The following is an excerpt from my book Freelance Newbie available on Amazon on paperback and Kindle. Also available as a top-rated video course!
From that statistic alone, it’s no wonder why so many creative agencies and freelancers offer it as their flagship service.
In addition, WordPress is:
- Easy to deploy and maintain
- Plugin-based: you don’t have to be a PHP whiz to integrate great features
- End-user friendly
- Open-source (free as in beer, free as in freedom)
- Highly scalable
All of these benefits are nice, but does that mean you have to offer it? The short answer is no. However, it’s an excellent money maker. If you’re already familiar with WordPress, absolutely consider integrating it into your business plan.
If you’re not familiar with WordPress, I would suggest you at least become familiar with its basic usage. Work on setting up a local copy, experiment with features and plugins, and get familiar with the file structure.
While WordPress is powered by PHP and MySQL on the backend, you don’t need to know PHP or SQL in order to create websites for clients.
If you need to customize it and you can’t find a suitable plugin, you can always outsource the task if it’s beyond your current skill level.
As you find more clients, listen to their needs, and strategize on solving their business problems, you will find that WordPress is often an ideal fit.
The other reason I’m so enthusiastic about using WordPress is because of its straightforward admin panel.
This means you can confidently set up a user account for your client and they can take care of the rest, whether it’s updating plugins (one click), publishing a blog post, adding users, or whatever other common task that would be more of a time-sink than a money-maker if they had me do it.
This was true even as a total newbie: the ten minutes of billable time (or even a flat fee) for whatever menial task just wasn’t worth it to me. You also run the risk of clients calling you up every hour with another small issue, many of which will have you wondering if it’s even worth the hassle of sending an invoice.
It’s much more efficient to give them a tour of the user-serviceable parts, direct them to human-readable documentation for common and simple tasks and give them the freedom to do it on their own time.
Above: the admin panel of WordPress is easy to use for non-technical end users.
Random but important WordPress-y side note: Always maintain your own copy of any site you build for a client. You never know what they’ll do to change the look and functionality of your site once they have access to the code. Many times it’s for the worse and you won’t be able to exhibit this site in your portfolio or other promotional materials.
Even if you’ve never used it, you’ll be able to pick up the basics just fine. If you do decide to go full WordPress mode, you can either learn PHP and MySQL or hire somebody else to make plugins. I was building sites for profit before I even knew how to code, and it turned into a consistently ideal solution for my clients.
P.S. Follow me on YouTube where I talk a lot about cool web dev stuff: