Giving more control to clients for layout and design.
Corporate clients usually provide design standards in the form of a style guide, and I lock down elements, meaning the site editors can only enter copy and images in places that have been designated. This usually involves creating custom fields, page templates, and using plugins like Content Views Pro to display the site.
But what happens with small sites?
First, by small, I mean those with limited budgets, not limited content. This may be sites run by a single individual or a small business. They already wear multiple hats – owner, accountant, salesperson, marketer, doer-of-things – so I need to provide a site they can easily maintain and modify without the budget that allows me to create the features of a corporate site.
WordPress is the solution
WordPress is my CMS of choice for most small business sites. I work with Drupal for very large sites, but it is overly complicated for most users, and requires a lot of administrative upkeep. WordPress, on the other hand, can be very easy to maintain, especially if using a hosting company that specializes in WordPress, such as BlueHost or WPEngine. Mark a checkbox and the site is consistently updating itself.
Take advantage of what’s there
For a small site, the key is to take advantage of as many built-in and plugin features as possible. I try to limit custom work to the CSS styling of the theme, and use pre-built features for the layouts. Recently, that includes taking advantage of Genesis Blocks from StudioPress. The plugin adds features to the site in pre-built fashion that takes advantage of the WordPress Gutenberg editor.
So my clients can create a responsive 3-column layout in the middle of a page, or add a call-to-action bar at the bottom, or a large billboard image, and they don’t have to call me to make adjustments to the widgets or the conditional logic.
What it does require is tutoring. A couple of Zoom meetings and any individual or team can be up and running taking advantage of the features.
Growth is key
By being on WordPress from the beginning, clients can take advantage of more robust features of WordPress as their business grows. Genesis Blocks assists with creating a darn, good solution for someone on a shoestring budget.
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