Build every website as if your clients will need to update it themselves someday.

Why?

1. Eventually, your clients WILL want to make updates themselves, regardless of what they say in the beginning of your project in terms of maintenance. :) Eventually, they’ll get tired of asking and/or paying you to do it if it’s something they can learn. Or you might even move on from building websites someday, and that’s not your client’s fault! Or you might design sites forever but you could get totally booked by the time a client comes back around for updates. Then what? In any case, as long as a client cares about their business, they WILL want to update their own website. And they should have every right to, when they want to! It’s their website!

2. It will force you to simplify your toolset- find only the essential, most user-friendly plugins, apps, etc. Throughout development, look at every page and every component of a site you’re building and constantly ask yourself with the client in mind: Is there any chance they’ll want to change this later on? If it’s an honest yes, then ask yourself, “how easy would it be for them to do that?” And, “can I make it easier?”

3. Similarly, when the time comes, training clients on updating their website will be easier for both of you because you built it with them in mind. You can’t teach your client to master updating their website if you’re unsure of how to update something yourself. You have to know the ins-and-outs of what you’re doing, master it, then teach it to your client so it’s easy to understand. No more finding the “right” plugins for the job. Find the right solution for the job AND for your client in the future.

4. Most importantly, if you build every site as if your client will update it themselves, you’ll have no choice but to build a scalable, thoughtful website. What good is completely customized, built-from-the-ground-up site that doesn’t scale? Not much after a little time has passed.

Choose the right framework. Do your research. Know what you’re building with so updates are a breeze, and so the growth of your client’s business doesn’t stop at their website; their website scales with their growth.