Developing Websites with WordPress as a Freelancer – The Pros and Cons

27.03.2017

Are you thinking about getting into WordPress and are unsure whether this is the right path to take? Asking yourself those questions is the first step to becoming a successful freelancer. Committing to a certain niche can set the tone for your entire career, even if it isn’t a commitment meant to last forever.



WordPress is a popular place to start a career in creating websites and that does have its reasons. However, there are also disadvantages to putting all your hopes into that one particular niche. We’re here to tell you the most important pros and cons of freelancing with WordPress creations so you can take the best decision for your future.

Pros:

It’s a huge, well-developed and known platform.

WordPress is the biggest website management and blogging system out there – it supports over 60 million websites. A lot of huge companies and big names in media use WordPress including CNN, TechCrunch, the NFL and TED. This leads wide target audience of clients since virtually everyone has heard of the platform, which is great for freelancers starting out.

Low entry-level barrier.

The interface of WordPress is made for beginners. That means that it can be incredibly easy to create beautiful and easy-to-use websites with little to no prior experience in web design or coding. You will be able to start with stuff that corresponds to your skill level.

WordPress has a big, amazing community.

And that’s not only because the site is so popular. Being open-source, WordPress has always naturally been a place of sharing knowledge, helping others out and generally encouraging beginners. There are countless tutorials, amazing plugins and a lot of advice forums out there that focus solely on WordPress. Personally, I think that the community is one of the best advantages of the service.

Cons:

There’s huge competition and price undercutting.

While popularity has lots of advantages, the big name also means a lot of competition. There are a lot of freelancers out there who create all kinds of stuff with WordPress. Yes, there is also a lot of demand, but you will be competing with hoardes of people, some of them coming from very poor countries and willing to price their services very low. That makes it hard to sell a quality service at the corresponding price.

We have already gathered some tips on how to compete with freelancers who have lower prices than youIf you are struggling with this, do not miss our article!

'Easy-to-use' misleads clients.

Again, everyone has heard about WordPress. And pretty much the first thing anyone associates with it is how easy it is to use. But while that’s true at the basic level, developing really great websites with WordPress does take time, effort and knowledge. Unfortunately, clients looking for freelancers will often be unaware of this and see you as the cheapest way to get a decent website. Convincing them of the opposite can be difficult.

You will eventually hit a wall.

It might take quite a while – think multiple years. But at the end of the day, you will get to a point where you have mastered WordPress, but still aren’t able to make the crème de la crème of websites. Unfortunately, a lot of what you have learned is not transferable to website development outside of the ecosystem of WordPress. For the really high-end stuff with optimized performance and full control of everything, you will have to switch it up.
 

Summary:

WordPress can be a great stepping stone if you want to develop websites as a freelancer. Its simplicity and popularity can go a great way towards building up a successful freelancing career. However, the market is extremely competitive and the service itself will only take you so far. If you want a place among the best website developers, you will have to look beyond WordPress.
 
Looking for WordPress opportunities for freelancers? Check out the latest WordPress jobs on our job board!
 
Questions and feedback are always welcome – please submit them in the comment section below this article and we’ll gladly answer!
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Comments

  • Commented by Mark O'Leary on 29.09.2017 at 14:58 h

    The author makes 2 bold claims here that are not backed up in any way and are incorrect.

    1) "For the really high-end stuff with optimized performance and full control of everything, you will have to switch it up."

    2) "If you want a place among the best website developers, you will have to look beyond WordPress."

    While it is not a standard for enterprise development there is nothing to stop Wordpress being used as such by a good developer.
    Wordpress has a full API to give you control over everything. It looks like the author is relying on development with third-party plugins and themes. Any developer can work from scratch with the Wordpress API creating their own classes/functions/plugins and themes for web application development, implementing a number of security measures and optimising for speed. There is a database api that is secure and robust, a JSON API meaning that your whole frontend can be developed with any framework of your choice if required, yes Angular, React and others can all be used.

    You can use a little or a lot of the framework in your development as you want and there is no restriction whatsoever in creating advanced world class web applications.

    Mark O'Leary

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