Clients editing page's content

Hello out there,

I’m currently struggling with the following problem:
I want to make a small website for a client who can edit the page’s content without programming knowledge.
So for example: You define a variable for Text1 in the code and then the client can edit all these blocks easily.
How could I realize this? Maybe with WordPress? But WP is too heavy I think.


Go with WP. You and client will have an easier time.

I usually setup the site for the client including the custom theme or a commercial theme. I also populate the initial site.

Then I make a screen capture video showing them how to update the different sections or pages of their website. They’re happy, feel they got their money’s worth, and they can update their own site as often as they can without calling me. I get paid, it’s a win-win.


Thanks for your fast reply.
But the site will be a onepager with predefined text and image blocks. How can I realize this? @owel

What do you mean by predefined text and image blocks? What do you want the client to be able to do? Do you want them to be able drop/drag images or upload images using a form? Can they only select certain text that is already written and they are just selecting from a drop down? Does the client need the ability to format the text anyway they want (font sizes, colors, emphasis, etc…) or will the text only be controlled via css assigned to the texarea?

The client just needs to update the content. The rest is predefined in the css and they just want to add some changes in some times or things they offer.

What about the images? Are those going to be something already hosted on the server or is the client going to need the ability to upload them to insert them into the page?

Also, what back-end technologies have you used before?

The position and layout, the whole css, is already done and they just want to make an more actual picture.
And I’ve used no backend technologies so far. It’s a friend of mine, the client.

If it’s just a one pager, why not just send content to you?

Adobe/Dreamweaver used to have InContext, where you the designer can designate certain portions of the webpage that your client can edit/update (using their own installed software package). But you the designer has the control of the master template via Dreamweaver. But it looks like they’ve rolled that into idea it’s own featured hosted product.

I have no experience with Business Catalyst but it says you can use your own html/css. Starts at $10/mo.

Because I don’t want to work on them all time forever. They shall be able to do it on their own.

If only one picture is needed, then it seems overkill for a CMS to do that. I would suggest just changing/adding it when needed. If it is a friend, surely you can update the image for them when needed. If there is only one text section that is independent of the image, then one approach that would not involve you having to learn how to use a database would be to have the client create a plain text file and type the text they want into the file. Then you would create a secure admin page they could log into and have a simple form for them to upload the file. Once uploaded, your back-end would extract the text from the file and update the webpage dynamically. You could use php, python (flask), or node to accomplish this. The problem is you will still need to learn one of these back-end technologies to be able to implement the secure login page and to make the file upload process work.

In the end, like most clients I have had, once you create some functionality where they can do something without your help, they will inevitably want to add another section or another something that you currently don’t have designed. At that point it would have been better to use CMS (like Wordpress) from the start to handle whatever need arises…

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Then put it on WP, and tell your friend to pay the hosting company directly. PHP/mySQL hosted sites are cheap nowadays, and WP install is a freebie.

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Ok. I will comment the html properly and then it should be ok.

I second @owel’s recommendation for WP. It’s my personal go to for client sites, even one pagers. Granted I usually build my own themes from scratch and then I’ll utilize posts for various text content and images. But, if you get a good grasp on how to loop through posts, categories, and tags you can set up your own editable sections within any theme. Heck you can make them with widgets too if you want to get extra crafty.

I guess it really depends on how often your client needs a.) updated content and b.) how much updating needs to be done. If it’s pretty regularly, I think a CMS is the way to go then. If it’s every once in a great while, well I’d still recommend a CMS–especially If you want to remain hands off when you’re finished with the project.

The worst thing you want is for them to have to get into the code when they have never touched it before. While you might not miss something as simple as a missing quote or an end tag or a semicolon, they totally might and break the entire website.

@dlyons Great! But if I have three sections on one site: How can I make three posts each holding the content of a section?

Wordpress is a good option. However there is a learning curve for the client. It is easy but you should take that in consideration and maybe charge if you need to teach your client how to use WP.

Chances are your client is already aware of WP but if that’s not the case there are other lighter, safer and more developer-friendly options.

You might want to use a static site generator like Jekyll and look for a headless CMS. You can even get free hosting on Github Pages or Netlify using a static site generator. Check, I’m sure you will find find something that will fit your client’s needs. Here you can find tutorials for static site generators. Jekyll would be my first choice for it has a bigger community. Good luck!

I really appreciate your answer. These CMS are really looking better for my needs.
But how can I manage various text and images blocks which can be edited independently? Something like CushyCMS but OpenSource and free.
Being more precise: I want to predefine on one page different text blocks and images and add variables in the html code and later insert the content via a CMS. For example one block “About the Doctor”, a picture of her. The next section would be “About the team” with three pictures and text below the pictures. Everything can be edited in the CMS independently.

Hello, there are many solutions around CMS. One could be easy, other more complete than others, open, free. You must evaluate which of the cms tools is the best for your problem. I used WP, Prestashop, Drupal, Joomla, and all of them are very nice tool for an specific type of problem.For example, If you are looking for a solution easy and free, WP is the best option. If your problem requires more complexity, i’ll try Drupal or Joomla. If you want to do an e-commerce site, i’ll try Prestashop or oscommerce. So, i’ll looking for, evaluate and try. Your question is just the beginning. Let do it :)) PD: PHP and MySQL basic knowledge. is very important.

I can totally give you a crash course in how I do it but have a look at this first:

Now let me preface this by saying I’ve never used Couch before (I am very tempted to download it and give it a try though), but I think it might be exactly what you’re looking for in terms of simply setting up editable sections without getting too complex about it.

Apparently Couch totes that you can set it up on an already static built site with no php knowledge required (which you would need a bit of php familiarity with using WP). Also it’s open source and free–there is a premium version though that allows you to remove the CouchCMS logo and link from the backend admin panel. Like in case you want to rebrand the CMS as your own. But honestly I don’t think you care about having their logo there. And as far as I can tell it won’t be on the frontend of the website anywhere.

You’re still going to have to set up a MySQL database to run it however…but you’d have to do that with WP too anyway.

Give Couch a look over and if you still want to go with WP we can talk about loops :+1:.

Couch CMS looks really nice.
But still: Is there any tutorial how to define text blocks that can be changed independently?

I’m not sure if I’m expressing my problem properly.

Edit: It’s done by the “editable” tag.

You might want to check out I’ve never used it personally but it seems to fit your needs.

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