Flattening the Drupal Learning Curve – Post Delivery Training and Support
Over my decade and a half of web development I’ve seen clients become increasingly more savvy about basic web concepts and available technologies.
More and more I’ve been getting pushback from prospective clients about Drupal. “Oh – I’ve heard there’s a steep learning curve” or “the back end is so confusing”.
This speaks to a problem not endemic to Drupal, but to specific developers. It doesn’t need to be that way.
The fact is, yes, if you’re a developer new to Drupal it can seem quite daunting – but that’s because it is such a powerful system. If you’re an end user, however, this should not be the case – unless your developer left you high and dry, which I find happens all too often. Time and time again, I hear stories of developers delivering sites then disappearing.
In addition, I find that developers don’t take the time or put in the thought to properly configure permissions so the client has access to the features they need without being overwhelmed by features they don’t.
It is my belief that the most important part of delivering a CMS (Content Management System)-based site is teaching the client how to manage their content.
With every site we deliver – from enterprise down to the local mom-and-pop pizza place, we physically sit down with each of our clients and show them how to navigate the back end and perform all the tasks they need to know in order to successfully maintain their site.
As part of the training we also cover the basics of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) explaining in very general terms how the search engines work and what are some things our clients can do to improve the optimization of their site. None of my clients expect to be SEO gurus but they appreciate the fact that they now have some context for making informed decisions about the content they’re posting.
We also discuss analytics and go through some of the top level features available through Google Analytics. Knowing how to make basic correlations between what’s happening with visitors on the site and marketing efforts being done in the real world is becoming de rigueur. Business owners and sales / marketing personnel need to know this and have at least a basic grasp in order to make intelligent decisions.
This type of training and support is critical in making our customers’ websites successful. If your developer isn’t offering training on how to use your website – maybe it’s time to switch.