Question Offering Wordpress as a service - how much experience is needed?

Vibeke

New Member
Hello everyone,

I have a question to those of you who offer Wordpress services to your clients: Did you do a formal training before adding it to your services or did you learn by yourself and keep learning as you go according to the requests of the clients?

I have built my own website from scratch with Wordpress, and would love to offer this to my clients, as I really enjoy it, but I'm not sure if my knowledge would be extensive enough, purely based on my own "try-fail-lots of google" learning journey.

Thank you so much in advance for anyone who would share their experience/opinion with me!

Vibeke
 

Susankelly

New Member
I happen to do websites the old fashion way, html. I really want to learn WP but just haven't had the time. It's on my list of skills to gain in 2015! With that said, I looked at your website and I think it looks very nice.

I bet the answers you'll get from other VA's on how they learned will be mixed. I know people that took a class, either online or at a local adult ed/community college and I know other web designers that learned on their own. In the case of web design I don't think how you learned is very important, just that you can turn out nice sites, with good content, that covers their keywords (long tail and otherwise) with spot on SEO.

That's really all the client cares about, not if you learned on the job or in a class. If you feel competent enough to offer your skills go for it. You can either talk to the clients in your consult and see if what they need is what you can do or you can say yes and outsource what you don't know.

There are certainly VA's here that do WP for clients and you could ask them about working together or consulting with you on a fee basis for the things you might need help with. Lee Drozak is a WP expert and on this forum. Now I don't know if this is the sort of thing she does but if not she might have some suggestions.

There have been a number of times where I've said to a client, I'm familiar with what you're looking for but not 100% with it. I'll charge you $xx price for this project (less than my regular price) so you don't fund my education. I've rarely had a client say no.

You look like you have some good WP skills, the more you do it, the more skills you'll get. A ton of tech stuff I've "learned by Google" ;)
 

Vibeke

New Member
Hi Susan,

Thanks for sharing and for your advice! I will definitely spend some time learning even more about SEO :thumbsup:
 

Tess

Administrator
Staff member
Speaking of Lee Drozak :) She has an excellent WordPress course here on the forums that will teach you plenty to get you started - and then yes, learning on the fly by continuing to work with your own site is a great way to build your experience. So much of what I know at this point has been through just digging in and figuring it out (and asking for help when needed!)

That said, I also know my limitations and will sub out or bring in an expert for things that are above my head or are going to be cost prohibitive to my clients should I attempt to much around with them :)
 

LeeDrozak

Community Leader
Well, there are many ways to answer this but overall you should take a class or two before offering the services. Many of my clients come from others who offer WordPress support but don't know more than adding a post or page.

I have a college education in programming and many hours of advanced learning for WordPress so I can dig in really deep. When you say from scratch are you talking about coding a theme or adding styling and set up to an existing one. Big difference there.

If you are offering WordPress design you need to know basic SEO, design and HTML/CSS in order to give the client a decent functioning site. There's a lot of pieces to that puzzle which is why I pick and choose carefully when taking on design jobs.

Now if you are looking to offer updating and that type of support then you need to know the basics but not as much as if your are offering design and production services.

If you have a specific question or service you are thinking about that would help to narrow down the answer.

For those who are looking to learn some of the tips and tricks to make things easier, I do offer WordPress coaching. For those who are looking to build a site but stuck I am offering the build your site coaching and learning program.

Thanks for the shout outs to those who did so, it is appreciated.
 

Vibeke

New Member
Thank you Tess and Lee for your insights.

Lee, when I said "from scratch" I meant installing Wordpress and a theme, and adapting it to my gusto and needs (my site is biz-efficiency.com), occasionally adding stuff to the CSS style sheet, and playing around with html codes. Not sure if that is what you mean by coding a theme?

From my vocabulary you can see that I'm a neewbie at this LOL

I will help a couple of friends now to set up a basic sites, so will get some hands-on practice, and if I get serious about offering set-up of sites for clients, I will definitely consider your course. Thanks for mentioning it!
 

Kara_VA

New Member
This thread interests me as I'm learning more HTML/CSS and a local wordpress group has an emphasis on Genesis Studio (for it's user friendly backend versus front end design). Love to hear more from this thread!
 

LeeDrozak

Community Leader
Here's my take...

When I hear customizing a theme or starting from scratch I think that I am getting a site that is unique to my needs. Meaning, you actually create and code the theme just for me or you take a framework (like Genesis StudioPress) and make code changes specific to my needs. Customizing a theme is not changing fonts, colors or headers. That would be stylizing for their brand.

If you are going to offer website creation, development or design you should have a great grasp on CSS/HTML and some PHP. This coding is important for WordPress. You should know he difference between a parent theme and child theme too. The basics of design are needed to.

Creating a website is more than installing a theme and branding it to the client. You need to have the flow, interfaces, and usability. Basically, you need to know how to design a site that is user-friendly and client attractive. There is as much planning in creating a site as there is in the design.

I'm not trying to stop anyone from learning or offering this service but trying to let you know what is involved in providing this service. If you are not prepared it could be a costly lesson in both time and money.
 

Vibeke

New Member
Hi Lee,

Thanks for this valuable information. This is exactly what I was concerned about (that there's a big whole lot more to it than what I've done on my own), and I feel much more confident now about which part I know, and which part I still have to learn.

This has been a really interesting thread :) Thank you for everyone's contribution!
 
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