Prepare your WordPress website for personnel changes

Personnel changes are a part of life for every organization. If your business uses a WordPress website you may find it difficult to bring new employees on board to replace the departed personnel. Preparing for this eventuality ahead of time will pay big dividends. Below are a few tips observed from our experiences.

Think ahead when it comes to site access

One scenario we have observed numerous times is when a key WordPress administrator for an organization departs and nobody is able to make a new user account for that employee’s replacement. These organizations clearly did not plan ahead. Consider training employees as an “alternate” administraor so they understand what to do in case the primary administrator departs or is absent for an extended period. Thanks to the very flexible user roles inherent to WordPress it is quite easy to grant a team member temporary administrator privileges until a permanent replacement can be found.

Take into account other tools in addition to the WordPress admin. Google Analytics access is often lost when the sole person with full administrative privileges leaves to join another organization. Being forced to create a new analytics account would results in a tremendous loss of important data that no organization can afford to miss.

Create repositories for important files and documents

This isn’t WordPress-specific, but important files and documents should never exist solely on someone’s hard drive alone. Tools such as Dropbox and Google Workspace can provide a safe space to secure files for a very low cost. Much like your WordPress site, access can be controlled to certain members of the team. There should be no reason why important files should disappear due to personnel changes.

Document all processes related to the WordPress site

Probably the one issue we see most is the lack of process and procedure documentation relating to a WordPress site. Even when access isn’t an issue, the new employee has no idea how to perform even the most basic tasks on the site. They are then forced to ask their developer for assistance, which takes time and money away from more important issues.

We strongly recommend solid documentation that anticipates personnel changes. A simple list of basic instructions is far better than nothing. A very easy thing is to simply make a private page in WordPress that explains basic processes. Anyone with the proper access on the WordPress site will be able to view it.

Another method is to use a screen capture tool such as Screencast-O-Matic. If a screenshot is worth 1,000 words a short video demonstration is worth 1,000 screenshots. Most of these screencast sites provide online storage, making the videos easily accessible. Just don’t forget to document where those videos are!

A WordPress site is a living, evolving entity. Personnel changes are challenging enough for every organization. Don’t allow the loss of technical know-how and access be a part of the process.

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