How it felt staring at the steering and wondering about what to do next?
If you can recall clearly, you were both nervous and exhilarated. You knew about the responsibility that awaited you. And intimidating it was.
That’s exactly the same spot you place your clients every time you hand them the logins to their WordPress dashboard. Mind you, majority of the clients have never interacted with WordPress before.
You can restrict some core features on the admin area as a way to prohibit them from messing around with them and harming your site. But that’s NOT to say they’ll have an easy time figuring their way around the site.
Luckily for you, you can dedicate a few minutes of your time to walk them through some of the core features and how they can make necessary adjustments and tweaks to the site should they feel the need to.
As a concerned web developer who derives your jollies from customer satisfaction, the last thing you’d want to do is leave your customers up the creek. Here’s a number of ways of how things may play out:
– Some of the clients may glance over the dashboard and conclude that everything is too complicated for their understanding. Consequently, they may give up on learning without even taking the first step to find out what it actually entails. The resulting effect is the site being left to die slowly considering no one will be there to update it on the regular or when required.
– The curious ones may decide to play around with the various features in a trial and error kind of manner. Accidentally, they may end up interfering with some of the features that hold the site together. So the site breaks leaving you with so little to do to salvage it.
While restricting some of the areas may help, that’s no guarantee their activities will NOT be in any way detrimental to the overall functioning of the site.
– They decide to seek help from another WordPress developer who won’t be charging them much to either update it or help them make the necessary adjustments to the site. The risk involved is some of the developers messing up with your work or you losing a would-have-been loyal client for good.
Another unlikely possibility is the client reaching out to you for assistance. If you’ve been developing websites for quite some time, chances are you’ve been in a situation where a client contacts you a few months down the line complaining about something along the line of “I tried updating my website by clicking through the WordPress link for updates, but I’m now having trouble logging into the dashboard. What could be the issue?”
To them, the issue might be so trivial that they expect you to fix it in a matter of minutes. But the truth of the matter is, if you’ve never encountered a similar issue before, then it’s going to take you hours researching and working around the theme and plugins to fix it.
But what if you had earlier on informed the client about the possible outcome of updating their site on their own; then perhaps they could have had second thoughts going through with it, and as such saved you the trouble of attempting to troubleshoot for something you weren’t prepared for.
Reasons to Empower Your Clients with WordPress Training
One wrong approach web developers take in what appears like an effort to help clients self-manage their WordPress websites or blogs is throw in a few tutorials or YouTube link for them to follow and handle some of the things on their own. But usually, clients don’t even bother checking out what’s in the video link or tutorial. And it’s mostly because of the prejudiced ideas they have concerning web development and management in general.
It’s also important that you make it known to your clients that they should first consider consulting you to update their website, and just in case they update it on their own, and then incur a site breakdown, you’ll be charging them extra for the amount of time you take to get the issue ironed out.
Another option would be to offer ongoing support and maintenance, at a fee of course.
But there are more reasons why you’d want to empower your clients for WordPress training. Here they are:
By training your clients about WordPress, you’ll be giving them hands-on experience, and which they wouldn’t have otherwise understood were they to rely on YouTube videos and tutorial for guidance. That way you can be sure that they’ve at least mastered the basic of what’s needed to self-manage their websites.
You train your clients about self-managing their own site because you don’t want to leave them feeling helpless. That’s important because it also eliminates the risk of them contacting another web developer and who’s likely to mess up the site.
Also, by empowering your clients, you’ll also be motivating them to be more confident in updating their websites with fresh content.
Add Value to Clients
By empowering your clients through WordPress training, you’ll also be adding more value to the services you provide. You don’t just want to be a WordPress developer who strives to get a piece of job done, but one that’s also concerned about customer satisfaction.
There are some developers who actually charge for this. You don’t necessarily need to follow the same script, considering it only takes about an hour or two to walk a client through everything they wish to learn about web development. Plus this simple gesture may also open the door for even more business opportunities in the future.
There is a lot to gain by dedicating a small chunk of your time to training your clients on self-managing their WordPress site. One being, you could record the training session and sell them to your site’s visitor. You could also upload it to your YouTube channel to direct even more visitors to your site or to establish an entirely new group of online fan base.
By training your clients on how to manage their WordPress site, you’ll be encouraging them to keep wanting more. If your web development services stand out, odds are your online marketing and other services strike out, as well.
