In this episode Chelsea and James talk about custom build WordPress admins and the benefits these can add to client’s businesses.
Podcast WordPress Admins
On today’s episode, we’ll be talking about how we build WordPress admins and make them super user friendly for our clients.
So one of the things that we come across a lot is, and it’s a phrase that I use a lot, which is that all WordPress sites aren’t created equally. And by that I mean that we see probably 20 Different WordPress websites a week from different clients where they’ve had them built by other agencies or done themselves or their theme sites. And one of the common issues that we see on it is that typically clients can edit everything they want to edit on it. So giving an example some agencies when they build WordPress websites, make it so that maybe only one image on a page can be changed. And they have to go back to the agency to make other amendments. One of the things that we’ve always been a really big fan of here at So marketing is that we, when we build websites, we like the client to be able to do as much of the changes to the content that they want themselves, without necessarily coming back to us. And this does mean from our point of view that there’s more work that goes into the the admin side of the site for us than for other people. But in the long run, it saves on clients coming back to the agency constantly asking for sort of small text amendments and changing images, that kind of thing. Now, one thing, where we do see more flexibility in terms of designs, where you see WordPress theme sites. So if you go online, you can find plenty of WordPress off the shelf themes. But the problem with these themes, it’s they are basically made to be all things to all men in that they are highly editable, but they require a very high degree of technical competency to understand how to actually edit them. So unless you were a developer anyway, working with these themes to make the changes that you want can often be quite difficult. So the way that we build our websites, and we typically only make custom theme websites, is that all the fields that we design onto a particular web design, we then make in the admin of WordPress for our clients to use. So give you an example, if we’ve built a built or designed a page, which is a homepage where you’ve got banners and content space and different tiles that link through to things, we tend to make it so that every one of those elements is removable, and changeable. If the customer doesn’t want it, they can remove it, it doesn’t look wrong. And basically that every element of visible content that they see on that page can be changed by themselves without having to come back to us. This is the differentiator really between the WordPress is a content management system, not a web design tool. So what some customers sometimes don’t understand is that it’s not a it’s not Word and PowerPoint where they can just sort of draw out what they want. And it automatically translates into a website that looks right. It is a tool for editing the content on the existing website has been built. So when we are building our websites, we just try and make it so that every element of the admin, whether it be text in the footer, whether it be content and a banner or a slideshow, or even down to the point of giving customers the ability to change to create flexible layouts in rows, we spend quite a lot of time working through admins to make that work for them. In the long run, it certainly reduces support time and makes it more convenient for the client so that they can keep the website fresher for longer. And also, it’s a really good learning curve for them. So as they get used to changing the content, then they’ll then know exactly how to work WordPress. And typically, for an agency that manages over 500 WordPress sites for clients, we get no more than about three support queries a day, because the way we build our admins is so clean and easy for our clients to use. If anybody ever wants a demo of admin that we build, then get in touch. And we can we can certainly show how we do these things. But part of our the cost for building a website is not just building what you see, but building the backend behind what you see. And that’s where, you know, you can get a cheap website from somewhere. But will our functionality exist? And will it be easy for the client to use going forward?
So it sounds like you make the admins really friendly for clients to use? How specifically does this help clients with E commerce sites, potentially FMCG businesses that are updating their products quite a lot?
That’s a great question. So ecommerce sites in particular really benefit from the way that we build admins. And what you typically see on lots of E commerce sites, especially those with sort of many, many products or ones where the the product inventory changes very frequently like on FMCG clients. And there’s normally a lot of attributes that go with the product so it could be you’ve got a food product which has got a set of ingredients is gone. or nutritional information, things like that. Part of how we build our admins is to make that easy for the client to change as well. So that again, they haven’t got to worry about sort of complicated importing of files or coming back to the agency again to to do those changes. We also make our admins are ecommerce websites so that everything neatly categorised. And it’s very easy to see how many products the customers have got in which category, manage those, delete them and reorder them. And as part of our builds, we always sort of trying to preempt what customers are going to need going forward. So common queries that we get when we build websites are Can I move things around in categories? Can I out how do I add things to multiple categories? And we tend to sort of build this functionality and right from the outset, because we’ve been asked so many times for over the years, so it’s much easier for us to do it straight off. And then the customer is always benefited from it, because they don’t even have to ask we’ve already done.
So how do we make sure then that clients feel comfortable editing their own site? Do we provide training tools for them? What support do they get from us to make sure that they feel comfortable going forward, making those amendments to their psi without worrying about messing it all up after they’ve invested quite heavily with us?
Yeah, that’s another great question. And so we’ve always, always offered training with our websites. And it’s part of what we sort of say to clients that they get when they commissioned us to do a project for them. Really Interestingly, during the COVID-19, situation, we’ve moved our training to online via zoom. And actually, the feedback of doing it online has been a lot better actually than than when we’re doing in person. And there’s just something about seeing it on your own screen, rather than looking at it sort of at a distance on a sort of bigger TV screen that we use to sort of show clients through how to edit everything. And so going forwards, that’s sort of the way that we’re going to be adopting our client training. Every time we build a project, we do, invite the client to the command or now do over zoom, and we work through the admin for them. So we go from top to bottom and through the whole admin of the website, show them how to edit the content, if it’s ecommerce, show them how to add products, how to manage their shipping and payment options, process their orders, and which we try and address all the common questions really in the training session. And post training, we also then are available to give them support ongoing, so all of our clients work with us on a sort of ongoing supported basis, which gives them access to our technical support team. So they just email in our tech support guys can come back with any queries, minor changes that they needed doing. And just sort of help were there. So didn’t know what to do. But you’re right to point out that customers are very scared to, to do things on the websites, typically, because they want to break it. One of the reasons that we use WordPress extensively, is because it’s really hard to break from a customer point of view. And there’s got some really great sort of rollback features within certain parts of it. So if a customer does delete some content, that didn’t mean to we can get it back easily for them. And typically, you know, we’ve been working on WordPress for well over a decade now. And we support probably between four and 500 clients on it. And it’s very, very rare that we get an actual tech issue with it in terms of the customer doing something they didn’t mean to do. What we do find is because the everything in work, the WordPress admin looks the same. Once the customer has got used to it, then it’s very familiar to them. So they tend to understand it, and then they know what to do and what not to do. Anyway, this all comes from our initial training. Also, with it being the world’s most popular CMS, we’re now seeing an increase in customers coming to us where they’ve already got WordPress, or they’ve already had it previously. So some of the very basic elements of their WordPress training they kind of already know now, because it’s just become so ubiquitous in the industry, and everybody uses it. So going forwards, it’s for us, it’s the way you will continue to work and you will continue to provide as much training as our as our clients need to to make sure they get the most out of what they’ve invested in.
That’s great. Thank you very much for your time today, James. So if anyone has any questions about what we spoke about today, or if you’d like to book in to view a WordPress demo where was please get in touch at Hello at so marketing.com and make sure that you check back into next week’s episode where we’ll be answering more common questions about WordPress. Thank you