How to make money as a WordPress developer? An easy guide in 2021.

Hi, I’m Praneeth Kumar.

In this blog, you will learn How to make money as a WordPress developer.

So without further ado let’s get started.

Here is a 30000-foot view of the blog post.

What is a WordPress developer?

seo techniques

WordPress developers are people who manage both frontend and backend of creating wordpress website including important aspects of wordpress like themes and plugins,

WordPress developers are well versed in programming languages like PHP, JavaScript. Html and CSS.

how to make money as a wordpress developer?

Here is a quick list of how you can make money as a wordpress developer.

  1. Develop and sell plugins.
  2. Develop and sell themes.
  3. Start a blog or a YouTube channel.
  4. Create and sell a course.
  5. Work as a freelancer.
  6. Setup, manage and design Websites.
  7. Sell reseller-managed WP hosting.

Let’s see how you can make money in detail.

  1. Develop and sell plugins.

One of the first things that you can do to make money by being a wordpress developer is to develop and sell plugins on WordPress CMS.

Look currently there are over 58,000 wordpress plugins registered in the directory of plugins section of WordPress.

There is definitely a wordpress plugin for any feature you would like to add on your website mostly for free.

It is hard for you to find situations where you don’t have any plugins to solve the problem or add the feature for your wordpress website.

But it is easy to find situations where even though you have found a plugin on WordPress CMS to add a particular feature but the plugin you have is either not good, not updated or not supported well.

Thanks to WordPress CMS being open source,

You can custom code a plugin by yourself as you are the WordPress developer itself.

Look, As per wiki,

WordPress is used by more than 60 million websites, including 39% of the top 10 million websites as of January 2021,

And the number of people using WordPress to create and manage Websites is increasing everyday,

So there is no shortage of customers if you create a really good, helpful, with lots of features plugin.

For example, let’s see how you can make a good amount of money by contributing to the WordPress community through plugins as a wp developer by considering an incident,

Yoast SEO plugin was ruling the SEO plugin industry in WordPress for so long,

Until the end of 2018 when a plugin called rankmath was introduced to the WordPress community. 

Since then rankmath has been downloaded and rated as the best SEO plugin leaving yoast plugin far behind.

What made rankmath go faster than yoast to become the best SEO plugin for 2021 and beyond was that it offered lots of features, I mean alot for FREE.

In rankmath you have features like,

  • Redirections.
  • Schema markup.
  • Broken links.
  • Optimised for over 5 Keywords in on-page SEO.

There are so many features in rankmath which if not you would have to install multiple plugins to have other than rankmath in your wordpress website.

Because of that and,

It has a single premium plan with unlimited Websites and tons of features not the same in Yoast.

Click here to read a complete comparison between rank math and the Yoast plugin.

This is the reason why rank math has become the best WordPress plugin for SEO over yoast within a short span of time.

This is a great lesson, a success story for all those wordpress developers who want to earn money through plugin development.

It is a simple model,

Hook the WordPress community with your plugin offering lots of features that many other plugins don’t have so that yours is better and create a premium plan with lots of more features and support for the plugin.

You can either give lifetime access to premium features of the plugin by subscribing once or renew a subscription on either a monthly or yearly basis.

If you have a great team and support system to look after the plugin updates and manage users and customer service, 

You can easily sell your plugins at a plugin marketplace called code Canyon.

In the initial period of releasing your new plugin on wordpress directory, 

You will have to actively work on seeking for positive reviews and comments from users which can help for more installations future.

This way you can generate a passive income recurring source of money.

  1. Create and sell themes.

are you frustrated with wordpress

Another popular way through which you can earn money through wordpress development is by selling the heart of WordPress which is themes.

Yeah I call plugins the soul of WordPress whereas themes are the heart of wordpress.

Just like plugins you also can find lots of free themes to install in WordPress.

As per scepter marketing,

There are over 31000 themes in WordPress.

But if you see which are the most popular ones,

  • Astra.
  • Generate press.
  • Divi.
  • Oceanwp.
  • Avada.

And only a few dozen others,

This means, even if the number of themes is too big, 

Most of them are not that great in terms of,

  • Customization.
  • Mobile-friendliness.
  • Speed.

This is another great option for those of you who want to earn money being a WordPress developer.

