5 Mistake WordPress Beginner Freelancers Make

The mistakes are

  • Not investing into own domain and hosting
  • Not having an email at your domain
  • Using nulled/cracked WordPress plugins and themes to save money
  • Copy/paste the same message to multiple clients
  • Not having a portfolio

Not investing into own domain and hosting

Having your own domain name and hosting is absolutely necessary if you are at least semi-serious about your WordPress freelancing career.

The more descriptive the site better it will give an idea what you are offering.

Your site should preferably end in .com, or .net

  • your-name.com
  • the-service-you-are-offering.com

You can use NameCheap to get your domain name.

Not having an email at your domain

It may not look like the most important thing but it’s professional to have yourname@yourdomain.com.

Using nulled/cracked WordPress plugins and themes to save money

In the WordPress eco system the plugins are usually licensed as GPL which allows modification and distribution. It is not illegal to change the code and sell it.

There are sites that offer plugins and themes that have their license related code removed or turned off. Those sites resell other people’s work at a usually very low cost.

We’ve seen sites offering plugins at $5/month. This sounds like a great deal but it’s really a bad idea for multiple reasons.

First, it hurts the original authors that have put in lots of effort to code the plugin or theme. It takes enormous time and money investment to create, launch and maintain a WordPress plugin/theme.

Second, there’s a chance that the plugin/theme may have a virus or a trojan horse silently hibernating until it is waken up from a central location.

The virus or the trojan horse could be used to simulate visitors to sites or to try to overload a particular sites.

Just imagine if 10,000 sites are just sitting and waiting for a command to make a request to a given site at a scheduled moment. That spike in traffic would make the site unresponsive for some time unless you use a Managed WordPress Hosting that is prepared to handle that sudden traffic.

Third, having a virus could potentially steal your or your client’s data.

The virus could be just collecting data as new orders come in and forward it to 3rd party without your knowledge.

Copy/paste the same message to multiple clients

We get it you want to be able to message (spam) as many potential clients as possible to ensure that you won’t starve. I have been on both sides.

When I first started as a WordPress freelancer I have prepared a message that would paste on projects but then asked myself how can I differentiate myself and also show the client that I am a great consultant to work with.

Well, I started asking relevant project related questions.

Sometimes clients are so sick of people not reading their project information page that they have put a secret word that the candidates have to submit to ensure that they have read the whole document.

Not having a portfolio

How would you stand out from other developers?

One of the best ways to showcase your skills is to have a portfolio that shows what you are capable of.

Lots of designers/developers just send a list of links to their previous customers but that doesn’t really tell or show what work you have done because there are so many moving parts.

As I client I would like to know:

  • Your programming style. Do you write comments.
  • Do you write code that is extendable
  • Is the code secure or full of security glitches
  • Was the site customized and how or a new template was imported
  • Were there any optimization done

You can use source code hosting services such as GitHub or Bitbucket to manage your theme(s) or plugin(s) source code. You can easily send your portfolio link to the clients. They can browse through the code and see for themselves how good you are.

You have to make sure that either the project is set to public or you have added the client to the repository in order to view the code.

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