You’ve heard me talk about how working with a WordPress developer can help make your life easier and even allow you to expand your offerings. No more worrying about code when design is what you really love and no more letting your coding abilities dictate what kinds of services you offer.
But what if you or your clients can’t afford a developer?
I know this is a common struggle, so today we’ll go over 5 things you can do when you can’t afford a WordPress developer.
Tweak your offerings
The easiest thing you can do is to tweak your design offerings to not require code. I know this isn’t the ideal solution, but it’s one I wanted to make sure you knew about.
If you’re not familiar with coding or just don’t enjoy doing it, but can’t work with a developer, you can simply choose not to offer custom website designs.
Instead, you can offer the installation and setup of pre-made WordPress or Squarespace templates to complement any branding elements you’ve created.
Like I said, this solution definitely isn’t ideal because it limits what you’re able to provide your clients, but it’s definitely an option to help you get started.
Learn to code
Another less-than-ideal option that we’ve chatted about in past videos is learning how to code.
To start you’d want to dive into CSS and HTML. Codeacademy is a great free option for getting started.
If you do choose to go this route, be patient with yourself. Make your way through a course, giving yourself time to understand each piece. Then, work on tweaks on a test site or two before offering to do any coding for your clients.
After that, you still won’t be ready to dive straight into offering custom designs, but you can offer semi-custom WordPress themes and Squarespace templates.
Again, this solution isn’t ideal. If you love design, code probably isn’t something you want to waste your time doing and it would also take quite a bit of time before you’d be ready to offer custom designs to your clients.
So now, let’s talk about a few options for how you could work to bring a developer in if you or your clients can’t afford one right now.
Boost your prices
If you’ve looked into working with a developer before, you probably know that they’d force you to add hundreds or thousands of dollars to your package prices, depending on the specific offering.
I know this is a scary step, but take a second to think about how much additional you’re providing for your clients.
A fully custom site is made specifically for one client. It focuses on their goals, their audience, and their needs.
With a professional developer, you can also be confident that the theme is created the right way with best practices in mind.
You’ll also find that many developers include extras in their packages. For example, all mine come with a support period, video trainings, a launch guide, SEO guide, and more, which adds additional value to the package you’re offering.
To make the transition a little easier, start out with a developer’s pricing only in your top package. That way, you have a fully custom option with more premium pricing and still have other options available for those clients with a lower budget.
Target different clients
If the last point simply isn’t an option because of your client’s budgets, start targeting different types of clients.
Instead of getting those who want the fastest and cheapest solution, target the people who understand the value of a custom, well-created website and care about getting real results for their business.
This is definitely a process, so it won’t all change right away. But adding at least one package to your website with a developer’s pricing included will help start to catch those people as they become part of your audience.
Hire a developer on retainer
And last, you can choose to hire a developer on retainer, rather than hiring them for the development of full websites.
If you’re not quite ready to dive into paying thousands for the development of a custom site, you can instead have them available to jump in and help out a few hours a month for a couple hundred dollars.
This way, you have the freedom to include features in your designs that go above and beyond your capabilities or you can include a few extra customizations in a semi-custom theme for a client without the headache of having to scroll through Google results and figure it out on your own.
This is a great balance between allowing your prices to remain lower and getting your clients better results while making your life a whole lot easier.
Decide what option is right for you
I hope you can see that there are a lot of options out there if you’re not quite ready to bring a developer on for fully custom websites. You can choose to forgo using a developer completely or you can start to phase them into the work you do.
If you want to learn more about working with a developer on retainer, click here to see how we can work together for anywhere from 2 to 8 hours per month. I’d be available for coding and tech issues that you don’t want to waste time figuring out.