If you use WordPress as a CMS for your clients’ websites, you’ve probably faced that issue: regular people find WordPress hard to use. Yes, it is quite user-friendly, but apparently not enough for people who double-click on links when browsing or worst, enter their website’s url in Google to get there. To make it easier for these people to maintain their own website, I would suggest the following tips.
1. Install an extended version of TinyMCE
This is one of the first things I realize that the person who will maintain the website is not internet-saavy. To avoid annoying “Where is the blablabla button?” question, just install this wordpress plugin and you’ll save some precious time when teaching how to use the WordPress admin. The TinyMCE advanced plugin gives you a setting page where you can add many buttons to the visual editor.
2. Add rich text to your widgets
Do you know what happens the first time your client tries to add an image in a sidebar widget? He calls you, usually when you have something much more important to finish. Hopefuly someone created this nifty little wordpress plugin to add rich-text widgets in your admin.
3. Make pages management easier
Managing pages is a little too abstract in the regular WordPress for most clients, again there is a nice WordPress plugin that simplifies the pages management task by using a wonderful drag and drop interface.
4. Give them better control over the navigation
This is not necessary for smaller sites with simple navigation, but it will be for websites using several navigations mixing categories and pages. With the WordPress Navigation List Plugin, your client takes full control over their navigation with an easy-to-use interface.
5. Give them limited permissions
Your clients will never use some functionalities in WordPress, why should they even access them then? Installing the Adminize plugin will let you decide what your client can access, thus limiting the potential mistakes and decluttering the admin.
6. Simplify the WordPress admin’s interface
Honestly this isn’t a hug improvement, but the Admin Trim Interface plugin will help your client to find his way faster by decluttering the interface.
7. Give them advanced control over the contact forms
Forms creation or modification are a quite complicated task for the regular internet user, to let your client work on his website’s forms, I would suggest one of these two plugins:
- cforms II: the one I use on Designer Daily, it has a simple form admin area but can be a little annoying to upgrade (no auto upgrade).
- Contact Form 7: a plugin I used on several clients websites, easy to install and configure.
8. Let them access stats from within the WordPress admin
Why would you do that? Simply because some clients are not too familiar with handling multiple accounts for web services, this will then make their life easier by giving them all the info they need in one place. For that I’d suggest these two plugins:
- Google Analyticator: integrates Google Analytics stats in your WordPress admin.
- Feed stats: integrates Feedburner stats in your admin.
9. Use Windows Live Writer write blog.