One of the things we here at 2 Dogs Media pride ourselves on the most is our ability to create user and administrative friendly websites for non profits. Sadly, we think the administrative area is a part of the website that many web agencies do not put enough time or effort into.
WordPress by default is fairly easy to use with its easy administrative admin and WYSIWYG editors for the pages and posts area. But what happens when you have a page that requires a lot of different features and content areas? Yep, you have stress and frustration from those that need to manage it!
WHAT PROBLEMS DO WE SEE WITH CLIENT WORDPRESS ADMIN AREAS?
WIDGETS: Many developers and agencies will use a lot of “widget” areas – which in small amounts can be a good thing, but they can quickly become overwhelming and can sometimes be difficult to understand how to use by non technical personnel.
CODE: Others will require you to know some HTML to edit pages – imagine being a non-coder trying to build out tables and columns or even just trying to create a unique page format with HTML and CSS? Yep, we cringe thinking about that for you too.
EDITOR PLUGINS: There are a lot of add-on plugins both free and paid that web agencies install to make your life “easier”. But there are downsides to most of them – from bloated code that slows down your website to compatibility issues with plugins and future updates. A recent website we did used a “drag and drop” editor and that editor used its own code – so when we redid the website all the content had to be redone, it was a nightmare for the client. If a web agency or developer is suggesting a plugin for editing, please do your homework to see how it works, read the reviews and see about future issues that may arise!
None of the above options to us are acceptable for our clients, especially our non profit web design clients who have very unique needs given the tight budgets and available time they have. We want to always ensure they have the cleanest code, the least amount of plugins and the easiest options for future growth and updates.
We also understand the need for SIMPLICITY & COST EFFECTIVENESS – as we know that many non profits have minimal budgets and do not necessarily have tech savvy people on staff to help with website updates – so we invest our time into making a better experience just for them.
HOW DO WE DO IT DIFFERENTLY?
We use what are called “Custom Fields” to create content areas for our clients. All they do is enter the required content in the noted field and the content then appears on the front end of the website in the location it is designated to.
Below is a screenshot of an existing website we completed where you can see how the home page is managed on the back end.
HOME PAGE BANNERS: They have an OPTIONAL banner area where they can either have 1 large image (1200px wide) or 2 smaller banner images (600px wide each) – below you can see they are using Banner Option A which they then simply upload the image they would like and where the would like the banner to link to. If nothing is uploaded to either option – nothing shows on the front end.
BE INFORMED POSTS – on this website there is a slider of posts where the client can pick and choose the posts they want to show by clicking on the post in the area shown below. T
Below that is an image upload for a custom content area where they can change the background image as they see fit and the content as well!
Easy right? Below the image is also a video where we walk you through the admin of a recent project we launched compared to the front end so you can see just how easy it is for this client to keep their home page fresh, engaging and relevant!
VIEW THE VIDEO!
See a side by side video of the front end of a website with the admin that controls it to see how easy we make it for our clients.
DO YOU ONLY DO THIS FOR NONPROFITS?
Absolutely not – if you are a B-to-B client and love how we do this, just ask and we will discuss this with you. It does take us more time to do so we would need to ensure it is a viable option for your budget!
HOW DO WE KNOW WHAT TO ASK A POTENTIAL DEVELOPER ABOUT DOING THIS FOR US?
If you are currently having a website built or in discussions with a potential developer, then this should be addressed early in the process! Coding an admin to be this flexible is time consuming and can affect budgets and timelines so it is a critical aspect to your RFP or negotiations.
We suggest any client whether B-to-B or Non Profit ask if the developer does anything unique with the admin to make their lives easier!
Do not be afraid to ask whether “templated pages” can be created or if “Custom Fields” can be used for unique content areas. If the developer is not sure what you mean, show them this post!
QUESTIONS? NEED HELP?
Whether a client or not – we will be glad to help you with any questions regarding anything in this post! Just shoot us an email to email@example.com or call us at 732.241.5365.
Jill Caren brings over 12 years of WordPress and SEO experience to help you improve and grow your website. She has spoken at several events on SEO and has been published in several top SEO publications. You can contact Jill here.