WordPress is one of the most popular platforms for web development loved by users as well as developers. It has grown considerably over the years and many professionals are specializing in different aspects of the CMS. Experts providing niche services like Drupal to WordPress migration or WordPress plugin development can be found easily. Many professionals are also opting to work independently rather than be employed with a development agency. A lot of these individuals are hindered by a lack of knowledge about how to start freelancing. We are presenting a guide for such professionals who dream of becoming a freelance WordPress developer.
One of the biggest issues involved in freelancing is to ensure that there is a steady inflow of projects. Most developers turn freelancers when they get an attractive independent offer but problems arise if they do not have a strategy for the future. WordPress development is crowded with professionals and one needs a plan to sustain himself/herself in the industry. Start by tapping your own personal network of professionals as well as clients for new projects. Asking satisfied customers for referrals is a sound business strategy for expanding operations. Try to specialize in a niche field like theme development as it will decrease the amount of competition. It is always better to be known as a master in a domain rather than a jack of all trades. There are various online job boards which are frequented by clients looking for appropriate professionals. Moreover, create a significant online presence for yourself as a professional having considerable expertise. This involves getting active on reputed platforms like Github and contributing to open source projects.
The most important aspect of working as an independent professional is how to set the rates for work. People find it difficult to set a reasonable price that will be attractive for clients as well as themselves. Most customers would like you to quote an estimate for the whole project which is sensible for long-term projects. This route is also advisable if the client is expected to provide more work in the future. Short duration projects, though must be priced at hourly rates and the current average is in a range of $25 to $50 depending on the expertise of the professional and the complexity of the task. Beginners must start by asking for low fees and then raise the rates gradually as they gain experience over the years. In brief, the difficulty level along with the expected duration of a project are the major factors which affect the pricing.
Anyone thinking of becoming a freelance WordPress developer must identify the motivation behind doing so. For some, freelancing is an avenue to earn more money while others are attracted by the independence associated with it. Many people start working independently because they saw a colleague doing it successfully. Never imitate someone else and identify the objectives that you want to achieve with the strategy. Freelancing can be a very good learning experience and can help a professional earn expertise in a specific domain. It provides the chance of utilizing the time according to one’s choices which is impossible to do as an employee. With a little planning, you can earn a living, learn new tricks of the trade and pursue other interests. Freelancing can be helpful in the all-round growth of a person besides being a bankable source of income.
The key to success for a freelancer is to provide comprehensive services to clients. This will be helpful in getting future projects from the same customer or a referral. Once you start providing additional services to customers, they will engage you for future projects and refer you to others as well. Creating a website is just half the job done and the client will look for SEO and other necessary services. Many people want an e-commerce store which is made possible by the WooCommerce plugin. This online store-creating plugin is a separate topic unto itself. Similarly, digital marketing, web and graphic design are some other services that are essential for creating a significant virtual presence. Learning extra skills will be a sensible option as it will enable you to provide value-added services to clients. Another good way is to associate with professionals possessing these complementary skills. This will also help you in getting referrals for new projects from them.
There are some things that must be in place before you embark upon your journey as a freelance developer. A portfolio website is one of the most important things that must be created for displaying your abilities. Build an original and high-quality product but keep in mind that is similar to the requirements of your target audience. Take help from other professionals in areas like graphics designing if you are not proficient in them. Invest in some necessary equipment like phone and headphone with microphone. Do not spend too much money on purchasing them and even basic models will do. You will also need some software solutions for file storage, timekeeping, and bookkeeping. There are various free online services available which can be helpful in the purpose.
Becoming a freelance WordPress developer can be a good career option provided it is done after gaining some experience in the field and is approached in a planned manner with an open mind.