A Better WordPress For Clients – Free Report

The WordPress Manual Plugin first evolved because we wanted to both provide our clients with the best experience of using WordPress as a CMS, and just as importantly we wanted to reduce the costs of managing the education of our clients in using their CMS.

Over 12,500 WordPress consultants have downloaded the eBooks and some of them have left testimonials about how much they love them. Read their comments here.

We also have evolved other techniques which have helped both of these goals, and have decided to share them with you. The following is the culmination of over 6 years worth of experience.

It offers advice to businesses on how to streamline their processes while giving their clients a better impression of their brand though a smoother handover.

A Better WordPress For Clients

  • How to customise the WordPress dashboard to give your clients the best (non-confusing!) experience.
  • Using a WordPress setup checklist will make your installations more efficient.
  • How to move menu positions in WordPress.
  • Implement basic Search Engine Optimisation techniques to give your clients better results
  • How to get the most out of the WordPress Manual Plugin

A Better Business For Developers

  • How to qualify leads
  • Sending proposals
  • Payment Terms
  • Client sign off
  • Lots more!

How To Sell WordPress To Clients

  • How to explain WordPress to clients in one page.
  • What to focus on in your sales pitch.
  • An interview with Tammy Hart, about her WordCamp presentation “WordPress & Working With Clients”
  • How to handle questions for your clients in an efficient manor. (cut your maintenance costs)

Got Any Tips Of Your Own?

We would love to get your feedback on some of our recommendations, please let us know what you think.

157 thoughts on “A Better WordPress For Clients – Free Report

  1. Thanks Troy for the excellent resource! Only part way through reading the first ebook but have learnt something new within the first few pages about making the interface easier and simpler for my clients.

    Really looking forward to reading the rest.

    Thanks again for the free ebook!

  2. What a great ebook, while all of the concepts are familiar it’s great to be reminded that it’s important to finish out a site for clients. It’s just awesome information and reference to maintain a great customer experience.

  3. Hi,
    It was great, very simple and useful
    I think you can add ag custom admin and ozh drop down menu to your plugins part
    And there’s a theme for wp dashboard. It is named ultra admin and it is nice
    Thanks for your awesome work

  4. The ‘A Better WordPress for Clients’ ebook is fantastic. Not only do the tips within make WordPress easier for my clients, but they make it significantly easier for me to work with them as well.

  5. Thanks for the eBook Troy. Lots to think about in terms of customising WP and making it easier for clients 🙂

    One observation: the “don’t use only %postname% as your permalink” info is out-of-date; the DB slowdown as a result was fixed from WP 3.3.

  6. I really like the shortcuts and tips in this ebook. I do plan on buying the tutorials for clients soon. It would give me more time and them a chance to learn on their schedules. Thanks Troy for a great resource.


  7. Thanks Troy

    I have been trying to create a better experience for my clients since I started my business but was burning up too much time which means dollars. Thanks for the providing the tools and tips I needed to make life so much simpler.

    Cope I.T.

  8. Awesome content in this e-book Troy. I’ve been meddling with WP for a couple of years, even built a few sites for clients but the information you share in this e-book changed the way I look at WP as well as deliver WP projects.
    One plugin I would add to the mix though – having gone through much grief with the ‘heartbleed’ bug – is Wordfence (https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordfence/). An awesome plugin that does a stellar job in protecting one’s site(s). Looking forward to reading the next e-book in this series.

  9. Updates for the guides:

    You don’t need the .htaccess roles anymore
    /login goes directly to the login page (even if you are already logged-in)
    admin goes directly to to Dashboard if logged-in else it goes to the login page.

    Note: it’s best to give our client the instruction to go to: /admin

    If the client still has the login cookie in his browser he is directly going to the WPDashboard
    With the /login link he is ALWAYS going to the login page.

  10. This is a great resource. Thanks for making it available as a free download.

    Before reading the guide, I had already been using some of the techniques and plugins that you recommend, specifically Yoast’s WordPress SEO, Gravity Forms, Advanced Custom Fields, and Duplicate Post. All are excellent. I install WordPress SEO on every site I build and use the other three as needed. (If it were up to me, I’d also use Gravity Forms on every site, but some clients don’t want forms.)

    After reading the guide, I incorporated White Label CMS and Google Analyticator in a site that I’m handing off to a client. I’m confident that the result will be a much better experience for the client. I am also considering WP Video User Manual.