First, your clients will appreciate you for teaching them something they wouldn’t have otherwise known had it NOT been for your help. You’ll also be equipping them to understand some of the intricacies of web development, thus increasing the opportunity of them coming back for more of your services.
What to Cover in Your WordPress Training
There’s no denying that lots of beginners find the WordPress dashboard intimidating. Much of the information being ferried around regarding the system is misleading in a way.
For instance, we’ve had a good number of the potential clients we attract here at MediaOne point out how much they hated the CMS. Some even went to an extent of expressing how much of a security risk the platform is.
But upon scheduling for a meetup and walking them through the platform in detail, they were able to see how intuitive it actually was and squash their doubt. It’s also through the meeting that some were able to lay off their tension and build up their confidence level.
What’s important about the WordPress training you take your clients through is confirming to them that there’s nothing complicated about the platform and that they shouldn’t fret about anything should they decide to go ahead and learn it.
Here’s a number of ways to make the platform less intimidating to your clients:
Clean Up the Backend and Make it Simple
Before you even think of reaching out to the client and offering the free training, try going around the platform to come up with possible ways to clean it up and make it simple. You can start by getting rid of unnecessary plugins and designing the site in such a way that the clients can make the necessary changes with a simple click of one of the dashboard menu items.
Schedule for the Training
Once you’ve simplified the backend, you can go ahead and schedule the training. Make it known to the client that the training won’t take longer than 60 minutes. Within this time, they’re allowed to ask any kind of question they have concerning the site.
Just in case you also offer after-service maintenance and support, make sure the team member you assign the task is present during the training.
It’s important that the meeting be carried out in person. But in the event that logistics don’t add up, you can use one of the conferencing platforms such as GoToMeeting or Join.Me, which allows you to share a screen with the client you’re training and even hand over the controls to the client for a hands-on experience.
It’s even better if you get to use a platform that records the proceedings of the meeting so you can share them with your trainee client for future reference.
Prepare for the Training
Try coming up with a checklist of all the talk point you’ll be covering during the training. Whatever you do, don’t get into the training without a proper plan on how you’ll be covering the lessons on the list. And unless you’ve conducted similar training so many times before, don’t make the mistake of trying to wing it all up.
Create User Accounts
A few minutes before the training, you can create user accounts for everyone you’ve invited for the training. It’s advisable to create the accounts a few minutes before the meaning so as to prevent overzealous users from poking around and messing the site up before the meeting.
What to Cover during the Meeting
There’s a list of things to make sure you’ve covered during the training for the client to be well equipped to tackle the big task ahead.
Here are the items:
Start by walking your client around the site so they can glance over and develop a general understanding of how everything works. This is also important as it gives you the opportunity to introduce the client to some WordPress terminology.
The next thing you do is teach the client about how to log into the admin section of the website. If possible, use a test username and password to log into the account as they watch and let them do it for your assessment and confirmation if they’re doing it right.
After walking the visitors through the site and teaching them how to log into the admin section, the next thing you’d want to do is introduce the client to some of the most commonly used terminologies in WordPress.
Make sure the client understands what is meant by post, page, media, theme, menu, plugin, and dashboard. It’s at this point that you also teach them about how to publish a new post, add a new page or upload a new media to their website.
Creating a New Post
For majority of the clients you create a website for, the site you design will be marked as flawless with no need to alter anything. But before you hand them the logins, you’d want to make sure that they know how to create a new blog post, with images and everything.
Here’s a list of things to teach them:
– How and where to post their blog posts
– How to add featured images to the posts.
– What’s meant by the surrounding widgets including tags, categories, featured images, site layout and SEO.
– How to preview posts or save them as drafts before publishing.
There would come a time when a client would want to add a page or edit an existing one. When this time comes, you’d want to make sure the client is equipped enough to make it happen without reaching out for external help.
It’s a Wrap
Equipping your clients to handle all the necessary changes to the sites you create for them can save you a lot of time and unnecessary headache in the future. Imagine dealing with hundreds of clients each of which is requesting for your help, no matter how small it is.
The problem is likely to escalate once some of the clients find out that you’ve been doing it to other clients. So, do yourself a favor by teaching your clients about all the essentials of self-managing their own websites and get to retain your own sanity.
That’s pretty much like it. But in the event that you need further help on how to proceed with the training, then consider reaching out to MediaOne today for a free SEO and web development consultation.