Training & Manuals

We provide support to website administrators that is tailored to their requirements and learning styles. We can develop step-by-step written guidance for existing or new websites, and can provide training in managing website content and site administration, delivered face-to-face or online.

The clients for our website development services range from those who have more experience with updating websites to those who need more guidance and someone alongside them. Different people learn in different ways: some are happy to ‘play’ and learn as they go along; others are hands-on but need a structured lesson; others like to refer to detailed written instructions.

Our Hassle-free website design & development package includes step-by-step guidance to creating and updating basic website content.

We will also provide tailored guidance to managing any more specialised content and functionality. Some websites have different types of user roles, alongside the main administrator. For example, editors can manage all content but don’t have access to manage the styling or functionality; or subscribers have read-only access. We will provide specific guidance for each user role.

We are always happy to provide training in managing the websites we develop. This can be either online or face-to-face in groups of 1-4 people, and usually last two hours. We use the step-by-step guidance as a framework for an introduction to the admin screens and how to accomplish various tasks like creating a new page and adding it to the website navigation menu, or adding images and downloadable documents to the site.

“Thanks for … your excellent (and patient!) training session today.” — AB, office of Molly Scott Cato MEP

We can also provide documentation and training on websites that we did not develop, factoring in time for familiarisation with the technology and set-up.

Where required, we will also provide guidance to managing related services, such as mailing lists, social media accounts, or email set-up.

“That guide [to setting up an email account] was amazing! It took me about a week to set up my personal one.” — JPH, TEDxExeter

Case study: Training on a new website

As part of setting up the EcoChurch Southwest website, I delivered training to eight representatives of the Church of England across the south west region.

I set up two dummy versions of the live website and set up each participant with a user account. Each participant brought the laptop or tablet that they would continue to use to update the website.

There was a mix of experience and learning styles in the room. I based the first part of the training on the step-by-step guidance, and took the participants through the most frequent tasks. As we undertook the tasks together, I demonstrated on a large screen and provided support. Some participants required more support through the tasks. Others used any extra time to experiment.

We then had a freeform session, where all the participants could play, and I was available to answer questions and suggest possible experiments with the styling and functionality as well as content. This part of the training led the participants to ask “What if…?” and to discover further potential uses of the website.

I kept the dummy versions of the live website available for the following few weeks, so the representatives could build their confidence.

Case study: Manual for an existing website for a charity

The client was a voluntary sector coalition that promotes Good Governance, a code for the voluntary and community sector. They already had a website written in WordPress and administered by a third party, which Code Steering Group was taking on. They had a group of people with varying experience in managing WordPress and other websites. These had received some basic training as part of the handover, but also needed a how-to manual.

The client provided administrator access to the website so that I could look behind the scenes. There was no need for me to make any changes to the site.

I provided a sample of one of our websites’ step-by-step guides, which the client approved as a suitable approach.

I liaised with website developer about certain ‘quirky’ aspects of the site, and with the client about the list of tasks the manual would need to cover – both on the current version of the website and some anticipated future developments. As well as the ‘known unknown’ tasks, this uncovered some ‘unknown unknowns’. We agreed that I would use my judgment regarding which tasks would be realistic for novices to undertake, and which would need more expert input.

I also made some recommendations regarding user roles, and minimising the risk of breaking the website.

The final manual was in three sections:

  1. The basics of accessing and finding the way around the admin screens.
  2. Website content management – managing pages; adding images and audio-visual content; adding links and downloadable documents; integration with Issuu for enhanced document presentation; managing temporary ‘banners’; and the navigation menus.
  3. User management – updating the user’s own profile, and managing other users and access.

“Many thanks for all your work on the Governance Code website manual. The Code Group are very happy with it.” — NG, Code Group