If you create an excellent theme in terms of,

Customization features, optimized for speed and SEO as most themes lack it and there is a huge factor in Website speed, mobile-friendly, good customer support and,

Regularly updated at low costs which meet needs of a specific group of the audience not all WP users this way your audience gets targeted and easily monetized.

Your theme can get included in the next best WP themes because it is better than most other themes.

You can easily sell your WordPress themes in theme market places like theme palace or create your own e-commerce store where you sell the theme yourself.

If you prefer selling your theme in existing marketplaces then you would have to give a Commission to the Marketplace in each sale of your theme but you will gain a lot of exposure and marketing for your theme because of the traffic of that marketplace.

If you choose to sell themes on your own eCommerce store,

You don’t have to share the profit of your theme sales with anyone but you also need to sell themes all by yourself bringing initial traffic through SEO, SEM, and SMM.

I personally would suggest you start with selling on a Marketplace so that your theme gets popularity and exposure after that you can start selling it on your own eCommerce store and your own website as your theme is already well known and popular.

Just like selling plugins, you need a team and customer support system to sell premium themes for WP users but you can easily automate the process and build a recurring source of passive income.

  1. Start a blog or a YouTube channel.

how to make money as a wordpress developer

Being a wordpress developer you will be having a lot of knowledge regarding how to use WordPress and solve issues,

As the popularity of WordPress CMS is increasing every day with lots of people using WordPress CMS increasing,

The audience is large to capture,

Now that you know how to use WordPress as a developer, you can share your knowledge and expertise in WordPress using a blog or a YouTube channel.

If you think blogging is dead then let me remind you of something very interesting about blogging,

  • 3.5 billion searches happen on Google every day.
  • The volume of Google searches grows by roughly 10% every year.
  • 77% of internet users read blogs.
  • Blogs are 5th most trusted source of information online.
  • 60% of people buy products after reading blogs.

Sources: wordstream, optimonster.

What is the job of Google?

To find the best content and information about a subject on the Internet and show it to the users after the google search.

When the number of people using Google is increasing every day, how come blogging can die, learn the future of Blogging here.

Blogging is not dead rather blogging is more important today than ever before because almost all the work today happens on the internet,

Mainly due to the Corona pandemic that restricted people to move outside for work, shopping, eating, and entertainment.

Also with the growing popularity of WordPress,

Most people are using the WordPress CMS,

The trend shows the same,

You can write blogs about WordPress related things and solve different questions and issues and make money through many ways like,

  • Ads.
  • Affiliate marketing.
  • Selling products.

Click here to see how you can make money blogging.

You can read my step-by-step guide on how to start a blog on WordPress here.

You can read my other blogs related to blogging to get familiar with it as my blog is about helping bloggers and entrepreneurs as you succeed online.

Talking about the YouTube channel,

YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google and the most visited social media platform after Facebook.

Here are some quick facts about YouTube.

  • People watch more than a billion hours of video on YouTube every day.
  • 70% of viewers bought from a brand after seeing it on YouTube.
  • The number of channels that earn $10,000 USD per year or more on YouTube grew by 50%, year over year
  • 68% of YouTube users watch YouTube help make a Purchase Decision.
  • The top four content categories watched by YouTube users are comedy, music, entertainment/pop culture, and “how to.”

Sources: social blade, hootsuite.

The myth is now solved that educational content doesn’t work well on YouTube but,

YouTube is a great place for posting educational content mainly regarding WordPress teaching people how to do different things of WordPress as how-to is a popular content category in YouTube as per the above facts,

You can make these videos about WordPress on YouTube and earn money through following ways,

  • YouTube AdSense ads.
  • Sell physical and digital products.
  • Affiliate marketing.
  • Create a membership channel.

Both starting a blog as well as a YouTube channel is a great option to earn money by being a WordPress developer and teaching people how to use WordPress the right way because many people think starting a wordpress website is too technical thing which it ain’t anything like that.

You might need to invest money in blogging like domain and hosting to get started where you don’t need any investment to get started with YouTube to create a channel in a few minutes with a Gmail account for free.

You can easily record and upload videos through cell phones and work that way as a matter of fact many big YouTubers initially started the YouTube journey by recording videos on cell phones.

  1. Create and sell a course.

sell a course

Because you are a developer and have good knowledge in WordPress.

This is another option through which you can make money,

Just get on your cell phone camera,

Record a bunch of videos on anything you know about WordPress, using it right way dealing and solving issues and bugs, etc.

