ESTABLISHING CLEAR MOTIVATIONS AND EXPECTATIONS
Like anything else, working in WordPress has its advantages and disadvantages, ups and downs. Your motivations for and expectations about becoming a WordPress developer need to be crystal-clear and realistic. I’ll start by telling you how the job has been for me.
Things I like about WordPress freelancing
- Flexibility. My entire business fits into a backpack, with plenty of room for clothes. Because of this, I was able to follow my now-wife to New Orleans when she wanted to move here, and I’m able to visit my parents in Hawaii for long periods four or five times a year, without putting any sort of dent in my business. And since I’m my own boss, I can take as much vacation and travel time as my own income can tolerate.
- The feeling of mastery. I’ve been doing WordPress development professionally since 2012, and I now feel very, very good at my job. When people need help with any technical topic touching WordPress, I can usually either do it much faster than they were expecting, or give them outstanding advice for moving forward. That’s very gratifying—especially when you’re rehabilitating a $100K WooCommerce business that an incompetent previous developer totally messed up, or helping massively update and improve the web presence of an organization you really care about. WordPress development is a real trade, and being good at it is a great feeling.
- It can be fun. Freelance WordPress development is a lot of managing people, a lot of light-to-moderate problem-solving, a lot of Googling, and a lot of getting to use your creativity. Once you’re experienced, the technical side of the work is a lot like spending your day doing Sudokus and building model planes. Not a bad gig.
- General usefulness. Almost everybody has, needs, or wants a website for something or other, and most of the time WordPress is the right choice (see below). So your abilities in WordPress development fit in very nicely with any other project you might get involved in.