Since I’ve become a WordPress custom plugin developer I’ve seen many discussing and wondering why PHP developers and specifically WordPress plugin developers are so poorly compensated.

I personally thoroughly enjoy developing custom WordPress plugins especially large scale plugins that incorporate one or more APIs whether consuming an API or proving a custom API. However at the end of the day or end of the year I’ve found it difficult to make ends meet financially.

After working three years as a freelance custom WordPress plugin developer I’ve come to the conclusion that there are an abundance of WordPress designers/developers/freelancers/agencies etc. that are very much experts at setting up WordPress, knowing the popular plugins to install to make a great site. The issue I constantly ran into was when one of these needed additional functionality added that could not be obtained from an off-the-shelf plugin. I think many of these are attempting to write PHP and/or javascript code and are willing to learn but since they are spending so much time doing other tasks they never really get there. They then try to hire someone like myself to jump in and do the custom coding but within the already pre-approved budget they have negotiated with their client. Which is largely based on their pay rate and has not accounted for the added cost of hiring a software developer.

The direct clients I’ve had have been much better experiences.

As I move into Python Flask I’m hoping to gain more direct clients and especially more corporate clients.