Unless a client specifically requests to have a hands-off relationship with their website, they’ll expect to have unrestricted access to every aspect of their site. This includes hosting and domain registrar accounts.
In the past, this was difficult because these environments weren’t DIY friendly and it was easy for a client to mess things up. Today, it’s safer to empower your clients by providing unrestricted access.
Here are 4 tips to empower your clients without risking the web asset:
1. Have your client test several website builders
A website builder that’s easy for one person to use may not be easy for another. Before committing to using a specific platform, have your clients test several to determine which is the most intuitive for them.
Your clients will thank you for providing them with options
Clients want options. In the past, giving clients too many options meant slowing down the project. Allowing them to choose their own platform virtually guaranteed they’d make an uninformed choice. Today, things are different. Since clients expect to maintain their own websites, it’s imperative to provide them with choices.
After having a website built, some clients discover easier platforms and say, “Why didn’t you tell me about this other platform? It’s so much easier to use than what I’ve been using.” You can avoid this conversation by having them test various builders from the start.
Wix is one of those user-friendly platforms clients discover after they’ve had a website built on a complex platform like Drupal or Joomla. With Wix, your clients don’t need technical skills to use the drag-and-drop interface – plus, it’s free to use.
Wix also provides benefits other builders don’t, like SEO Wiz – a fully integrated on-page SEO optimizer.
Website builders are getting a boost from artificial intelligence
The truth is, no DIY website builder is intuitive out of the box. They all take time to learn – even the drag-and-drop builder from Wix. However, Wix just upgraded their usability. They launched an intelligent website builder that renders the standard drag-and-drop learning curve obsolete. It’s called Wix ADI.
Using a smart algorithm, Wix ADI can generate an original, professionally designed website in a matter of minutes. Who would have thought artificial intelligence would make its way into the world of website development?
The world of website development is changing, and it’s no longer workable to maintain complete control over your clients’ web assets. Empowering your clients starts with building their sites on a platform they control.
2. Always create separate accounts for your clients
You may need to pass your client’s project on to another developer in the future. Sometimes you’ll get advanced warning, but not always. You might get an email requesting a handover within 24 hours.
The longer it takes for you to provide your client with their account information, the more you’ll hold them back. If their accounts are tangled up with your own, it will take a long time to accommodate their request.
When you take on a new client, do everything you can to ensure their success, regardless of whether you remain their developer. Keep accurate records of account logins, and make sure their accounts are kept separate from yours. If you have a reseller hosting account, make sure you can easily transfer the site to a new host if requested.
It’s not recommended to host your clients, unless that’s part of your expertise. When you host your client, you become the middleman for all hosting related issues. Even when you host your clients on a reseller account, you’re still responsible for communicating with the host to resolve all issues.
Avoid hosting clients as add-on domains
If you’re hosting a client as an add-on domain within your own account, make sure your client is okay with the ramifications. For instance, they’ll never have cPanel access and they won’t be able to edit their database directly. They won’t have access to hosting support, either. Hosting a client as an add-on domain makes you 100 percent responsible for troubleshooting and support.
3. Train your clients well
Training your clients is essential. They can probably figure out how to edit their site easily if you use a drag-and-drop builder. However, they should know how to securely access their files via SFTP and perform basic tasks like uploading and overwriting files.
4. Build their website with elements they can easily learn
The drag-and-drop nature of DIY website development makes it seem like any plugin or script will be easy to use. The truth is, many are so complex that even developers struggle to figure them out.
When building a website for a client, make sure you use tools, plugins, and scripts that are within their ability to learn and use. What’s easy for you might be complicated for them. You can always customize the WordPress admin area and restrict access to prevent accidental changes.
Empowering your clients means giving them all the tools they need to succeed, whether you remain their developer or not. Prepare ahead of time for the day you’ll need to pass the torch – they’ll thank you later.