Does “custom WordPress development” mean my client can’t update their own site?

Agency clients of ours who work with premium WordPress themes are frequently faced with skepticism from their WordPress-savvy customers when they try to sell “custom WordPress development” instead of a new site based on a premium WordPress theme. The fear is that “custom WordPress development” means that a developer is then required forever more when site updates are needed. Good news! That couldn’t be further from reality. In fact, consideration for admin UI is an important tenet in custom WordPress development best practices.

The increased emphasis on admin UI in custom WordPress development became obvious to us in 2014 as we moved “up market” in our agency clientele. As our market niche started to include bigger, more sophisticated agencies who were selling more expensive websites, the level of attention to detail which needed to be placed on the backend functionality became much more apparent to us. Expectations are much higher at the $5,000 price point then they are at the $2,500 price point – and higher still at $7,500 or $10,000 (prices referenced are agency’s prices to the end customer, not our prices to our agency clients).

Our document General WordPress Development Standards is heavily focused upon the details of the backend requirements for our custom WordPress development projects. Some important points discussed are:

  • Simple admin dashboard based approach to adding/editing phone numbers and other contact us information in headers, footers, sidebars, etc.
  • Use of WordPress » Appearance » Menus for all navigation menus so that users can add/edit nav menus themselves
  • Use of custom posts and custom fields for “listings” like bios, locations, etc. (custom posts appear in Dashboard menu with their own line items)

We’re confident that your clients will find a well-built website from an outsourced custom WordPress development company like The White Label Agency will be at least as user friendly as any premium theme could ever be.