WordPress, the world’s top content management system (CMS) and web platform, supports more than 30% of the websites around the world.
As a free and open source system, getting started with WordPress is easy. Once you have your website up and running, you have access to free and low-cost themes and plugins to help modify your website to meet your needs and requirements.
There may be requirements that can’t be filled by an existing theme or plugin. In cases like this, you may need to customize your WordPress installation. A freelance resource like a WordPress Developer may be the best solution.
We’ll help you find the right freelance resource and keep your project on budget. Let’s take a look at the current state of the WordPress developer salary, and see what factors are impacting the market.
Researching WordPress Developer Salary
How much is the standard rate for a WordPress developer salary?
Answering that question is more difficult than you might think. Companies have evaluated standard hourly rates to determine an average WordPress developer salary, but many focus their research on a limited market perspective.
WPEngine conducted research on developer resources for WordPress. They analyzed hourly rates but focused on a few job sites in the US which doesn’t provide a comprehensive view of the freelance market.
Upwork, another website that focuses on freelance creative resources including WordPress developers, provides hourly rates, but they aren’t entirely accurate. These rates are often further negotiated after the employer contacts the freelancer.
The work being done will also impact the WordPress developer salary. Implementers, or freelance resources who can take an existing solution and craft it to your requirements, are less specialized and will command a lower salary.
An actual developer, with experience using PHP and other programming languages to create custom themes and plugins, will command a higher salary. The term, “WordPress developer,” encompasses both skillsets.
This can lead to a wide range of WordPress developer salary that a prospective client must navigate.
WordPress Developer Salary and the Market
Let’s go over the results of the research.
Looking over Upwork, WordPress developers, both implementers and actual developers, will earn between $20/hour and $100/hour or more.
PayScale, a company that provides average salary data for businesses and employees, reports an average salary of more than $50,000/year for WordPress developers. Experienced, front-end developers who can manage database work command significantly more – as much as $80,000/year.
WPEngine researched freelancer hourly rates to determine the average WordPress developer salary and found most charge between $25/hour to $35/hour. Many will charge as little a $15/hour, while the most experienced and successful developers can charge as much as $400/hour.
Another website that posts rates for freelance resources, People Per Hour, lists WordPress developer salary rates between $20/hour and $60/hour, with an average of $36/hour.
It’s a wide range of potential salaries that could potentially confuse someone looking for a freelance resource for a website.
A Closer Look at the WordPress Developer Salary
There are other factors which can impact the salary, including the market and the work to be done.
The salary for a WordPress developer in California or New York City will be higher than the salary for a developer based in Idaho or India. In fact, many companies that service WordPress work remotely, and may have developers based around the world.
Clients may not understand the difference between an implementer and a developer, leading to confusion.
Even with the wide range of rates, compared to other website systems like Joomla and Drupal, a WordPress developer salary is low.
Factors Impacting the WordPress Developer Salary
The idea that so much of the benefit of WordPress is available for free, including the platform itself and many of the best themes and plugins, may also be artificially depressing the salary of WordPress developers. Many clients may mistakenly believe free software should be serviced by low-cost work.
Another factor that may lower the average WordPress developer salary is the job board. Competition between freelancers becomes a race to the bottom. The posted rates may be low, and during negotiation the salary will increase.
The market may also be feeling pressure from inexperienced freelancers looking to earn their first job. They may not understand the value of their work and have set their rates too low. This drives the market rate down.
A Final Word on WordPress Developer Salary
When starting your business, keep in mind a low-cost freelance resource or WordPress developer may not be the best option for success.
Determine your requirements before hiring anyone, and let the requirements drive the project. Look for WordPress developers with experience meeting your requirements. Ask for references and review their work.
In the end, your business will benefit from the right WordPress developer working on your project, rather than the least expensive.