Don't Let Developers Become The Bottleneck: Use Editmode

alt text Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash

One of the biggest mistakes I made with my clients is not making it easy for them to update the marketing site for their app.

Usually, I build the whole app with Rails with the marketing site bundled in. I then create an admin area to update the blog or other dynamic content around the site. This approach works great. My clients get an excellent looking app, and they can contribute to the marketing via a blog. Even in this day and age, blogging as a marketing strategy is under-utilised, so my clients can get ahead and build some strong SEO.

However, changes are inevitably requested. There are generally three kinds of code changes.

  1. Design Changes

  2. Business Logic Changes

  3. Static Content Changes

The first two are down to my team and me. The 3rd one is different. These are changes take the longest for the people who request them. Sometimes, my client wants to change some text to see how it looks. Yet, they’re denied the same fast feedback loop developers and designers get when creating.

Let’s illustrate. The client adds a task in Basecamp with what text they want to be changed. I then apply that change and push it to the staging server, where they can preview it. Great but now they want to play around with the formatting of the words or try other words.

A back and forth begins with the client that can drag out for hours, if not days. I change text, use screenshots or and sometimes redeploy to staging to see what my client thinks. Sometimes more requests are made.

Changing text should not be a big deal, but we’ve made a big deal. As soon as someone feels they are making another person’s life awkward, they are less inclined to take action.

Simply put, my client deserves the same rapid feedback that developers get when coding. A client should be able to Inspect Element and change some text, then when they are happy, click save and call it a day.

Stop Back And Forth

In this industry, we spend a lot of time trying to improve the Software Development Lifecycle. From Test Driven Development to Continuous Deployment to using version control and even using AI to help us write code. Yet, how often do we optimise the processes for everyone else in the business cycle? If you want to save your company and yourself time, install edit mode and remove the development cycle bottleneck.

For me, Editmode is a step in the right direction for teams to collaborate even more on making a great product.

So how does it work?

Editmode acts as the central repository where the whole team can manage, update and create content without needing a developer. Think HeadlessCMS but more granular. It’s the sweet spot between CMS and I18n files.

It’s pretty straightforward. Instead of littering your codebase with random pieces of text that you received from your marketers, you instead replace these with “chunks”.

Then your product manager, co-founder or copywriter can press CMD+SHIFT+E and voila, they can then edit text on the page.

They can also update the text using the Editmode website.

The content is aggressively cached and served via Cloudflare.

The company is new, but since it could save me quite a lot of time, I’m selfishly talking about it on the internet, hoping more people check it out.

When Not To Install Editmode

In terms of product-market-fit, Editmode targets teams. For this reason, if you are a one-person company that doesn’t have clients, I won’t recommend it.

Editmode becomes useful when you want to expand beyond yourself and bring on a copywriter, product manager, or salesperson. In my case, it’s useful because it will allow my clients more power over their product without my intervention. This frees me up to grow my consulting business even more.

The next time I start a project with a non-technical person, this will be my go-to tool.

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