    I had been using the Login Logo plugin to brand the login page, but since White Label CMS includes that capability (albeit with a slightly different logo size), I’ve now eliminated that one. On the other hand, I do like the increased flexibility for structuring the admin menu that is provided by the Admin Menu Editor Pro plugin, so I’m using that along with White Label CMS. (It’s a premium plugin, but there is also a free version.)

    Two nitpicks with the ebook format (not the content): (1) the links don’t work (I know you’ve dealt with this in an earlier comment, but I can’t get them to work either in iBooks or in Acrobat Pro; and (2) some of the screenshot illustrations are quite blurry. One very small content suggestion: It would be helpful to include recommended image sizes for some of the images that are used in White Label CMS (the dashboard icon and the footer icon).

    I’m looking forward to reading the next book. Thanks again for this one!

  11. Just getting started with some formal client building and servicing work, and I’m excited to have found this great resource! Looking forward to reading the other eBooks as well and signing up for the Video User Manuals.

  12. About: A Better WordPress For Clients

    When making WP sites in the past, I often sighed *** If I just could customize the Dashboard *** And here it is! This is all so practical and easy to setup.

  13. This is one of the most intelligent and comprehensive approaches to using WP as a CMS. Thank you very much for this extremely valuable information!

  14. Great, fast read. I was disappointed that Desk is no longer free, but no biggie. I had so many “aha” moments. Can’t wait to get my Video User Manual sub!

  15. Really good tips on simplifying WP – but it would be even better if you gave some advice on cutting back the post/page editor which gives way too much flexibility and doesn’t guide clients to stay within a “house style” for fonts, headings, etc.

  16. Thank you for this very useful e-book
    I’ve just nearly finished reading. It is a well written guide and focuses very well on an area of the market where very little documentation exists currently.

  17. Excellent report. We have done something similar to make our Drupal sites easier for clients to edit and there are some great ideas here for us to implement in our WordPress solutions. Cheers guys.

  18. Just wanted to say, anything that saves me time and makes life easier for my clients is a plus for me. Your video’s, white label manual and ebooks do all of this … they help me give my clients a better wordpress experience whilst save me time and them costs… i’m a monthly subscriber simply because it makes sense and helps me retain customers as I add to their experience.



  19. You don’t want a real review. I can see that by reading the other comments here. The CONTENT of the e-book is excellent, but it looks like every other e-book out there–even down to the white-on-black. Oh, well. I guess if it works for the competition, it’ll work for you. Besides, the people who are tasked with explaining/implementing WordPress have their work cut out for them and need all the help they can get. I won’t be paying for a subscription to information I can find on my own by reading everyone else’s me-too e-book–but that’s because I’m just getting started and broke, not because I’m cheap 🙂
    Keep up the good work, guys!

    • Hey Melody – actually we do want real feedback. We thrive on it.

      I’m not sure (nor do I really care) about our competition and that’s not why we wrote this ebook. This ebook is really our own intranet turned into something readable. These are the processes we follow with every project we build and we figured it would be helpful for other consultants to follow the same process.

      If the content is excellent as you say then we have done our job.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  20. Truly quite amazing. I’ve been working with WP for so long I had no idea others might find it so intimidating. You are clearly dead right and this is an invaluable support system to help clients and friends get over the initial learning curve jitters.


  21. I have received A Better WordPress For Clients and it is a great book. I am really looking forward to receive the next in the series 🙂

  22. You folks have such a clear and concise vision of what it takes to keep a client informed, but not overwhelmed.
    Thanks for sharing this report.

  23. Awesome guide! I’m just starting out going from the occasional WordPress install plus customization for friends to actual traditional clients, and I went through the entire thing with my client’s site to make sure to add the little bells and whistles. Thank you so much!

  24. Have just finished reading through this report and watching your Melbourne presentation.

    I could really relate to your comments about client support and training and the overhead this generates – enough said about that!

    Already offer videos via a competitor service but there is no manual and, from what I have seen, the video selection is not as extensive as yours so I will be changing service provider when current subscription ends.

    Already tweak the dashboard using WP functionality BUT your White Label CMS plug in is going to make all of that a whole lot easier and much more professional looking.

    Your ideas and resources are really going to make it much easier to ‘up my game’ without increasing my workload and I thank you for that.

