What should be done to teach the client about their website?

I’m nearing the completion for a small project and plan on making a one-sheet outlining all the basics on how to update their website and manage simple tasks.

However, I realize now that some more advanced functions would help them better organize their website and make room for future enhancements. The catch is that I’m not sure how much the client is interested in learning these advanced tactics. They’ll probably want me updating the website for them later, for pay of course, which is fine. However I think it would also be great if they were able to handle it on their own.

How do you all handle these scenarios?

Ask the customer what they want :slight_smile:

Well, I suppose that is part of it. :stuck_out_tongue:

If they decide they would like more advanced features but don’t know how to use it, any advice on how to best inform/teach the client on the usage of their site?

CMS solves this issue perhaps - or better still regular source of income with the maintenance :tup: - Ive had one particular client who basically wanted me to teach him web design for FREE! i mean i dont mind helping someone out but ringing all the time with xyz and asking me to call into the office to fix this and show him how to do that, thats just well taking the biscuit so to speak :rolleyes: - ur not there to teach them or to show how to update this or that, they take courses for that - you should basically say ur a web designer not a slave and its up to them to learn how to maintain their own website if thats what they want - you shouldn’t be so giving because its going to come back and bite you where it hurts in time

My normal approach is to give the client tuition on what they want to know, plus what I think they will need to know to run their site day to day. For anything “advanced” they don’t understand how to do I usually tell them contact me for help as and when the need arises, then it’s treated as a new “tuition session”. This method doesn’t overload the customers learning abilities, especially at the start.

blue - you teach ur customers some web design? not to get into the nitty gritty of things but would that generally be something u do as part of your total package or for free? I have to hand it to you, it frustrates me no end when the customer gets overly involved in the web design of things nevermind showing them how to do things :mad:

I guess a perfect Help would do all the things for you. Also if the project is big you can help them with customer support whenever they face any problem

[FONT=“Georgia”]I certainly don’t mind helping. I want them to understand it. Because the more they do themselves, especially the boring, data-entry kind of things, the more time I have to work on other projects.


well i dont mind helping clients either, but u have to draw the line somewhere, u just cant teach them everything they need to know like uploading files, amending code, etc its just too time consuming and it just doesnt pay off - i mean point taken with regard to showing them how to do small things like check their email or add a small bit of text to a few pages but when its more advanced and turns into a lecture its beyond the scope of work IMO

if they want updates, then they pay for that and for it to be carried out correctly by a professional i.e. you and pay you for it!

My goal is to just leave them with a set of knowledge necessary to update the sections of content already in place. I do plan on assisting them after the launch of the website to make sure everything is in its place and they know how to use the back-end. It’s Wordpress and the primary reason I’ve opted for this CMS is because it’s the most user friendly for clients.

However i’m not sure on the extent of their knowledge like with using the NextGen gallery plugin or utilizing html tags. Certainly I can get paid for updates but I find content updating boring. I’d rather teach them. Maybe I’ll charge to teach them how to do only the things they need to?

side note: i’ve come across some people recently who want me to teach them HTML from the ground up and they don’t understand that learning HTML won’t be enough to make a real website.

[FONT=“Georgia”]That’s what the content manager is for. I’m talking about teaching them how to use the content manager, not how to code HTML!


i do agree with showing them the basics alright, theres nothing really time consuming about this however anymore and its just a drain on me personally - if as you say you would charge for the teaching aspect then of course thats an entirely different issue, mentioning that you will charge for this service may not go down well, perhaps including it in an overall costing would soften the blow to their egoes! I believe you should always put a timeframe on any project otherwise theres never going to be an end in sight, goodluck with ur tutoring i hope this path pays off for you :tup:

CMS - showing clients how to use this is a no brainer and of course isnt that time consuming at all - I was mentioning the uploading of files and editing of the coding as a reference from my experiences with a client who wanted me to basically teach them basic web design which of course i had no interested in pursuing!

[FONT=“Georgia”]Trust me. Depends on who you’re teaching.

The first month or so they’re in contact all the time. After that, if they get it, they’ll leave you in peace. If they don’t, they’ll call you up to do the updates whenever they’re ready.

I don’t mind either. One way I get time, the other way I get money.


to me time is money - i dont like stragglers, i like my projects to be completed on time and in full - any additional information or changes is an extra and new project IMO

i think there should be a major visible division between teaching and web design - if someone asks for a website then they require the services of a web designer, if someone wants to know more about html or coding or whatever in the web design field then they need a tutor, these should be services in their own right otherwise it gets very messy, confusing and people develop expectations of xyz!

if a customer wants to know how to use their CMS you designed and implemented for them, then of course you need to show them how to do that, and as you say depending on their capacity to learn and run with that knowledge it should hopefully be just a matter of pointing out the basics - if on the other hand the site you designed for them was NOT a CMS and just a regular site and the customer wants to know how to do this and that and maintain their own website and NOT pay for updates then i wash my hands of that project because im not being paid to teach them anything, its up to them end of story!

[FONT=“Georgia”]Of course!

In those cases they pay for updates.


I don’t teach them web design but educate them in what they need to know in order to run their site from day to day. This might range from using server side applications such as a CMS, shopping cart or mailing list script, finding and using site stats/analytics, setting up and managing email and so on. None of this is free, it’s either included with the project fee or billed as required.

:tup: inclusive of the total project costings, this i agree with.

I’ve always been a big fan of simultaneous sessions of Electro-Shock Therapy and water-boarding, for especially ignorant clients. :smiley:

Depends on 1) what they wanna know 2) what they already know and 3) their ability to grasp the complicated bliss that is managing a website