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Making WordPress content editor client friendly

  • # December 16, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    While I have used WordPress for various client projects, I still haven’t found a real solution to deal with clients who know nothing at all about HTML and stuff.
    So let’s say I got a responsive design with a grid system going and other specific classes for images, etc. Then I (or the client) should be able to add a post with many different items, aligned with specific grid sizes.
    So in general there should be a lot of control as to where which item goes on the frontend.

    At the moment I end up giving special classes to the items, either in the HTML view or with custom TInyMCE fields. In any case, it’s quite easy for me but a client without much knowledge of web technologies gets stuck pretty quickly or (worse) breaks stuff.

    **So here’s my question:**

    How do you handle such situations? Do you build some sort of custom solution for every project (e.g with custom fields and custom post types) or have you got better suggestions?
    I know there are other, more lightweight and easy CMS solutions like Perch but sometimes you still need all those plugins and the big system of WordPress.

    I also found [this approach](http://wp.smashingmagazine.com/2011/10/14/advanced-layout-templates-in-wordpress-content-editor/ “”) on layout templates for the editor but it still has to be customized a lot for every project.

    Really curious about your suggestions, thanks ;)

    # December 16, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    I use custom fields for clients to input information so they know exactly what is what.

    # December 16, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    I went with custom fields in most cases as well, but does that mean you give the client only custom fields for every possible page/post type? So you would just account for every possible layout and give them fields of content to fill out without giving them the possibility to move anything?

    Sorry for the confused questions, I’m just trying to figure out exactly how others approach this problem to find a better solution for myself.

    # December 16, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    There are many factors to this question. You need to find out what the client wants to do on this site, first.

    I probably wouldn’t allow the client to “move stuff around” in regards to where things are placed without consulting me. Otherwise they could destroy the layout.

    # December 17, 2012 at 6:03 am

    As @chrisburton says. I would use custom fields or even [Advanced Custom Fields plugin](http://www.advancedcustomfields.com/) and nail down everything so they only control the content.

    Never give customers enough rope to hang themselves with, fix them with a layout they agree on and just make the content editable. It’s in their interest to have a repeating, consistent style across their website, freedom to change it is not always a good thing.

    # December 17, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    I guess you guys really got a point there. Maybe I was just a bit too focused on the idea of adjusting the standard editor.
    The Advanced Custom Fields Plugin looks like a perfect solution with those premium Add-Ons available. I used it a while back but have not really followed the new features. It really evolved a lot, thanks for sharing :)

    # December 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    ACF is amazing. Use it on every WP project.

    Having said that, making a few edits to TinyMCE is pretty handy, too.

    # December 17, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    While where on that topic. Do you use TinyMCE all the time, or have you got any other Editor thats maybe easier for the client (e.g. less options)?

    What edits to TinyMCE would you do very often?

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