One of the questions I get with new clients pretty frequently is asking about how easy or difficult will it be to manage the website. Will they be able to login? Will they understand how to use it? Will they need to hire us to do all the maintenance.
And these are all great questions, and I’m happy that people are thinking ahead because it’s been a long time since “set it and forget it” was a thing we did with websites.
But unfortunately, the answer isn’t as easy as “yes” or “no.” There’s a lot of nuance here in a variety of different ways. However, my answer to this question is always a resounding… maybe!
The reason I say maybe is because not every person is starting from the same place and “easy” is a very subjective term. Is it easy for me to login to a website and make updates? Absolutely. But then again, I login to WordPress and make changes all day everyday. That’s how I make my living. It’s definitely easy for me.
Is it easy for an electrician to install a new light switch? Sure. Is it easy for me? Not so much. (Turn off electricity first. Trust me on that.)
Anyway, it’s a really subjective question and the answer changes based on your prior experience. If you’ve worked with WordPress in the past, then it’s going to be easier than someone who hasn’t. If you’re familiar with working on a website, even a different system than WordPress, then it’s going to be easier than someone who has never managed a website.
How complex is your website?
Out of the box, WordPress is super simple. You can login and add a new post, or a new page. You can type in your text. Add images. Hit Publish, and you’ve made a change.
But WordPress can be as simple as publishing blog posts or it can be much more complicated. Does your WordPress site have products for e-commerce? Do you want to add new products? Does the product have different variables? These are all much more complicated than simply adding blog posts.
If you have a membership site with members who pay to have access to restricted content, that’s another type of WordPress site that’s a lot more complicated.
There are many variables in your website experience that make it easy or hard for you to manage and some are user-issues and some are website-issues.
What do you want to do?
Another factor in your user experience is going to be what kind of changes you actually want to make. Adding a page, post, or even a product might be easy, but changing the appearance is probably going to be more complicated.
That’s a quote I say often to people, and it’s true. WordPress took over a huge market share of websites because it was easy to manage. Back in the olden days of websites, I spent a lot of time trying out new content management systems so I could find one that I was able to manipulate how I wanted but also that my clients were able to login and manage as well. I started with Joomla, and quickly discovered that my clients couldn’t figure it out. And that’s when I found WordPress.
Now that I’ve been making WordPress sites for over 15 years, I feel pretty skilled at it. But the average user who is new to website management isn’t going to be able to do the same things I can do, and even some things that seem basic may be complicated.
Tips for Making it Easier
For most people, there’s going to be a learning curve when it comes to managing your new website. I do make every effort to develop websites that clients can login and manage themselves but of course, it’s still one more thing to learn.
- The more you do it, the easier it gets. When we finish a new project, we schedule a Zoom call and we go over how to make changes on your website. I typically will record the call for you, but if after that call, you don’t login to your website for a month, you are likely going to forget what we covered. The best way to learn is to login every day and try some basic tasks. The longer you go between tasks, the more likely you are to forget.
- Use available resources. There is a plethora of WordPress videos on YouTube. You can start with the official WordPress YouTube channel. There are tons of tutorials, and the next question is going to be – how do you know which one are good? And that’s an important question. When it comes to WordPress, or any technology really, make a point to look at the date. The older the tutorial, the more likely it is to be out of date. Avoid videos with clickbait titles like “How to build a WordPress website in 20 minutes.”
- Join some Facebook Groups. There are a ton of Facebook Groups for WordPress users, and you can ask questions and get answers in these groups quickly. The WordPress Community is known for being supportive and encouraging, and they love to help their fellow WP friends. You might start with the WordPress Help for Beginners Group.
The last thing I recommend is being sure to get on a support plan. Even if you plan to manage your own content, having someone keeping an eye on your site is a good idea. Our basic support plan includes software updates, backups, and up-time monitoring. If you aren’t logging into your site on a daily or weekly basis, your site could go down and you wouldn’t even know. Many years ago I had a person come to give me a quote on some work on my house, and when I mentioned that I was a web developer he asked why I had called him instead of filling out his website form. I had to explain that his form was broken on his site, so I didn’t have a choice but to call him. 🙂
When you have a support plan, then someone knows immediately if your site goes down, someone knows when your plugins need updated, and someone has backups if something were to happen. It’s just good security.
So that’s my long winded way of saying that your website might be easy for you to manage. Or it might be complicated, because there are many factors that weigh into your individual experience. But we’re here to help you as much as you need!
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