  25. What a find! Thank you for “A Better WordPress For Clients”, your sophisticated marketing ideas and for the coming follow-ups, you’re so generous.

    We’ll be subscribing to the videos….I just have to get my partners on board and it won’t be hard to get their go ahead.

    • Nice one Ros.

      Glad you found the follow up eBooks helpful too.

      We got more in the pipeline.


  26. Great Service great approach and really nice attitude to business, it does exactly what it says on the tin the videos manual and add-ons all great!

    Whilst here in the uk love the aussie accents, brill idea and execution thank you! What a lot of time saved and what a lot of happy end users!

  27. There are so many things that I’ve ‘thought’ I should be doing or wanted to do for my business but wasn’t sure how to make it happen. You actually gave me the tools and resources to do it! Very helpful and very informative! THANK YOU!

    • Awesome Jen – thanks for giving us the feedback. It’s good to know we’re on the right track.

  28. AWESOME! I’m like every other freelancer – in that i barely have time to walk my dog – but I skimmed this thing and it’s really comprehensive… like a giant to-do list when building out a site. There’s always some detail that slips through the cracks, but this guide seems to cover it all! Grazie.

    • Pleasure Damian. Good to know our eBook gets read and actually helps real people in their business.

  29. Hi. Thanks for the report and the presentation. I saw the presentation and downloaded the report and glanced over it. Very impressive! Looking forward for the next report. Thanks again, J.

  30. Imagine that… a freebie that is actually worth its weight in gold. Thank you very much for providing such an immensely helpful guide… plus a fantastic free plugin that is so helpful in branding a client website. I look forward to reading your other guides. Thanks again for a great and helpful guide with no strings attached and no hard sell for something else, just a gentle nudge.

  31. Hey guys,
    You are great. your’s eBook has complete essential needs for a starter. again i say “you are great”.

  32. Excellent. Simply excellent.

    I have made a few changes to your list of recommended plugins, and changes to the implementation checklist in the appendix, due to the fact we host our clients’ sites at WPEngine. But, the methodology of how to customize WP to suit your customers is sage.

    • Thanks for stopping by for the kind words Ken. Glad you found it useful. Could you share the amendements you made for the other WPEngine users?

  33. This is excellent stuff! The white label CMS plugin is simply awesome; *all* the things I want to do with the dashboard in one simple interface and no nasty php coding (that I always mess up!). Many thanks, Kevin

  34. This is an excellent resource. Thank you for making it available! Customizing the backend is a great personal touch that customers love. Your plugin makes it very easy to do. I’m considering the tutorial package as well. Great stuff!

  35. I was trying to put together something similar but found your checklist/report and it is awesome, I will recommend your Video Manuals to clients
    Thank you

  36. Wonderful stuff!

    Just what I needed, and at the right time too. Keep up the great work.

    I’m struggling to decide on pure HTML5 vs WP for a particular tricky client solution I need right now, you have tipped the scales slightly. Any further advice on pro’s and cons?

  37. Thank you, thank you, thank you for so great insights regarding WordPress, Customer Experience and the HOW TOs, I am also looking forward to include Manual with my package. It seems to be it will take a bit in India here as, this is I think is inception phase and LEARNING time for SMEs in India as the Online presence – is just in confusion sate here

  38. I forgot to ask one question…
    What do you do about ‘updates’?
    Do you update your clients sites to the latest version of WordPress, and perform plugin updates, when they are released? Do you leave them to do it? Or, do you just leave it how it is?

  39. Hi everyone at Video User Manual!
    I just wanted to say a huge thank you for providing this information, and for FREE too!
    I am a self taught developer and I am so happy I found you guys. You really have been a lifeline and I am beginning to believe I can actually do this now, and all thanks to you.

  40. I really love these reports. I am making use of so many tips, and as I shape up my business I will definitely purchase Video User Manuals. One question to throw out there, I am having trouble writing estimates that breakdown my time usage. I don’t want to undersell myself, and I have a lot of trouble estimating how long specific work will take. Any thoughts?

  41. Excellent. I’m a marketing and management coach who’s been doing websites since 1995.

    How marvelous to read something on WordPress with so much marketing savvy. 🙂

    Did I mention he has a lot of solid management advice also?

