Turn off things you don’t need
September 4th, 2018
Published: October 4th, 2018
This is a bit of a controversial topic, but it’s one that does need some discussion.
Content Management Systems were developed to provide non-technical website owners the ability to update the content on their site whenever they wanted.
Sounds like a good idea right? Yes and no…
Giving clients access to their CMS to keep their content up-to-date means that mostly they are self-sufficient and can add pages, change text or images whenever they want – they feel in control, and that they don’t need to constantly go back to the developer/designer to make changes for them.
Most website owners are not designers or developers, and don’t understand the importance in consistence with how you present your brand – which is more than your logo. It’s the fonts, colours and styles used in all communications, not just the website.
Then there is the imagery used in the website. From my perspective it’s one of the more difficult things for clients to understand. They typically don’t know why they can’t take a photo using their phone then upload that 6MB image and place it on their website, or how to crop and resize it. And it’s not just the file size which makes it slow to load, but it’s the composition and focus that’s often not on-brand, and don’t get me started on those stock photo bubble people or freeway signs that say things like “solution this way”. Urgh!!!
Sure there are restrictions that can be put in place to stop these things happening – for example I always remove the ability for clients to change the font and colour of text in the site and force them to accept the styles used in the website. This helps keep all content consistent. Years ago (before I added this restriction) a client went and changed all their text from a nice sans-serif font to comic sans! I kid you not.
There is also the more technical issues like the impact of renaming menu items, not understanding that there is a correct order to the site menu, or what happens if they turn a page off? The list goes on.
What about training I hear you say! Well providing training and a manual helps, but that quickly gets forgotten.
So do the pros outweigh the cons? The jury is still out, but I personally would much rather a client reach out for help (or on a maintenance plan) to keep their site up-to-date and looking as good as it can than having to go in a fix issues constantly.
I am the Head of Arts & Crafts (and co-owner) at Mity Digital, a Melbourne-based digital agency specialising in functional web design, Statamic and Shopify CMS platforms and beautiful graphic design.