February 23, 2024

Can I edit my website? A client’s guide to what can be done.

Can I edit my website? A client’s guide to what can be done.
Can I edit my website? A client’s guide to what can be done.
Reading Time
10 minutes

All websites built by Outspoken Entourage after January 2021 are built on the Webflow platform. We changed from the previously used Adobe Suite in operation since 2014 as it meant we could offer clients a robust platform that was time efficient to make changes to, with the added ability to allow clients to make their own changes as required.

What changes can a client make to a website?

There are a couple of things you need to know before we can answer this question and it relates to how the site was built. There are two types of build options when it comes to website built with Webflow. One is a static page and the other a CMS (Content Management System) page.

Static Website Pages

Static pages are pages which are built specifically for the information provided. When we build the page, the text, images, icons, buttons and other elements are designed into a format specific for that information. A home page is a good example of a static page.

CMS Driven Pages (or sections)

CMS driven pages use a template or layout which we design that uses a database to populate the text, images and other elements into the framework. They are a great option when you wish to have many pages which use the same layout. Examples of this type of page can be seen on this website and include the Articles pages and the Projects pages.

CMS can also be used on static pages in their own section where the data is populated by a database. Examples on this website are the Articles lead in section (as used on the base of our home page), the Projects lead in section (also towards the bottom of our home page), the Client Reviews (as seen on many pages including the social media page, the website page and the logo & branding page).

Changing Static Pages

Static pages allow the client to edit information and images on their site where there is a text area or image already in place. To put it simply, you login to your site Editor, select the text box you wish to change, and simply enter your new text.

Occasionally there will be some limitations to this in that you may need to use a similar amount of text as to what was there previously, so it doesn’t cause other elements to overlap or look odd.

Images can be updated as required as well as links, video, and many other elements.

It’s a very simple process to do this and one of the main reasons we chose Webflow as the platform we use to build our websites. It was the easiest and most client-friendly platform available for clients to update.

Changing or Adding CMS Pages

A CMS allows you to create new pages (or new elements on a static page when built in this method). The client logs onto their website, goes to the Collection they are working on and fills in all the boxes/fields with the required information. Once this has been completed, you simply click the “Publish” button and the information instantly goes live to your website.

client facing CMS backend for website design
Client-facing CMS backend

It’s a really powerful system in that you can use in many different ways. The only limitation is that the Collection (eg Articles or Events) needs to use the same template or layout that we design to suit the content for that particular purpose. If you have many different types of information (eg staff bios, articles, products, events), we simply design a Collection template for each collection.

In the example of an article Collection, it will populate not only the actual article page, but the menu and any other lead-in sections that may appear on static pages as well.

We have built client websites that use the CMS in many different ways including individual pages, a section within a static page or a combination of both;

  • Articles and blogs pages
  • Projects
  • Events
  • Service Pages
  • Staff Biographies
  • Specials or Offers
  • Listings
  • Products

The same method is used for e-commerce sites where you simply add your photos and product information (such as name, SKU, price, inventory number, description etc) and it uses the CMS to generate not only the product page, but the listing in the various menus and categories it belongs to.

The limitations to editing or adding pages to your website

There are some limitations with the Editor tool and the CMS tool which could arise depending on what you are trying to achieve. For example, if you simply want to add a new section to a static page, there is no client ability to do so. It’s not that we don’t want you to be able to do so, it’s just that adding a new section to a static page requires a fair degree of knowledge and experience in web design to do so, and the technology isn’t quite there yet to make the process seamless and bug free.

The future

Webflow is a multi-billion-dollar company, and they are releasing updates on a weekly basis which improves the interface and experience for both the professional web designer and also the client-facing end.

As Webflow is a professional standard web design platform - sites are built from scratch on a blank canvas. We are sure there will come a time when a pre-designed and formatted section can be added by the client to their custom website (after being designed and formatted by the web designer), but as of the time of writing, it isn’t quite there yet. There are other platforms aimed more at the client looking to build and maintain their own website, however (without giving too much away!) these often create and write a lot of overly complex code which makes the site slower (Google doesn’t like slow sites) and doesn’t satisfy a lot of basic requirements and tests required for SEO (that works) to get you found in Google Search.

Webflow is aimed at professional web designers and shouldn’t be confused with platforms such as Wix or SquareSpace (and a host of others) which are simplified web design platforms that use pre-designed templates to create (an often good-looking) site that doesn’t really perform where it counts in speed or SEO.

Custom websites are just that, a custom design that was imagined, designed, and then built by a web designer (us!) for your business or organisation on a blank canvas.

For there to be a pre-designed section available that you could add to the page, it would need to firstly be designed to work across all the different screen widths (eg a desktop computer as well as re-shuffling to work on a mobile), formatted in the appropriate corporate colours, font choices along with all the different layout options. It would also need to be 100% robust so a client could use it without the section breaking (breaking is when elements on a site no longer function or start to overlap other items).

For now, these types of changes can be completed by us. We can accomplish these things very quickly and adding a new custom section to a page would normally take less than an hour to achieve. Back when we used the Adobe Suite of software to design websites, it may have taken upwards of half a day.

So, can we build a website that a client can update?

Yes, we can. You will be able to add hundreds (or thousands) of new pages at will and change information and images as required. For the occasional change that you can’t achieve using the Editor or CMS system, we will be here and available to accomplish anything you require.

We provide full training via Zoom so you can follow along and learn how to use these systems to make your changes.

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