Wordpress Site Building

HeathB

New Member
Does this go in Rates & Billing? If not, please move it to the correct board. :)

How much do you charge to build a basic Wordpress.org site for a client? Here's my dilemma. Well, maybe not a dilemma, maybe just a question. I'm thinking of taking a course that would teach me to build a Wordpress site (I have 2 of my own, but, frankly, I've just sort of Googled and battled my way through them). It would teach me enough info to build a great site and sell it as a service. I'm just trying to decide if it's worth it, and I think a lot of that would depend on how much I could legitimately charge to build one for a client. It seems like a skill that's very much in demand, so it would probably be worth it, but is it more worth it than buying a book on Amazon on the same topic and working my way through that?

Sorry if this is rambling. :)
 

Karbour

New Member
Hi Heather!

I too am a new VA and have been experimenting with Wordpress. Though much of my experience is trial and error (I'm working on a website for a friend of mine, so there is a discounted rate involved), I have found the courses on Lynda.com to be incredibly helpful. There is a monthly fee for the video courses and I have found the cost very much worth all the information I am receiving for my business. I also use a wordpress book I bought on Amazon to help. So far these are working for me.

I would love to hear from others as well -- as to which wordpress and website courses are the best for the money!
 

HeathB

New Member
I love lynda.com! My library has a deal with them somehow, and my membership to lynda is included with my library card. I'll definitely check that out; I didn't even think of it!
 

yaniimarie

Member
I'm a big fan of Wordpress. I play with it all the time. I built my site with it and have helped a few clients with theirs as well. I think everyone starts out shoving their way through with lots of Googling, to be honest. :)

I use Coursera for a lot of my online certifications. I think they have a few Wordpress courses, from the basics to the nitty gritty (coding and whatnot).

As far as charging goes, base your rate off of your skill level, how long you think it'll take, and if you'll have to actually purchase themes. (Nimva is my favorite and it's super easy to work with, FYI.)

Best of luck :)
 

Karbour

New Member
Fantastic! I'm going to check out Coursera. Had not seen that site yet. Also need to look explore Nimva. Thanks for these ideas!
 

SimtekServices

New Member
It would teach me enough info to build a great site and sell it as a service.
No it won't. In fact no course I have come across will give you enough knowledge to be able to sell Wordpress Website creation as a service. The amount involved cannot be contained or learned in a few lessons on Lynda.com for example.

How much do you charge to build a basic Wordpress.org site for a client? Here's my dilemma.
I don't want to sound harsh, but herein lies your problem and the reason why you should not at this stage be looking at providing this service. From your post I am afraid I don't get the feeling that you are fully aware of the involvement in creating a website and therefore unable to offer this as a valid service.

To do it properly, and I assume you want to give the best service you can to your clients, you will need to ascertain their needs. You cannot put a price on your service until this fundamental part of the procedure is completed. This obviously happens way before you talk about the aesthetics.

Yes, there are people out there doing 5 page Wordpress websites for pennies, but lets be honest, all they are doing is installing it and a theme and inputting the content they are given. A monkey could do this and this is definitely NOT what the client wants. They may go with this type of service due to the cost, but to be honest, these are not the clients you want anyway as they want everything for nothing.

You need to ascertain with the client if they need a website or a platform. You need to talk about future usage as the template you decide on now may not work with the feature list they want to implement down the line. You need to talk fonts and colour, to get ideas of styles and functionality they have seen elsewhere and only then, when you have a fully written plan which your client can sign off, can you look at building it for them.

Then there is the build section....Wordpress settings, template configuration, vustome page buidin (as they will want some widget placed somewhere unorthadox - believe me! - so that will need manual page building), several font and colour changes, SEO implementation and content generation with SEO firmly in mind.

The there is the handover, training so that the client can update it themselves, content updates and changes, marketing, Wordpress updates, backups and security fixes (which may or may not break your template and plugins - so you need an offline development area to test it before you go live on the clients site) ongoing SEO, hosting issues......

The list is virtually endless and you should really know as much as you can about ALL of the elements....

