StylizedWeb

Subscribe to our updates:

A Design, WordPress and Tutorials Blog.

Dedicated to helping you learn the art and science of the web.

10 Steps to a Client Friendly WordPress CMS

What is not to love about WordPress? It is extremely extendable, an open source project, has a selection of thousands of plugins, in addition to the support community being simply massive. WordPress has proved itself as a great blogging platform and content management system.

For us developers and techies the out of the box capabilities is more than we ever need to manage, edit, and add content in any shape or form. However many of us don’t simply build website for ourselves, and we have to think about our clients as well.

While WordPress has a user friendly interface it is still blogging focused, and there are some usability enhancements that could be desired when those who are not technically savvy (which fits the bill for most clients) will be the primary users.

In this situation there are a few steps to improving the interface to make it easier for our clients.

1. Tweak the Admin Panel

The administration panel is with out a doubt focused on blogging, which makes sense since WordPress is a blogging platform. Any time you aim to create more content, “Post” is always listed before “Page” and even the labeling “Write” feels more journalistic than page focused.

While it is not a perfect solution, there is a great plugin out there that greatly enhances the layout of the latest versions of WordPress called Leopard.

With icons and a simple sidebar it will likely be more familiar to non techies or journalists.

If you like the existing interface just fine, you might want to look into the Simple CMS plugin instead. Simple CMS is a quick and easy way to change the focus from Posts to Pages.

If you want to take it a step further, and wish tweak all labeling and names to feel more “CMS” focused, the Admin Menu Management plugin will let you configure a lot of the dashboard elements to be more client friendly.

Finally cleaning up the interface can go a long way. By default WordPress has a lot of irrelevant information on the dashboard. Information that the average client doesn’t need to be bothered with. The dashboard editor plugin lets you remove some of these unnecessary elements.

Hopefully when WordPress 2.7 is finally released we won’t need to install these types of plugins as the interface is greatly improved.

2. Extend Capabilities of Navigation Control

If you are building WordPress CMS sites then chances are you are using the wp_list_pages(); method of creating navigation. This is an excellent way to let clients extend their site and add pages to the site architecture with out any editing of code.

The function does leave much be desired. There are times where you don’t want particular pages to show up in the main navigation, or only include the top level of pages. Normally this requires code tweaking, which is not client friendly. Additionally your client may want several different types of navigation? For example top navigation, utilities, footer navigation, etc... these all might be slightly different.

Again you could do some hard coding, but that makes it difficult for the client to control. So ideally we would like to give some of that control to the client.

The Navigation List plugin gives you complete control over your navigation, including graphics, styling, ordering, etc.. You can create several different navigation blocks and it all done through a great drag and drop interface.

Now clients can have powerful and easy control over their navigational blocks and areas.

3. Create Custom Write Panels

Some web sites only need a homepage and a typical text/image page for content. However many sites do need “custom content” types. Typical examples may be “houses for sale” or “product pages.” Clients could try and craft the pages in the same way for every page, but that is extremely difficult and cumbersome. It would be much easier to take some of the work away from them and simply have them fill out the details (product title, cost, description, and add a picture) rather than trying to do it manually through the write panel.

There are two ways you can create custom write panels to make creating specific types of content easier for clients.

You can do some manual hard coding, like this tutorial

Or take a look into the flutter plugin

Flutter also has some great front end editing capabilities that you could look into as well.

4. Allow More Control Over the Templates

While WordPress does make it easy to have additional templates for different types of content, allowing clients to customize templates as needed is a nice touch. A common need for example, is to allow clients to pick which sidebar to use on any given page that they are creating.

Additionally a major drawback with the format of WordPress style pages is that you can edit / modify a pages main content but there is no easy way to edit any other areas of content. The most typical area would be a sidebar.

Side Content is another plugin that lets you have and define different sets of widgets as “side content” that can be edited on a per page basis.

The PageMash template lets you select and customize sidebars based on widgets as well as providing an easy to use interface. It features a drag and drop ajax interface for ease of client use.

5. Create Great Revision Control

Many clients love the idea of revision control. There is a sense of safety that comes with being able to revert back to a previously flawless page/post. Many clients who are not tech savvy are worried about making a change that breaks the site. Being able to switch back to a working page in a worse case scenario is very reassuring.

There are two great plugins that extend the capability of WordPress revision control.

