Landing a Good WordPress Job


So, I seem to have fallen into this trap where I can’t get out of these race to the bottom clients. It seems like the only opportunities I can find are the type clients and agencies that only want to pay the least amount as possible.

I’ve been working professionally with WordPress for about 5 years now. I can build custom themes, custom plugins, work with APIs, work with JS libraries, etc. and I know I have the experience and skills to land better-paying jobs and gigs but I just can’t seem to find them.

I can barely get by with these $200-$300 low-end gigs. I know that there are better-paying jobs out there but where do I find for them? Is there some super secret job posting site that I’ve not been told about yet or some club I need to join? All the job posting sites I go to are these clients that want a full-on e-commerce with custom API integrations etc. for $1000. I mean the amount they are willing to pay is ridiculous for the amount of work they ask for.

Also, I would like to work for sometype of agency (freelancing is starting to get to me), but I rarely ever come across remote job postings. I need to look for remote work because there are no opportunities in my area.

I guess I’m asking if anyone has any good tips on finding decent work? I know I can do the work but I just can’t find the opportunities.

(Ben) #2

I can’t speak about finding work since I don’t do freelance jobs, but I know there’s a couple of UK based agencies that always seem to be looking for new developers - and they have remote teams so I assume anyone can apply.

HumanMade are probably the biggest UK agency and you can definitely apply for work with them:

MakeDo are smaller, and more UK centric (at least that’s the impression I get) but they say you can work from anywhere, so I assume that means you can apply from anywhere too:

(Leland Fiegel) #3

What you describe is nothing new. Clients go to Upwork to find the cheapest possible coders. By competing against them, you’re essentially saying “hi I’m a cheap coder too” and get sucked into a race to the bottom whether you like it or not.

If you want to stick with being independent, I would laser-focus on a particular niche and stick with it. A good example is @tnorthcutt’s MemberUp. Also note the heavy emphasis on value and benefits over features (i.e. not so much “I coded an integration for iThemes Exchange and once” but rather “I will help you decrease churn and increase your revenue”).

In short, you need to position yourself as a specialist in a particular niche and not be “just another coder.”

I know it’s kind of tough to hear. It took me a while to realize this myself. I’ve referred to myself as a “WordPress theme developer” for basically my whole career and constantly struggled to get good clients. It’s because the best clients very rarely need a WordPress theme coded, but they do need to improve some aspect of their business.

It also won’t be an overnight thing. It is probably still worth getting a remote job that is cool with “side gigs” until you can get established.

If you want to look for a remote job in the WordPress space, you can try looking on places like or and searching for “WordPress,” but if I were you I’d target specific companies that are known to be remote-friendly. Some don’t even bother to post on these sites anymore because they get so many qualified candidates just because of this.

Just to name a few:

  • Modern Tribe
  • Pantheon
  • 10up
  • Automattic
  • Pressable

I’m not super familiar with all of these companies but VIP partners tend to be remote-friendly. Some of them are already listed above:

(Stephen Cronin) #4

I’ve seen quite a few people go from freelancing to working at a medium agency to working at the top end WP agencies and the common factor is they all got involved in their local communities. They went along to meetups, gave talks there, gave talks at or helped organise WordCamps, etc.

That lead them to meet and form relationships with people already working at those companies and got their foot in the door so to speak.

It’s not an iron clad certainty, and maybe it works here because of the mix of people we have at our local meetup (ie might not happen elsewhere), but I suspect it will help anywhere.

Best of luck!

(Josue Ochoa) #5

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