  42. Great lessons, great project!

    My suggestions:

    broken-link-checker – very useful plugin, either for developers or clients

    Google Analytics plugin itself offers the ability to make it visible for Admins only, or Editors or other specific groups – if you want to display it on the Dashboard for clients

    theme-my-login – may be combined with White Label CMS, considering some specific settings it offers enhanced UI options


  43. Wow! My company bases its entire web design and SEO business on WordPress. We developed a little handbook to give to our customers on handoff day, and we do a training with them, but this is WAY BETTER! Amazing! Thank you so much!

  44. All of these documents are incredible. Seriously. You’ve provided answers I’ve been struggling with for months.

    One little note, it doesn’t appear the links are working in the PDF’s. I’ve tried in Preview, on Acrobat Reader and in Acrobat Pro and nada. Any suggestions?

  45. I haven’t gotten into your videos and client user manuals yet but the info about customizing the WP Dashboard has been insanely helpful. Thank you SO much for being so thorough and making this so easy to follow!

  46. Thank you so much for this book. It was incredibly helpful and I read the whole thing in one setting, so you didn’t waste any extraneous text on useless stuff. Your list of plugins and steps to make a site more user-friendly is incredibly well-thought out and quite useful. I’ll be taking MOST of these steps immediately for the sites I turn over to my clients.

    Thank you!

  47. A very informative book and great perspective on “user friendly”. I don’t do large web sites, but I set up the occasional blog and I’ll be finishing it off nicely with the tips from this book!

  48. Awesome report, have downloaded and begun testing White Label CMS plugin. Your doc is a little outdated as Google Analyticator is back. I know I use it already. Thanks for picking up that project too.

  49. I read through all first part Better WordPress for Clients
    I have to say it is truly awesome. The ebook adresses all these little annoying details/problems I have/had with my clients and focus on the solution.That is great.

    Thank you!

  50. I received the book, “A Better WordPress for Clients” on October 10, 2012. I haven’t had time to read it; but from a brief review it looks good.

  51. WP for clients helped me learn more about the solution I use for my own blog sites. Including better content management techniques.

    But when do I get the other ebook download links?

  52. Hello…
    I learned more about plugins & SEO as a beginner… This is a great support for my brand new blog !
    Thanks for this nice tool…

    • Thanks Amanda. Our philosophy is to create the best “end-user” experience possible with WordPress. It makes everyones lives easier, dev’s and client’s.

      Nice to be appreciated too. 🙂


  53. This is a very useful e-book and as a relatively new user to WordPress it will take some time to integrate all of the good ideas and know how into my work. Thanks heaps.

    • Our pleasure David.

      Making your life easier and helping you build better relationships with your clients is what gets us out of bed in the morning.

      Let us know if there is anything else you’d like to see.


  54. Good report, well worth the reading time.
    Screen prints were a little hard to read, I printed two pages per sheet of paper!
    Seems dated, copyright is 2010…things change alot in 2 years.
    I suspect I will buy this plugin, 26$ per month is a good price point for this service, provided its NOT per customer website.

    • Hey Steve,

      Thanks for the feedback on the ebook. We are about to update all our ebooks. The Video User Manuals plugin is US$24 per month for unlimited client sites.

      Hope that helps.


  55. Dear Sirs;

    Thank You for this. This comes to you as one who has been working on my website and has basically had to figure things out as I go. I did manage to get something up there! It has since been revamped by the design team where I am currently being coached; Prosper. I haven’t had a chance to read all the way through, but what I have read, has given me some real insight into Web Building and Design. I am looking forward to delving in to it further. Again, Thanks!!! Louise

  56. This book is great. I’ve been developing WordPress websites for years but I learned a lot from this book… very useful. Looking forward to the next book in the series.

  57. As a former project manager, used to avoiding and mitigating risk, I found the free report spot on.

    And how timely finding your client video series. Being in the process of creating a website development service with a difference, your client video series will fill a gap in my service set and save me heaps of time.

  58. After hearing you speak at WordCamp Gold Coast I have fewer questions, and very little that I could add to what you have said (no ‘brown-nosing’ intended).
    I will need to go away, apply anything I haven’t already, service my next client with a slightly altered perspective and then get back to you with some feedback. Thank you.
    the best from,

    • Glad you found it useful Nicole and sorry about the delaaaaayed response. Not sure how you slipped through the cracks for so long.

      Let me know what else we can do.


  59. Hi, just wanted to say how informative and useful I have found your reports to be. Excellent quality and packed with useful info!


