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WordPress: Control for the Client

Jackrabbit Design October 18, 2011 Web Design & Development

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When it comes to pitching web projects, clients typically share from the same set of common concerns, time and time again in relation to which content management system their site will be integrated with.

This post is the third in a series, where I plan to identify and address common real-world challenges when deploying a new website — and identify the factors that make WordPress a great solution.

Part 3:

Full Client Control & Flexibility

The Situation:

You are a company in the market for a new interactive website that will be constantly updated internally by a large team of contributors. Your product demands consistent engagement with your audience through social media interaction as well as blog and comment postings. With so many internal users needing access and program education before they can begin contributing, a content management system that is quickly adaptable, flexible and fully controllable is needed.

Our Recommendation:

A freshly designed site running on the latest version of WordPress, customized for the specific content your company wishes to control to maximize efficiency and minimize the team learning curve.

Here’s why:

Developer’s POV

Your Team of Contributors

  • Ability to create specific information-type input fields to isolate data and inject it properly into the custom theme templates.
  • Easily allow for data to be displayed with proper styles over all templates.
  • Customization of specific page templates in backend admin.
  • No time invested in consistent look & feel of backend admin.
  • Consistent and clean look & feel of admin user dashboard interface allows any person with a basic computer skills background to learn quickly.
  • Individual and properly marked input fields for specific types of content can easily be updated while keeping theme aesthetics consistent.
  • All defined content is able to be easily changed saving money on future maintenance.

Long Version – A major misconception that some clients may have is that agencies are in the business of web design and development for the money made in the maintenance of the site. This could not be farther from the truth! Our goal, when a site is completed and launched, is to give the client FULL control to manage all content within their site so they can become self-sufficient immediately.

The introduction of WordPress 3 was really a breakout moment with new features that allow developers to create different types of content and easily organize the admin panel in a way any CMS novice could understand. Every section of the WordPress dashboard is also laid out in a consistent fashion so that once the client learns how to manage one section they are now masters of their own domain (pun intended)! Together with third-party plugins like Advanced Custom Fields, developers can now create several different types of individual input fields to properly control specialized content in a consistent manner.

For example, let’s say a client’s customized template requires the input of a date. Instead of having them use the HTML editor and having to add certain tags to stylize the date properly, we can create a date-type field so that the content is entered every time to allow for consistent styling. (see the difference below)

These new features offered by the open-source WordPress staff have revolutionized the CMS community by making admin usability a main priority. This has caused an immediate increase in the amount of developers using WordPress, abandoning other CMS options such as Drupal and Joomla, both of which are behind on the movement to put the admin architecture as a top concern. The evolution of the admin panel is just another clear reason that we, and others, prefer to use WordPress as our CMS of choice.

Still not convinced that WordPress is the way to go?  Check out these two galleries, here and here, that display top brands utilizing the CMS platform beautifully.  We’ll make a believer out of you yet!

This post concludes our three part WordPress series! We hope you have a better understanding of this CMS platform from many perspectives.  Have another WordPress topic we didn’t address or a question you’d like to ask?  Leave a comment and we’ll be sure to get you the answers!

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