No, really, what do you really do for a living?
I call myself a WordPress developer, but honestly? I’m a technological handy(wo)man. Often, I’m hired to build a certiain thing on a certain project, and that’s great. Just as often, I’m hired for fixing broken WordPress websites, but once I start working for a client doing that, my job description often expands. First, the email goes down and I fix that. Then there’s something screwy with the LAMP stack. Then I’m coding a newsletter. Then I’m digging through the API of, say, salesforce.com to try to get it to connect to something else. Then I have to go do something to the domains. Then I need to edit a PSD for something.
And people actually pay you to do this?
It’s how I’ve made my living since 2010. (It was my side-hustle for two years before that.)
Can you design my website?
Probably not. I’m not a designer, I’m a programmer. I can help you make an ugly site look better, and I can direct you to premium site designs that’ll serve you well, and I can do tweaks and make suggestions, but if you have the budget, I highly recommend you speak to an actual designer who does actual designs.
What’s the difference?
Since the title “web designer” has kind of come to mean anyone who makes websites, and since there’s often a lot of overlap in skill sets between a web designer and a web developer, it’s kind of a fussy distinction, but I think it’s important. In very short terms, a web designer makes a website look like something new and awesome, while a web developer makes a website do something new and awesome. They’re very different skills that compliment each other beautifully, which is why you often find designers and developers who work together.
So… how much?
That’s not an answer.
Ok, fine, but it’s not really a joke. There are two methods by which I structure fees: hourly and per-project. That’s pretty normal for all freelancers. When a project is a project, with a distinct beginning and ending and task to be completed, I usually will quote a price to complete it, and that’ll be anywhere between $1,000 and $15,000, and most projects are much closer to the low end of the spectrum than the high end. This is great because the client knows how much they’re going to spend at the outset and I know how long it’s going to take, to it makes my schedule easy to plan.
On the other hand, if you want to have an ongoing relationship where I’m more or less available on call for whatever you happen to need, I will bill hourly. And by hourly, I mean I bill in 6 minute increments with no minimum.
Wait, like lawyers bill? Those money-grubbing trolls would bill by the second if they thought they could get away with it just to make a buck! I hate those guys!
Easy, champ. One of my best friends is a lawyer. Check this out: Most freelance geeks work hourly, with a half-hour or hour minimum charge, and I don’t. I also charge twice as much per hour as they do. (The average WordPress developer charges about $45/hr, and I charge $90/hr. It’s scary, but hang with me.) Lets say, your WordPress site is suffering a very common problem, where you’ve run updates, and suddenly all pages except for your home page are 404ing. This is a problem that takes 5 minutes to diagnose and fix. An average geek, charging $45/hr with a half hour minimum, will take 5 minutes to fix this problem, and bill you $22.50. If you call me, I’ll take the same 5 minutes to fix, and I will bill you $9. See the difference there?
Now, keep going. Ongoing hourly maintenance-type agreements often have many small tasks and charges in any given month. How many of them will be billed at the minimum period of time? How many hours have you payed for at the end of the month that are just padding? With the method I use, you know exactly how much time I worked on a project, and that’s all you pay for.
Ok, I guess that makes sense. Except your rate still seems kinda high.
I’ve been working professionally with WordPress for 8 years almost exclusively, I work very fast, and I’m very good at making WordPress do things it wasn’t designed to do. Check out my portfolio.