Beware of Predatory WordPress Developers
I realize this is a health blog. Actually the my main income comes from working with WordPress. I teach people how to build websites at WP-Live. I have had several callers with custom built sites that they want to revise but I have to turn them away because their site was customized by a predatory developer. We would end up teaching them to start over and build a new website.
Web Content Management System (WCMS)
WordPress is the most popular CMS platform on the internet. It used to be known for blogging only but now millions of professional websites are built on WordPress. It accounts for 29% of the internet with 77 million wordpress.com blogs (including this one). One of the best things about WordPress is that it requires absolutely no code knowledge at all. Even though no code skills are needed, the average WordPress developer charges $50 / hour or $1000 for a full 5 page site design. This is quite reasonable considering the intricacies and nuances that require skills and experience. However, some developers can prey on small businesses.
Ability to Customize your Website
How Predatory Developers Operate
So when a small business owner hires a developer to build a $1000 (or more) website on wordpress, one expects the ability to revise or add more content later. A predatory developer could add so much custom written code, you will not be able to revise it without paying the developer a lot more money. Then when you try to fire them, “Good luck revising your site without me!” Sometimes they customize it so much, even another developer would not want to touch your site because of the amount of work to undo all the coding. A good developer would set up the initial layout and design and then set it up so you can take over and add additional content and make minor revisions yourself. When I create a website for someone, I always set them up to revise it themselves. I even teach them how.
I have also seen business owners have their passwords changed to their hosting and wordpress accounts. Domain names have been hijacked by developers and resold to their customers.
How to Avoid the Predators
Ask a lot of question:
- Will I be able to revise my site when you’re done?
- Will you show me how?
- Are you going to add a lot of CSS or HTML code?
- Do you have a portfolio of sites you built? (contact site owners)
Also be sure to create your own hosting account and domain name. Most host providers allow you to create a “hosting” password that gives your developer only the access they need to make your site.
If you like my site layout, I may be convinced to design your site and show you how to make your own edits. Afterall, teaching others is what I do for a living.