Recently I’ve helped two clients build their own WordPress sites. I thought I’d share my most recent experience here, as I’ve learned something valuable about helping these types of clients.
Peter J. Hackett has built his own websites in the past and has done a fine job at it. Like so many DIY clients his radar went bing when he heard about WordPress.
He came to a WordPress Meetup where I was speaking to find out more.
After thinking how I could best help Peter, I realised something. He wanted to have total control of his WordPress site, so he didn’t need me to play the traditional WordPress designer/developer role. What he needed was my experience to advise him and show him how to go about doing it. We met and he showed me his internet plans, all drawn out on a story board. I instantly got where he wants to go.
We made lists of all the things that needed doing to launch WearItAustralia.com.au and allocated tasks. As this was Peter’s first time with self hosted WordPress, I did the installation and enabled Maintenance Mode for him. From there, Peter went about adding his Page and Post content, as well as creating a series of Headers for the site – all pitched at bringing home the message for people to wear their life jackets while out fishing and boating.
When I was performing my list of tasks, I hit on the idea of recording the screen and explaining to Peter what I’m doing, and why I’m doing it. It also enabled me to give him tips and teach him why certain things are important, like structuring Page and Post URL’s for example. This is important for SEO.
I broke these videos down into subjects so instead of making one long drawn out video, I made a series. For example, if I installed a Plugin, I’d record that, all the time speaking to him and pointing out why we are using it. I could also explain things like configuration options.
Once I performed and recorded each allocated task, I’d convert the screen recording to a video format compatible with his computer and emailed it to him, using a large file sending service.
Peter says he loves the videos and that I’ve hit on a revolutionary new way to help clients that want to DIY.
This saved him time. Most WordPress first timers will spend hours trawling the internet for tutorials and blog posts on how best to achieve their desired goals. When you don’t have that time, it can be frustrating going about it that way.
As such, WearItAustralia.com.au was launched within a few weeks of our first meeting and Peter was able to hit the ground running.
Certainty for clients
I know that many clients are fearful of running up huge costs when they employ someone to help them with a website. I like to be open and transparent, and so I think the videos help with that a great deal. It enables clients to see exactly what work was done, and how long it took. Its also a way that web designers can prove their worth. If the client can literally watch the work that was done, they know exactly what they are getting for their investment, as well as learning new skills. It’s a win/win for everyone.