Revision Control

Revisions

6. Improve the Easy of Linking

If you have ever had to teach a client how to link to another interior page in WordPress you will know how difficult the linking interface of WordPress can be. It would be much easier to get a list of links to pages that exist for selection, rather than having to type it in manually.

AWS Easy Page Link lets you do just that.

7. Enhance Multimedia Support with Utilities

The web has become a rich multimedia experience, so it is no surprised a lot of websites not only need the ability to have multimedia on the site, but also add multimedia over time.

Two of the most common multimedia needs are the ability to add video, and to work with images. In a perfect world all clients would have the tools and knowledge to open, edit, resize and save images. However rarely is this the case.

So the Scissors plugin is a perfect fit for all your basic image editing and resizing needs, all through the administration panel.

And for those sites that need video the all in one video pack makes working with and posting video extremely easy.

8. Give them Control Over Contact Forms

It is rare to come across a site that doesn’t have at least one contact form. Many sites now have several contact forms. Beyond that, simply working with contact forms can be a pain.

Why not give the client control over their contact forms? Contact Form 7 makes it easy to create different contact forms and insert them into posts and pages. It features some worthwhile CAPTCHA spam protection.

9. Do Some Branding and Customization

I just wrote an article about branding your administration area. What came out of that were some great suggestions for plugins to brand the login / registration panels and the administration panel.

The Custom Admin Branding plugin
will let you swap out logos in the administration panels for your own, or your clients (depending on how you want to brand WordPress).

WP Admin Theme Extended
will let you easily adjust and tweak the color scheme of the administration panel. Again this will let you either pick your branded colors, or your clients for the administration panel.

10. Ensure Everything is Backed up Regularly

You never know what, when and why something will happen to a website. You can’t count on clients to backup their site themselves, and I doubt you want to be in the business of managing backups for all website you create.

The DB Backup plugin
has auto scheduling with a wide variety of options and methods for backing up your important WordPress database.

Leave a comment on Stylized Web Have some feedback? Leave a comment

230 Comments So Far

  1. Pingback: Kill your Time - 300+ Resources to Help You Become a WordPress Expert

  2. I think it is time for Ballmer to go and for the company to break itself up into smaller more nimble companies. They still

    have great people and business units that would thrive if they could break away form the corporate shackles. We are

    witnessing Microsofts descent from industry luminary to marginalized business sector leader

  3. Bazen insan “ben iyiyim” dediginde, gözlerinin içine bakıp “biliyorum iyi değilsin” diyen birisine çok ihtiyaç duyar…

  4. Pingback: I’m glad I chose WordPress as CMS « prezure

  5. look .every one who wanted to congratulate you You look super

  6. Thank you very much and sharin very nice blog

  7. In A, B, C, high levels of vitamins and beta carotene barındıran­African Mango, form meets guidelines as well as the effect of contributi­ng to the beauty of your hair and skin. Beta Carotene, to ensure the beauty of the skin, night vision to strengthen the immune system against disorders, a variety of infections contribute to the substance.­Those who want to enter the world healthy and permanent form, which is a product of choice for African Mango, now in Turkey. Because people prefer to use a 100% herbal product that helps people to enter the African Mango form a single product.

  8. Those who want to enter the world healthy and permanent form, which is a product of choice for African Mango, now in Turkey. Because people prefer to use a 100% herbal product that helps people to enter the African Mango form a single product.

  9. Besonders interessante Seiten, Reisen über das Internet, durch die ich hier gelandet, so lasse ich liebe Grüße da. joey

  10. Pingback: WordPress教程专家的资源 | WordPress

  11. Domestic animals which are not completely cut you our range of breakfast and bread Ingredients roasting roasting hizmetindeyiz.Ayrıca scrap sales of our people we are looking for the başlamıştır.Siz only door cargo delivery to you if you want to taste the flavor of yapıyoruz.Eğer Rize kavurmasının immediately call it unique.

  12. Great article. thanks for sharing.

  13. Pingback: 300多种可帮你成为WordPress专家的资源 | 魅影视觉

  14. live streaming, watch live match, Betting predictions, Live Scores results, live match, live soccer broadcast, Live Scores, Live Scores, Match Results, Betting…

  15. Pingback: 300多种可帮你成为WordPress专家的资源 | WordPress教程网

  16. Pingback: 100+ Resources for WordPress Theme Developers - | Web Help 101

  17. I like ad hominem, but in the sense that others can go wrong in their assumptions, and like to repeat a part of it, not the whole. More powerful however is to not repeat your demise of that structure but treat the person’s subjective object altogether? It can also be that, and I think this is it, the world has psychosis at the periperial, not intelligence

  18. thank admin.

