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The business side of a design project

Hey everyone,

I wanted to reach out to the community to see if anyone had some insights on how to manage and maintain a relationship with a client after a website has been launched. Here is background information:

My company used to build exclusively in WordPress. We built websites primarily in Divi but felt like it was slow, clunky, and ran into numerous issues with responsiveness. We made the transition to Webflow about a year ago with the intention of handling all of a client’s SEO, blogging, and design updates. That all inclusive service has not really caught on in the past year. For one reason or another, we have been focusing primarily on new builds and minor updates throughout the pandemic.

I have really been struggling with explaining to clients how they pay for hosting and I’m the designer linked to their account, but I can’t delegate access to anyone else (other than the client themselves) to do their seo, run ads, or make changes that the editor can not handle. The value in building in Webflow seems to be entirely for me and not really the client. Granted, if they’re publishing content frequently, it makes sense. However, most of my clients do not use the CMS or editor and rather enjoy a beautiful static website that is perfectly responsive and doesn’t require updates like WordPress, includes a CDN, etc.

Priorities for my clients would include being able to hire a third party to tinker with SEO and make more robust changes that the editor simply can not handle. When I build a website for a client, it’s their property - They should be able to hire an outside vendor to do SEO for their website if they want, or they should be able to hire me. The fact of the matter is that they don’t always want to hire me to do all of that though. So the issue I run into is, if I transfer the website to a client, the relationship sort of dies with that. They will no longer call me for edits or changes - They have the Designer in theory, so what do they need me for? The client runs into the issue of still needing to delegate access to their desired SEO vendor and such so I sort of kick the issue to someone else and that does not feel right.

The way I have seen clients handle the delegation of access is putting their website into a webflow account and then giving out the credentials for that one account. That seems super unsafe if you only have one username and password and you are having vendors bounce around on who has access.

So my questions for the community are this:

  1. How do you handle the ongoing hosting for a primarily static website?

  2. How do you build a website that a client can expand and use for their SEO, ppc, and other marketing ventures, WHILE using outside teams (not your own)?

  3. Is Webflow more of just a design tool than a full blown website and digital marketing tool like WordPress is in your opinion?

  4. To address question #2 - I am wondering if somehow putting a project into a team account would be the workaround for this. But that seems awfully costly just to have a vendor access your website whereas Wordpress would be free. I’m open to feedback on this one.

Whatever solution comes from this I believe must adhere to the following principles:

  1. It allows me to maintain the relationship with a client and continuously make website changes for them (perhaps even sell additional services in the future).
  2. It allows someone who is not the client or myself, rather a technically minded SEO person or digital marketer to be able to access the site in a perhaps somewhat limited capacity.
  3. It does not rack up ridiculously high costs for myself or the client to make happen.

Thanks everyone for reading this over. I’m only a year into my Webflow journey and have absolutely loved using it to deploy beautiful websites that do things I could have only previously imagined.Where I feel like I’m struggling is the business side of creating these websites and I feel like there is a lack of information out there on this topic specifically for Webflow. Hopefully we can help start a conversation around this if there isn’t one already :slight_smile:

  • Christian