  60. Your entire concept is excellent!!! I suspect I will need to walk my clients through some of the basics first (some of them don’t even want to manage any part of their websites!), and then follow up with this fabulous manual!

    The report is fantastic, as well. I intend to recommend it to the members of my WordPress meetup!

  61. I really enjoyed the 1st report. Just getting started with my 1st client and this is a great roadmap. Can’t wait to read the next report.

  62. This report is extremely informative and helpful. Recommend that if you have not asked for it that you do so immediately!

  63. I second Ivan’s comment, the books are wonderful. The info is spot-on, the layout professional, and overall the style and content make for a pleasing read.

    Can’t wait to try out the White label plugin and take my WP admin panel to the next level 🙂

    Thanks much!

  64. This book was chock-full of tips. I love the idea that you share on using White Label CMS. Using this plugin to customize each WP install along with the video manuals will bring very happy clients in the future. Thanks!

  65. This is exactly the info I’ve been looking for and couldn’t find anywhere else! Thank you.

    White label CMS is awesome and I’m excited about finially starting my design business very soon.

  66. Congratulations on your Digital Books; but especially on your brilliant Video User Manual. It is worth every dollar to stay subscribed for the service.

    My clients have nothing but praise for your work. It makes our life much easier — no more fielding questions on how to insert an image into a post. We just remind them the Video User Manual is in their admin area; and off they go.

    We are always looking at ways to tighten up security on WordPress. We have now added your suggestions into the mix.

  67. Really great report on WP security. As a computer security & forensics major, I love almost all security reading and found this article very compelling. I do however have a couple of suggestions to add that I like to implement on all of my clients sites. First and foremost, I use the Login-lock down plug-in. It stops cracking attempts cold(http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/login-lockdown/) Secondly and maybe one of the best solutions to come from 2010, CloudFlare (www.cloudflare.com) CloudFlare stops known spammers, exploits and provides excellent analytics. Both are free, while CloudFlare offers an even moer secure solution in a pro account.

    • In our experience there is no single plugin (or even a combination of plugins) that can protect a WP install.

      We can crack Login Lockdown in less that 20 minutes and I bet some hackers can do it faster.

      A plugin is better than nothing, but you have to go under the hood to really protect a WordPress site.

      @ VUM: Excellent report, very comprehensive!

      Excellent report, very comprehensive!

  68. Great tools! I have been looking for a way to support our clients better and you have created an awesome way to do that. Thank you very much!

  69. I’m sorry that I did not do this sooner, but better late than never.

    I received links to to the E-Books via an Email which you sent me. The links worked perfectly.

    The E-Books content is amazing. The presentation of the content, i.e. formatting of each page is absolutely Professional.

    I am grateful to you for both these E-Books. Even though they are free, their quality and content is awesome.


    Ivan Bayross

  70. This report gave me the information I have been needing; thank you so much. Every time I have a new website client I promise myself that I am going to document the steps I take but then I’m so exited to get started that I don’t do it. Then the next time I start a new site I don’t follow the same procedure and I know it has been costing me precious time. Right now I have 3 client sites to begin working and I’m going to follow the steps you outlined and build my process from there.

    I also love your white label CMS and user manual plugs in these are such a great idea and I know they will be the perfect thing to set my designs apart from the other local designers.

    I’m looking forward to more reports and valuable information. Thanks again!


  71. I knew that this sort of customization was an option and technically possible, but I never would have attempted it as I had simply assumed it was insanely complex and difficult; perhaps even beyond my scope.

    Your manual and plugin have really opened up a new avenue for me and for that, I thank you.

  72. Hi guys, I’ve just finished reading the free report and I have to say that you nailed the problems I am facing on the head. It is a well written guide and focuses very well on an area of the market where very little documentation exists currently.

    I roll WordPress out to clients and waste a lot of time repeating certain steps such as documenting and simplifying the interface. The ‘White Label’ plugin looks excellent and a great way to save repeating so many of those steps. The video user manuals plugin also looks excellent – if a little expensive for me currently.

  73. I just wanted to thank you for this awesome report. Extremely useful and very high quality. This couldn’t have come at a better time for me. You guys rock!

  74. Hey guys – just wanted to give some feedback on your report. Essentially, just wanted to say “thank you”. There are some excellent excellent tips in there and you answer a lot of questions I have had about “how I make the WordPress interface easier to use for my clients”.
    Thanks also for your excellent Video User Manuals, they are well worth the subscription fee

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