A Culture of Learning
Training is a major component of the services provided by Montana Webmaster. The focus of Montana Webmaster is to train and empower each client to do as much of their own content and maintenance as they have the time and the desire to take on. Then we take on the rest of the work, within the range of our services. The basis for this practice is the idea that an engaged client will result in a website with a better fit over the long run. On the client’s side, the more they can do in-house, the lower the cost.
There are two parallel tasks in web development: 1) building the technical structure that holds the content, 2) creating and managing the content. The task that a client is most likely to take on is called Content Management. This is a complicated enough task for most clients.
Our training includes helping clients understand what content is important to have on a website and how to make it easy to find and interesting to read for the viewer. Content management includes images and captions.
Learning Goes Both Ways
In the process of training clients, I encourage clients to talk about their industry and their specific business. While they are talking, I am thinking about how that information can drive the direction of their website; how that information would make good social media posts; and how keyword phrases work in their industry for SEO. It also helps me find gaps in the content of their websites.
Besides learning about my clients’ industries, the uniqueness of each project means that I will learn new technologies and new uses of the technologies I know. For example, I recently explored a feature that SiteGround offers for reducing email spam. This feature has functions that are similar to WordPress comment spam plugins, which makes it easier to teach clients who are familiar with the plugins. Every web service and software evolves over time, making the learning for each project an ongoing task.
Passing the Knowledge Along to the Next Generations
Besides training clients, mentoring teens and pre-teens in development skills and the skills that support development are the “community service” component of the business. This no-charge component involves weekly in-person or webinar meetings and field trips that are unique to each participant.
Typically, the sessions center around a project of building a portfolio for the student.