Are your CMS user-friendly?

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I’ve tried out a couple of different CMS systems lately and have had a chance to look at the back-end of some rather small, local sites. And boy there’s a lot of different ways to go about giving clients access. Some of them have full access to every corner of the CMS and some aren’t even able to make new pages or content elements.  My question is are you providing a user-friendly solution to your clients? Do your clients agree with your answer?

Are some of your clients suddenly getting their websites redesigned by other people than you? If this is happening to you, here is one scenario that might have happened.

Sales guy call your (former) client, let’s call him architect Jim.

Sales guy ask: Do you find it hard to update your website with new information?

Jim: Actually, yes. I find it hard to upload pictures and getting them aligned as I want them.

Sales guy: Well I think I have a solution that can help you with that. uploading images is a easy as getting them from you digital camera to your computer. If you have a minute why do I show you how it’s done on this little test site. Go to www.testdomain.com/admin/ and login.

And over the course of a couple of minutes they have together made a new page and uploaded images into an easy to use image gallery. Your client is now your former client, if your solution is not easy enough to use.

So what can you do about it?

Well here’s the thing, you might be using a great CMS solution, that’s really easy to use. But are you making sure that you are not providing too many options for you client?

What’s does this button do?

Cutting down on options is the easiest way to make clients happier about their website. Ex. if you are using wordpress as a CMS and you client is only supposed to use pages. Make sure he can’t see posts, settings, themes etc. He doesn’t need them so don’t let him see them. So hide them. By all means give your client a full login, but keep his work load down to a minimum. Make it easy to update the website. You client will be happier, will keep their site updated and will tell their friends about your services.

Of course there are a lot of other things, you can do to make CMS systems easier to use for non-technical clients.

  • Make sure that the CMS is in their language if you work in non-english speaking countries.
  • Some systems have built in help that isn’t turned on by default, enable those.
  • If you are adding features to the system, make sure they are following the same principles as the system itself.

Make sure you deliver a solution that is easy to use and just works.




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