The beauty of creating and having a WordPress website is its flexibility. It is a content management system which gives every website owner the ability to add content or articles on their website whenever they want. Once you have that great website up and running you come across the problem of creating great articles or content. Each client knows their business and knows how to showcase their business. This becomes their content. After the website is done, training clients to use WordPress is important so they feel comfortable updating their site.
Each Client is Different
The level of computer expertise is different for each client or group of contributors. Our clients got personal hands-on training for the first website we finished. The next company had almost 20 contributors who would be adding some kind of content to the website. I decided the best way to get everyone educated was to set up WordPress Training workshops. I previously trained data entry operators for companies, back in the 1970s. This was a very different ballgame. I hope what I learned will help you in guiding your clients to generate great content.
Training Clients 101
The first thing I did was to find out who would need to be trained and their level of computer savvy. This is important because I did not want some clients to be bored or some to feel I was going too fast. I decided not to separate workshops by expertise but by job tasks. This worked well and it was good to know who might need extra help before we started.
Setting Up The Workshop
I set up five 2 hour workshops and scheduled them on weekends, then had everyone sign up. For anyone that could not make those sessions, I set an alternate time a few weeks later. I used every computer (4) in our office so we could have simultaneous hands-on lessons. I also have a flat-panel TV set up as a monitor so everyone can see the computer screen. With director’s chairs around the large monitor I guess the only thing I was missing was buttered popcorn and Milk Duds.
Prior to the workshop, I made a binder and filled it with the screen shots of the client’s website. I highlighted features that made their website unique. It also showed them where to find the Login icon. This helped as I used generic WordPress tutorials (I will explain later). I used this folder as a place to contain blogging tips, file types that can be uploaded in WordPress, and written instructions in case they forgot something after training.
With 5 different workshops, I decided consistency outweighed the advantages of personal lecturing. I found a wonderful resource to use and I certainly took advantage of it. The website http://wp.tutsplus.com/ has beginner tutorials that are divided into short segments. These tutorials not only make training clients easy but we picked only the tutorials that pertained to the tasks that they would need.
The clients watched a few of the basic tutorials, and in between we explained the features that might be different on their website. Now I knew every one of the 20 clients received the same basic information. We could now move to the practice session. Please put down the popcorn…
All Hands on Deck
This session was pretty much a one-on-one time. We worked on user names, passwords, and assigning gravatars. Each client practiced logging in, and creating & editing a post. Then some ventured further and uploaded images and audio. Some even embedded videos. Each walked away very comfortable with the tasks of maintaining the content for the company website. Can you believe all it took for each workshop was 2 hours? Companies want their personnel to be trained, but don’t necessarily have the time to devote to it. Be focused and concise.
The Keys To Training Clients Are:
- Be prepared ahead of time
- Make sure the training is personalized to their company or website
- Don’t just show them but have them practice tasks
- Be focused and don’t waste time.
In this article I briefly described what I have done to educate my clients on using WordPress but if you have any tips or added advice, share with us!
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