Do you give your clients full access to Gutenberg or set up configured content blocks for managing their content?

I ask this question from a personal point of view. I understand that pre-configured content blocks are easier to manage from a developer’s side. Implementing a client’s corporate identity is easier and the client is less likely to create an odd-looking page.


But by using pre-configured content blocks, you take away the freedom that Gutenberg offers. Just by giving the client access to Gutenberg it requires a lot of custom styling to implement the house style in the blocks and they are more likely to lay out the page oddly.


Is my above statement correct? Or do I not understand theme development well enough yet?

  1. I like to give my clients full access when I finish. I warn them, politely, to view my personalized documentation alongside the official documentation before making changes. If they mess something up, they can always come back to me. If they don’t feel comfortable making edits, they can come back to me too. I try to educate my clients as much as possible, but not every business owner can (or should) use their time to keep the website maintained.

  2. No your right. I think personally that some of the flexibility becomes confusing complexity for the client. It’s easy to remove all the background colours and replace for branded ones. It gets a little harder to force them to use certain font colours and certain font sizes on sections to keep with the website styling.

    It’s not all that hard to remove unnecessary blocks that they’ll never use either.

    I am working on becoming better at React so that I can create styling for buttons and content areas so that they can choose a style rather than individually creating the colours to achieve the same thing.

  3. It depends a lot on your relationship with your clients. I mean, is it your website or is it *their* website? If you’re in-house or on a long-term support contract then fine, you can lock the owners out of their own website to preserve your design. Or make it so complex they’ll ever figure it out (the all-ACF/template dev strategy.)

    If you’re a freelancer who finishes the site and then moves on to the next client then it’s the height of irresponsibility and/or arrogance not to give them full admin access — while also giving them a separate Editor account for day-to-day posting/tweaking. (For the record I get at least one client a year who’s 100% locked out of their own site by the original developer or agency they paid good money to build it for them.)

    My advice in these situations is always to ask your clients up front. In my experience those who want to do their own edits and posting will be remarkably careful about screwing things up. (After all it’s *their* business and reputation on the line.) It’s also been my experience that on the rare occasions a client does break something it takes me less than 15 minutes to fix it. Others will be happy to keep you on retainer to make updates for them.

    Last point: don’t assume you’ll be on the project team forever so definitely create an admin account so that a future dev (like me) won’t have to rebuild the site because the site owners can’t access either the WordPress admin dashboard or hosting account.


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