So, how do you put a price on this?

It is very individual, with a price calculated on a case by case basis. Take $500 as a rough guide (and that is very cheap!), and that is just for the initial setup. At $25 an hour (which is what I feel a basic WP install service is worth) you are looking at 20 hours work.

3-4 Hours for prep and consultation with the client.
3-4 hours for installation and setup of WP, the theme, child theme configuration etc. (this will reduce as you get more accustomed with the software)
1-2 hours for basic SEO implementation and Google Analytics setup
3-4 hours for the uploading of content and moving tings around to the clients likes (more if you have to generate the content yourself)
3-4 hours for handover and training to show the client how to update and add additional content
1-2 hours for general amendments

That does not take into account issues after the handover, phone calls for advice etc, it all needs to be costed in the first place.

My advice is that unless you are going to tackle the above and do it properly, you might as well not do it at all.

but is it more worth it than buying a book on Amazon on the same topic and working my way through that?
Neither a course or a book will teach you the above. This comes with lots of experience and reading / learning. It also means keeping on top of it as it changes daily.

You are right, it is a skill that is in demand at the moment (and will be for the foreseeable future). The reason for this is that it is just not something that can be picked up over the weekend. If you want to do it properly you will find that just the initial and ongoing learning alone will consume your business operations and time and is therefore not something that you should be going into lightly.

That said if you have the time and energy to learn it all, you can make decent money from it.
 

Tess

Administrator
Staff member
Heather you can use the WordPress Codex to learn to build a site (a basic site) and there are plenty of online resources to help you learn more skills.
That said, I'd recommend learning how to do the work and then practicing on your own site for a few months before you start worrying about what it's worth or how much to charge.

Honestly, it's only worth how efficient and how skilled you are (to the client) - and you're putting the cart a *teeny tiny bit* before the horse with your question.

I'd invest my energy in finding the best possible resources to learn from and start there.

Then you'll have some experience to add to the question of 'how much' based on how long it takes you to do the basic setup process and install a good theme.

I think it's absolutely worth doing though - if you think you'd enjoy it and you have an interest in learning to code a bit. Building and maintaining websites (esp WordPress) is always going to be in demand.

Good luck to you! :)
 

HeathB

New Member
Thanks so much for all of the feedback. I should have been more clear; I didn't really mean "I'm going to take a course this weekend and start charging on Monday!!". Even though, looking back, that's exactly how my post sounded. I just didn't know if investing in a course was worth it; if I could eventually charge enough for it to be a sound investment. I think it is. I don't think it's something I'll learn super-quick, and I'll definitely be using my own sites as guinea pigs. I've been teaching myself some beginner coding for a while now, and I'll keep on with that, too. That can only make me more attractive to potential clients. (Eventually. Certainly not right now)

And everything Simon_G said was completely true, as well. But - I have to start somewhere. I've used Wordpress myself for a while, so I'm at least familiar with it, and I think I can learn it (not in a few days, but over time) at least well enough to eventually start offering Wordpress set up as a service. I know myself well enough to know that I can learn something like coding, which, at least at the early stage I'm in, is straight forward. "If you want to do this, type this". Something like Wordpress, though, is more convoluted, and I'd learn it better through a more hands-on approach like a course.

Again - thanks for all the advice. I'm definitely going to take it all to heart and I certainly won't be offering this before I'm ready.
 

SimtekServices

New Member
Oh, don't get me wrong, I was not saying that you (or anyone else for that matter) cannot do it, I was merely pointing out that it is a lot more to take on than most people think.

The point to my rather long post above is that it really is a steep learning curve in the first instance as it is really not just about installing Wordpress and a theme. You have to think about SEO, Copywriting, Design, User Experience etc etc and all of that takes time to learn.

Then there is the continual learning and updating of skills (which needs to be done on a daily basis it seems!) that has to be done.

I would suggest that you don't bother with courses, but start looking at blogs. There are loads of them and they all contain nuggets of information that a course simply will not have the space to include.

And of course I wish you the best of luck with it.
 
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