Content Management Systems are better and friendlier than they have ever been. As a result, its very easy to oversell capabilities and reliability. Microsoft office style interfaces make it tempting to advertise any CMS with a WYSIWIG as a no training, no brainier one size fits all solution.
The truth is, of course, that all CMS’s present their challenges, none are fool proof, and that patience and research are often needed to bend them to your will. There is simply no substitute for knowledge, training and talent when it comes to laying out and formatting web pages. Misleading clients as the potential of web admin systems can lead to frustration and chagrin on the part of all involved.
It’s OK, and even ideal, to keep clients and fledgling web administrators grounded. No one, whether they are using propitiatory or open course CMS’s, has a true fool proof and flexible solution. Most web developers are working with the same tool-kits, and if you thoughtfully and honestly manage expectations clients won’t flee your sales pitch.
Warning your clients that things may not always work as expected, that they will get frustrated at times, and that there is no substitute for education will set them up to succeed, and may even help you generate repeat business, additional training, and maintenance hours. Acquiring clients is expensive, keeping the ones you already have starts with the sales pitch, and ends, well…. hopefully never!