How to survive as WordPress Developer in 2020?

I am WordPress Developer based in Sydney, and for past 5-6 year, I had been working as WordPress Developer. I had worked in various agencies, corporates and freelanced for businesses small to big mainly Sydney based. My current full time role is based for an agency looking after WordPress websites for a corporate company. They […]

I am WordPress Developer based in Sydney, and for past 5-6 year, I had been working as WordPress Developer. I had worked in various agencies, corporates and freelanced for businesses small to big mainly Sydney based.

My current full time role is based for an agency looking after WordPress websites for a corporate company. They make millions of revenue and most of their website are based in WordPress.

Now let’s come to point. Should I be learning WordPress in 2020? My answer would be definitely YES. WordPress is gaining more market year by year and lot of big corporates and companies including government are making full use of WordPress and implementing in there web development strategies. If you are planning to work with high end agencies or top end companies, make yourself familiar with WordPress ecosystem and add more skill in your belt.

You must be hearing so many bad reps about WordPress and things does get confusing when there are so many varied opinions about WordPress. But let me bring in some details and share some experiences based on my work experiences. A good WordPress Developer can negotiate great working package and conditions or can go freelancing working on their own to make a decent living.

Which end of WordPress do you want to be?

Must admit, there are 2 ends of where WordPress is. Look at the bright end, there are so many agencies solely focused on WordPress and developing such high ends website based on WordPress. Those websites ranges from Government websites, educational websites, corporate and multinational websites. On the flip side, there are so many people whinging about WordPress, complaining that there are so many competitions and paid like peanuts.

So many bigger companies are using WordPress including …

Ironically both of the cases are true. So where do you want to end up is entirely your choice. Either you can target working on low budget website or focus of bigger and respective clients is your decisions.

Working for respective clients need experience

Ask any good WordPress Developer, running large website on WordPress need experiences. Working for reputed brands come with lot of responsibilities and skill set. Being a good WordPress Developer definitely helps, but there are so many other aspects involved in running high traffic websites.

Server maintenance and web hosting is one of the main skill set required. Either you can learn on your own or work in the team that have a specialist working on that aspect.

So this is where it gets interesting. Most of the bad rep are coming from people who mainly use some random premium themes and plugins for their development. They might be a designer trying to hand on development. I won’t be saying this is a bad idea, but this technique will work on website with less complexity. TO make matter worse, people tend to choose dodgy web hosting and expect the site to perform wonders.

My point here is in order to get good and reputed clients you will have to learn WordPress and get to know the framework better. Try avoiding multiple plugins or some random themes. If you can try and test some web host, and refer it to client. There are plenty of good web hosting available at reasonable pricing.

Focus on client satisfaction and lead generation

Client satisfaction is one of my top motto. Whenever I take any project I make sure that I give my 100% and client is happy with his/her project.

It did work really well for me as referral is my second most effective way of getting new clients.

And also I make sure my site ranks well for WordPress related keywords. Luckily I rank pretty good for WordPress related keywords, which help me generate leads regularly. Lead generation is my top source of freelancing projects.

WordPress have limitations – beware?

WordPress does have its limitations. Don’t choose WordPress if your website is highly complex without doing proper research. Sometimes people tend to choose WordPress for each and everything.

If an agency or a WordPress Developer chooses it without knowing its advantage or disadvantage, it’s not WordPress’s fault, it’s the fault of an agency or developer whoever chose the framework without knowing its boundaries. And trust me there are plenty of so called WordPress Developer or designer who is trying their hand in development who end up giving WordPress a bad name.

Bottom-line being make yourself aware of the limitation of WordPress before you recommend it. Target your specific niche and focus on that area to be an expert. As for me I target small to medium scaled business optimising WordPress websites for SEO.

You need to know the best Plugins

One of the great things about WordPress ecosystem is that there are thousands of free plugins available. With so many choices comes confusion too. But I can tell you honestly there are so many good plugins that if you select properly, will help you add extra functionalities in website – faster and within budget.

So if you want to be good Freelance WordPress Developer, make yourself aware to good plugins around. For me personally, I have developer licenses for different plugins that I use for developing WordPress websites that includes plugins about content management, form and lead generations, security and caching.

I also read and test some new well rated plugins now and then.

You need to know about Hosting options

Making familiar to the best hosting options available is something that can get you an advantage over competitors. Based on your client’s budget, website traffic and requirements, there can be many options too choose from.

Make yourself familiar and choose the best shared host and cloud host. If you have to go with high end cloud hosting environment make yourself familiar with the option allowed by that hosting company for growth and scalability.


I must tell there is lot of competition as WordPress Developer as there are so many developers around. But to stand out between crowd and target for good clients, first of all you have to have experience and knowledge. With that and good marketing and link building, you will definitely be successful.

About Author

Robin Thebe

Digital Strategist based in Sydney.

I am multi disciplined web developer based in Sydney focusing around WordPress web design, wordpress development, SEO, SEM and Email Marketing.