I wanted to ask other wordpress developers their thoughts on how clients can best create fairly advanced page layouts via the standard WYSIWYG editor. When I say advanced layout I primarily mean a layout with responsive columns, maybe an image on the left and a heading and content on the right. As simple as that sounds it can end up getting fairly ugly to look at in the editor.

Personally I have tried using the standard editor, using shortcode plugins, using advanced custom fields with flexible content fields, and I've researched some of the editors that essentially replace the standard editor. They all have there pros and cons, and in the end I have to remember my client may have fairly limited knowledge in laying out a page let alone markup and CSS.

So my question is, what are other wordpress developers using to allow their clients to create more advanced page layouts?

Thanks for your thoughts!

1 Answer 1


It is the theme author's responsibility to give an admin interface that will allow the client to create the content in the form he wants. Layout related options and shortcodes are just a way for the author to justify doing a poor job in understanding the client's needs and helping the client to easily manage his site. (there is some difference between a themes for sale and a theme for specific client but IMO most themes today are bloated and include a lot of functionality which is better deployed as plugin for whoever needs it)

The reason is that if your client would have known HTML/CSS/PHP he would have written his pages by himself and would not have needed you, but your client don't understand HTML, don't understand what is responsiveness and don't have a clue about how to do graphic design, therefor giving the tools for the client to do anything he wants is just helping him to shot himself.

Granted, some clients don't understand that and think that they actually can design a passable web page by themselves, but if this kind of requirement comes up early in the process of developing a site it means that the client didn't fully define their requirements.

  • Hi Mark, I agree with your comments in that it is our job to gauge their level of competency in using editing tools. You're right that in the end the best thing to do is to build a custom tool for these clients to do more advanced functionality. Out of curiosity what tools/methods do you use to allow users to create more advanced layouts that the default editor fails to easily achieve? Thanks for your comments!
    – bcoyour
    Apr 3, 2014 at 12:55
  • It really depends, I usually try to convince them that their design will be hard for them to manage and they are unlikely to use the complex functionality they asked for, but this depends on the type of clients you have. Apr 3, 2014 at 13:43
  • That's good for me to hear, because I have found that traditionally is the case with most of my clients. As much as I try to create a great tool for them to update specific areas they often never use it. Thanks again for you time!
    – bcoyour
    Apr 3, 2014 at 16:23

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