SiteSwan Blog: The Pros and Cons of Granting Your Clients Access to Make Changes to Their Website
SiteSwan The Pros and Cons of Granting Your Clients Access to Make Changes to Their Website

The Pros and Cons of Granting Your Clients Access to Make Changes to Their Website 

Published on April 25, 2022

So you built, sold, and launched a new website with SiteSwan – congrats! Now that you have a new client on board, you might be wondering about ongoing updates or changes. Who’s going to make them? The business owner might even ask if he or she can be granted access to make changes to their business website themselves. While your answer will mostly be yes, let's consider how this could impact your business.

There are advantages and disadvantages of granting your clients access to make changes to their website opposed to managing the site yourself. Deciding which path you choose will likely determine how you market your service and even how much you charge. Before you make a decision it's important to understand the pros and cons.

The PROS of Granting Your Clients Access to Make Changes

Here are 4 advantages of granting your clients’ access to their site so they can make changes on their own.

1. Gives Your Client a Sense of Ownership

While some small business owners realize the little time and knowledge they have about maintaining websites, others prefer to take the reins when it comes to anything associated with their business, that includes access to their website. Allowing your client access to the backend of their company website gives them a sense of ownership and flexibility in making updates as frequently as they want. In some cases, they also may be more inclined to work with you if they know that they can have the capability to make changes at their own discretion.

2. Ability to Add Time Sensitive Content

On some occasions, there will be last minute updates that need to be made to your client’s website. There may be an unexpected change in operating hours for the day or a last minute promotion that must be posted ASAP. For example, an urgent change or notification made to the website may include posting about a delayed opening. Let’s face it, who wants to get a call from a client at 3 AM when a snowstorm hits? Instead, if a business owner has access to their site, they can address this promptly on their own and add this type of timely information to their website.

3. Frees Up Your Time

While some changes may require your expertise as a web designer, other updates may be so simple that the business owner prefers to make the change themselves. Frequent, yet easy edits may include changes to a staff’s bio, price updates to a restaurant menu, or photos added to a gallery. Although these may seem like minor changes, they still require your attention (and time). If you can relieve yourself of these simple updates by granting your client access to make the changes themselves, it frees up your time to focus on other projects or more important tasks like finding more customers and building your business

4. Can Improve Customer Loyalty

Believe it or not, granting your client access to make edits to their website can help them gain trust in your product and services. They may feel more confident and comfortable in hiring you if they have access to the platform and can become knowledgeable about how it works. The more involved a client is with their website and the more they touch and feel the interface and get familiar with the platform, the less likely they will want to cancel and learn something new. Basically, if they have access to the backend of their website, they’ll already be knowledgeable about how it functions and feel that they invested a lot of their personal time already into updating their website. Plus they don't want to have to learn a completely new platform.

The CONS of Granting Your Clients Access to Make Changes

Now that we’ve covered the advantages of granting your clients access to their site, let’s touch on some of the disadvantages…

1. They Can Mess Up Their Website

When you grant your client’s access to their website you always run the risk of them accidentally messing up their website. They might delete content or make changes that cannot be undone. To help alleviate this type of mishap, you can limit the business owner’s editing capabilities, although they can still make unwanted changes by mistake.

The best approach would be to have a transparent conversation with your client to identify how much access you should grant them depending on the types of changes they envision making. It’s important to make it clear that any unwanted changes cannot be undone. Encourage the client to leave larger or more complicated updates to you rather than doing it on their own.

2. It Can Dilute the Perceived Value of Your Services

If a website client has the ability to make updates to their website themselves, they might question “what am I paying you for?” or “can I get a discount since I make my own edits?” Whereas, if you insist that you make updates on their behalf, you are able to charge a higher monthly service fee. If you’re concerned about a client taking up too much of your time, you might want to limit updates to 1 hour per month, and charge extra for additional updates.

As long as you are responsive to their requests and make updates within a reasonable time frame, they’ll most likely prefer (and happily pay more) to have you  make changes to their website, rather than doing it themselves.

3. It Can Lead to More Support

Sometimes giving your client’s access actually takes more of your time than if you just made the updates yourself. You might find yourself spending hours trying to explain how to make simple changes rather than just doing it on your own. Additionally, if they make changes by mistake, it could require more of your time and attention to undo the error they made, leading to more support requests.
In this instance, you might want to remind your client about the types of updates that you can make on their behalf in hopes that they’ll reach out to you to make future edits.

4. You Can Do it Better

Let’s face it - as a web designer, you have a lot more experience with the platform and knowledge when it comes to websites (and best practices). Sure a small business owner can add a photo with some text, but chances are you know how to make it look better and say it better because that’s what you do!
Remember, this is your web design business and they have their own business to run. Ensure them that you have their best interest in mind and will make updates that will look great!

5. It Keeps You Out of the Loop

Making regular updates for your clients gives you the opportunity to better understand their business and needs. It keeps you in constant communication with the client so you know what’s new or going on with their business so you can offer suggestions and even sell additional services. However, if the client is making updates on their own, you’ll be unaware of what’s happening in their business.

For example, if Joe the Pizzeria Owner asks you to update his menu prices because business is slow, you might suggest that he starts an email marketing campaign or pitch him on social media management. Whereas if Joe always made updates himself, you would never know what’s going on in his business or where you can help.

In Conclusion…

As you can see there are both pros and cons to giving your client access to make changes to their website. While you may have to take it on a case-by-case basis, it is a good idea to have a consistent approach to managing clients who want access and how much you are willing to give.

With the SiteSwan platform, it’s easy to add a site owner, so your client can make changes to just about any aspect of their website including Layout, Design, Pages, Settings, and Stats. You can even control how much access the client is granted.

Ready to start building websites for small businesses? Contact us to learn how you can get started.

We'd love to hear from you!

Share your comments or questions using the form below.