Are Low-Cost WordPress Projects Worth Your Time?

If you are freelance and looking for new clients, you will likely find plenty of opportunities to do low-cost WordPress projects. But associating the term “low cost” with WordPress seems like a contradiction.

Certainly, it may accurately describe what the customer is willing to pay. But this does not speak of the challenges involved. These projects always tend to be more than meets the eye.

I have spent over a decade working in the WordPress space. And I can’t remember a single project that didn’t have multiple reviews and at least some customization. Even a website that uses a third-party theme and some specific plugins will need some modifications. This process includes projects at each pricing level.

It begs the question: Are low-cost WordPress projects worth your time? The answer depends on what exactly you are looking for.

Do not expect to improve your financial situation

Building websites at a discount rarely ends up getting you rich – at least not at the lower end of the scale. And despite its massive ecosystem, using WordPress for these projects only complicates it.

The theory behind low pricing is often based on two things:

  • Work on a larger volume of projects;
  • provide profitable profits;

This conflicts with a typical WordPress site. There is an endless array of themes and plugins to choose from (we don’t include custom work from the get-go, as this will likely run on a small budget). Thus, there are a lot of potential modifications that a customer can request.

To make a good profit, it seems that the designer needs to be very specific about what their baseline includes. Otherwise, the line between built-in services and bulges can become blurred.

Not to mention the time spent on building and revision processes. There may not be enough hours in the day to work out the amount of projects needed to earn a healthy amount.

Coin piggy bank.

You will learn a few things about WordPress

Every project – no matter the price – is a learning opportunity. Putting a website together on a budget offers its own unique experience in the field.

Since we’re talking about low-cost projects, the opportunity to dive into custom code will likely be limited. That’s unless you’re dealing with things for the sole purpose of learning.

Even if not, the knowledge you gain can still be valuable. For example, you will have a lot of single time with the WordPress backend. This provides a basis for how the dashboard works, where there are different settings, and lots of practice with the Gutenberg block editor.

Then there is also the huge benefit of learning about WordPress plugins. Building these types of websites often means relying on third-party code. You will have a chance to find specialized plugins that you can use now and in the future. This is a great resource to have at your disposal as you go through many projects.

In addition, you will also be able to identify pain points that appear during the creation process. Knowing, for example, what a particular subject can and cannot do has value. The same goes for plugins and WordPress itself.

Someone writing in a notebook.

An opportunity to build your portfolio

If your portfolio is a little small in size, engaging with smaller sites can be an effective way to boost it. This is especially important when you are in the early stages of your career, when it can be difficult to find new clients.

However, you’ll want to approach this area with some caution. Adding low-budget WordPress projects to your portfolio can be a double-edged sword.

On the other hand, displaying your work proudly can legitimize your brand. The potential client will see what you have done and trust that you are qualified.

The downside lies in how these projects are understood. If a particular website seems low on budget, you can set yourself up for dressing. Organizations may see you as someone they can turn to for cheap rates, which may not be ideal for your long-term growth.

Therefore, it is best to use some discretion regarding the projects that go into your portfolio. Include those who have something unique to offer, but perhaps exclude those who have a lower level.

A woman working at the computer.

Know what you’re getting into

The decision to work on low-cost WordPress sites or not is a very personal one. A lot depends on where you are in your career and what you are looking to achieve.

Seasoned designers and developers may not have many reasons to play in this space. Although some might see it as a way to fill in some gaps in their schedule or help out a friend.

If you are just starting out, there is a lot of value in building one or two cheap websites. The more you can work with WordPress, the more efficient you will be at using a Content Management System (CMS). This experience may bear fruit in the future.

Besides, very few of us start working on high quality projects. The normal course tends to start small and move up over time. This can better prepare you for the responsibilities and advanced knowledge required to work with larger organizations.

However, it is important that you know what you are getting into. If you’re comfortable with the limitations that come with low-cost projects, don’t be afraid to jump in.

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