Why a Client Should Learn WordPress Before Site Launch

I am launching a website for a client built on WordPress. She inquires: I assume I can give you a Word doc and you will input it for me, and I’ll take the time to go through your tutorial after launch?

I offer to input content on a few pages, but I communicate that what Set Up means is creating the shell of the pages and navigation for the client based on a sitemap. I explain that it is critically important that the client inputs their own content into each page for one key reason.

I want the client comfortable in WordPress before launch, because once a site launches, changes immediately become time-sensitive, and can be handled by the client from Hour 1.

In my case, I provide access to a WordPress tutorial website that gets a client up and running in WordPress in about an hour, so that learning the basics of WordPress is not a giant daunting mental roadblock.

If a client convinces a designer or developer that they will wait until after launch to learn WordPress, it uniformly results in multiple change requests for the designer that are now top priority for the client because the website is live. Please just make these changes, and then I can take over! It is super important – I can’t have clients see this information on the website!, they plead.

Suddenly, every change is a fire drill, a top priority. That is a disservice to the client and the developer, and it strains the relationship at a time everyone should feel warm and fuzzy about a successful launch.

Now, this is not to say I’m not hands-on post-launch. I realize clients will continue to need assistance as they get increasingly familiar with managing their site. But I cannot underestimate the value of having a client familiar with the tools at their disposal for a successful site launch.

For what its worth, the client graciously appreciated this explanation, and was thankful for the offer to help with some of the content input as their launch date approaches.

 

(image h/t JosephHart)

2 Comments on “Why a Client Should Learn WordPress Before Site Launch”

  1. Boy oh boy do I sympathize with you.

    I can’t tell you how many times I have tried to teach someone the basics of wordpress only to have them insist that I do everything both pre- and post-launch. Then I have to charge them more money!

    I promote using wordpress in my web strategies BECAUSE of its ease of use, so that the business owner can do some things for themselves and save themselves the buck. Plus it frees up my day!

    In fact, I encourage everyone to learn a little bit more about the development and implementation of strategic internet marketing tactics so that they aren’t in the blind and getting hustled by everyone’s third cousin that does online marketing.

    Best,
    -Mike

  2. Hey Mike –

    Yes, exactly! It’s great and all that WP is easy to use for US, but that’s not the point, is it? And totally agreed on the internet strategy too. For example, learning the most rudimentary basics on how to SEO a new page or post (character limits, what a keyword phrase is) will get the client so much farther down the road than no SEO at all, at no additional cost and virtually zero additional time commitment.

    Thanks for readin’!
    Tyler

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