Clients & Content Management Systems. The good, the bad and yes, the ugly.

I’ve written in the past about content being the most important part of a website and that it should always be well thought out before creating the design. But what about once the site is built? Who’s going to update it and maintain it? Add new content? New photos, blog posts, news, events and so on. Should it be the web designer? Should it be the client? Good question. With great content management systems like WordPress and MODX it can be either. Here’s what I’ve experienced.

Client 1 – The Pro

The Pro is the client who jumps right in. Buys a WordPress book. Reads blogs, watches videos, seeks out new tricks for keeping his site up-to-date and filled with content. This is the client that ends up showing you a few tricks you’ve never even seen before. They fall in love with the technology and just truly enjoy keeping their site looking great. They may not be designers and they always come to you for some final polish or for a new layout or graphic to make the page pop, but they do everything else.

Client 2 – The Nervous Nelly

The Nervous Nelly is worried that no matter what they do to the site, they are going to break it. You train them how to do everything they need to keep their site fresh with a new photo and some relevant news. They’re nervous and you know it so you don’t push them. You just want them to be able to do the basics and make a few changes when necessary. They mean well, but let’s face it, working on websites is just out of their league. They usually throw in the towel and just send you the updates to post for them.

Client 3 – Captain Busy

Captain Busy comes out of the gate just like The Pro. The only problem with Captain Busy is that he truly is busy. This is a client who is totally involved in running his or her business who has every intention of working on his site, but it just falls through the cracks. You usually end up doing most of their updates as well.

Client 4 – The Artist

The Artist likes to put their own stamp on things. They have ideas that sometimes just don’t mesh with the initial design and style that was created for their site. Content management systems are great, but they can also be used to create some pretty ugly layouts. Just because you can makes fonts huge and purple doesn’t mean you should. Hey, everyone has their own style, but your site should have a consistent design, with the same fonts, colors and sizes throughout. Pick a web designer based on the work that they’ve done that speaks to you and once you’ve made that choice, trust that person to guide you through the creation of your site. Try to follow the design style that they helped you create to keep your site looking professional.

The truth is that there are all kinds of clients and all kinds of web designers. If you’re a small business owner looking to design a new website take the time to find someone you feel you can truly work with. Be honest with yourself, are you The Pro? Or are you the Nervous Nelly? Either is fine, but if you can realize who you are upfront, you can put a plan into place that will help get you the best results.

If you need great results creating a new website, contact me – maybe we can make something pretty together.