The Client’s Content: Getting Your Hands On It

By Patty J. Ayers

documents-handsThere can be no website without the client providing the actual content! Many clients find it a struggle to pull together the text, graphic and multimedia content they want to present, and every web developer has a good story about this. My personal favorite is the client who delays and fails to produce content for weeks or months, and then appears one day asking with some irritation, “When will the website be finished?”

In all fairness, though, it is our job as the web developer to manage the gathering of website content. The best way I’ve found to handle this with good communication: being very clear with my client as to the fact that they will have to choose, gather and send me their content, early in the course of the project. I sometimes provide the client with a list and friendly reminders.

Since we’re working with WordPress, presumably the client will be managing his own content to some extent, adding and editing pages and posts via the WordPress Dashboard. In my business, I almost always input the content which needs to be present when the site goes live, rather than asking the client to do it. This way, I can control the course of the project while it’s still under development, rather than having one more reason to wait for the client. Once the site is live, I do want the client to manage his own content, but I deal with that training and support after going live.

Relevant
WordPress Freelancer Forms

11A_Finding Photos on iStockPhoto.com
11B_Finding Photos via Creative Commons Search

During the design phase, I often ask a client to do some preliminary digging for images which he feels would work well as part of the website’s visual design. To help with this, WordPress Freelancer Forms includes two documents designed to be given to the client, with self-explanatory titles: Finding Photos via Creative Commons Search and Finding Photos on iStockPhoto.com.