  19. Pingback: WordPress教程专家的资源 | 先锋网赚博客_网赚培训_最新网赚项目_中国网络赚钱最好的交流博客

  20. Thanks for sharing. Will definitely work on admin tweaking

  21. Pingback: 300+ Resources to Help You Become a WordPress Expert | Mr.N design

  22. dusakabin, dus teknesi, kuvet

  23. I go to see everydаy a few web sіtes and sіtes
    tο гead artiсles or reviews, but this blog provіdes feature based posts.

  24. Pingback: 300多种可帮你成为WordPress专家的资源 | www.ycyintao.com 官方博客

  25. Pingback: 300多种可帮你成为WordPress专家的资源 | 就赖猫

  26. While it’s true that property managers, in particular those working for small or medium-sized companies, do market and lease apartments in addition to troubleshoot maintenance issues, additionally, they do much more. These companies take away the everyday stresses of managing your premises leaving you to just gather your rent every month. The new items will begin with a long-term warranty and this will likely be an opportunity to install cheaper and simpler to utilize items.

    Here is my page; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_v9uRsd7pQo

  27. krediet direct particuliere lening 50000 euro lenen

  28. share successful

  29. successful and beautiful sharing

  30. Pingback: 350 WordPress resources

  31. The new items will begin with a long-term warranty and this will likely be an opportunity to install cheaper and simpler to utilize items.

  32. Pingback: 300多种可帮你成为WordPress专家的资源 | Shawn's Home

  33. Congratulations on a very successful website tabela

  34. Very good articles. Congratulations. Thank you

  35. Thanks in support of sharing such a good idea, post is fastidious, thats why i have read it completely

  36. canli mac izletme linkleri, canli mac izle, p2p, bedava lig tv izle, ligtv izle, bedava ligtv, ligtv canli, justin tv izle, ligtv, canli yayin mac, lig tv 2, mac izle, justin tv, d-smart izle, trt spor izle, ntv spor izle, eurosport tv, lig tv 2 izle, lig tv 3 izle, mac bahisleri, iddaa maclari, online mac izle

  37. nice post! thanks for sharing your ideas. i learn a lot

  38. No matter if some one searches for his vital thing, so he/she desires to be available that in detail, so
    that thing is maintained over here.

  39. What’s up it’s me, I am also visiting this web page regularly, this website is actually fastidious and the users are genuinely sharing pleasant thoughts.

  40. I have a confident synthetic attention pertaining to detail and can anticipate difficulties before these people take place.

  41. Thank you very much and sharin very nice blog :-)

  42. bedava ligtv, canli mac izle, canli yayin mac, d-smart izle, justin tv, justin tv izle, lig tv 2, ligtv, ligtv canli, ligtv izle, mac izle, p2p, trt spor izle, freedocast, eurosport izle
    http://canlimacizlemek.blogspot.com/

  43. bedava ligtv, canli mac izle, canli yayin mac, d-smart izle, justin tv, justin tv izle, lig tv 2, ligtv, ligtv canli, ligtv izle, mac izle, p2p, trt spor izle, freedocast, eurosport izle
    http://canlimacizlemek.blogspot.com/

  44. canlı bedava ligtv, canli mac izle, canli yayin mac, d-smart izle, justin tv, justin tv izle, lig tv 2, ligtv, ligtv canli, ligtv izle, mac izle, p2p, trt spor izle, freedocast, eurosport izle bedava
    http://canlimacizlelinkler.blogspot.com/

  45. I have a notable analytical attention to get details and may anticipate problems prior to they happen.

  46. Watch the match live, justin tv, lig tv izle, lig tv live streaming, live Stream, watch the match live justin tv, free lig tv watch, watch tv d smart, smart sports full movie, watch online match, Bookmakers estimates…

  47. It’s hard to come by educated people for this subject, however, you seem like you know
    what you’re talking about! Thanks

  48. Online maç izleme sitemizde bulunan günel canlı maç izleme linkleri ile takılmadan canlı izle

  49. canlı maç izle, justin tv, lig tv izle, lig tv canlı izle, canlı lig tv izle, justin tv canlı maç izle, bedava lig tv izle, şifresiz maç izle, internetten maç izle
    http://justintvligtvcanli.blogspot.com.tr/

  50. Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>