If you don’t have enough time to create and sell a theme in plugin yourself, As a WordPress developer you can teach other people how to do it in a digital course and sell it online on platforms like udemy.

There are millions of people who want to learn the skills of WordPress and are willing to pay for it for the right people.

Because people understand very well that skills matter a lot in today’s world more than degrees and certificates and also because of the sheer popularity of WordPress.

As I said earlier, you can either upload your online course on platforms like Udemy, Lynda, Coursera and share your profit to the platform but get higher exposure in return or start your own website and the online store and sell it yourself without sharing the profit with anyone.

The choice is yours but I would again suggest you start with an online courses platform like Udemy because they give you some exposure, free clients, and marketing of your courses,

After spending some time building name, trust, and authority in the subject, you can easily start your own website and sell your course there.

  1. Work as a freelancer.

affiliate marketing vs freelancing

By being a wordpress developer you can be a freelancer as well and offer many services related to WordPress like the following one,

  • Improve and increase website loading speed with the best practices and procedures.
  • Improve the security of the websites of WordPress with the latest techniques and settings.
  • Find and solve issues of wordpress like plugin conflict, Website breakdown, updates, PHP level upgrades.
  • Recover hacked website of WordPress and get it back to normal.

You can easily post your skills, build a profile and start working on popular freelance platforms like Fiverr, Upwork and freelancer.

Depending upon your portfolio and experience in the field,

You can make money either by hourly rates or from task to task.

According to Upwork, the average freelance WordPress developer on their platform charges anywhere from $20-$100.

The earnings depend on platforms, clients, tasks and your portfolio.

  1. Setup, manage and design websites

Ahrefs and semrush keyword tools helping in seo

As a wordpress developer, 

This is another good opportunity for you to make money from WordPress,

Many small businesses and people want to start a blog on WordPress because they understand the importance of blogging for their business, 

But many of those people do not have much technical knowledge of setting up and starting a blog and a website or online store, 

Hence they head over to Website setup services which you can offer.

This is just like freelancing but it targets a specific group of audience,

You can offer the following services,

  • Setting up a WordPress blog or website.
  • Managing existing WordPress websites.
  • Designing and customizing the website.

Interestingly,

With this strategy,

If you get your clients to create a blog for them by you,

You can ask them to buy website hosting through hosting companies like Bluehost, Siteground using your affiliate links so that you can offer bonus services for free in their website setup services.

This way,

You earn money from both affiliate marketing which is sending your clients to purchase web hosting service through your link and also make money by offering blog setup services which is just basic works like,

  • Installing WordPress in host.
  • Setting up WordPress.
  • Installing themes and plugins.

You can upsell the clients with higher services like,

  • SEO of WordPress Website.
  • Customization of the theme of WordPress website and home pages.
  • Speed up WordPress website.
  • E-commerce integration.
  • Custom website development.
  • Newsletter integration.
  • Social media integrations.
  • Plugins configuration.

It is great if you have a blog on WordPress then you can easily start offering these services or you can find jobs on freelancing websites like Freelancer and Upwork.

Offering services on freelance websites means you will have to give a certain percentage of money to the freelance websites,

From what you make but it can give you a lot of name as an individual, knowledge, and experience.

Along with setting up, managing, and designing wordpress website you can also offer wordpress website maintenance and support offers where you can get into people’s websites with their permission and manage things like,

The reason this thing is very popular is that blogging is in its nature very passive business model,

People write and publish a bunch of blogs on their websites and leave without ever logging into the website for a long time,

Meanwhile, they work on other projects but they know they have to take care of website maintenance because of which they head over to such services of WordPress Website maintenance.

Along with setup, management and design, and development of wordpress Websites, you can also offer website maintenance services on freelance websites like freelancer and Upwork.

  1. Sell reseller managed WordPress hosting

This one is quite different from what we have learned so far in this blog about how to make money as a wordpress developer,

You can start selling your own hosting service for wordpress websites.

With the increasing popularity of wordpress CMS,

As People are using wordpress more nowadays,

Compared to the past, there are more wordpress managed hosting companies are there at present and the number is increasing,

Some of the top wordpress managed hosting companies are,

Similarly, You can start your own managed WordPress hosting,

It may sound very technical and expensive but it ain’t like that,

You can choose a reseller hosting service.

It works this way,

Reseller hosting is a type of web hosting service where the hosting provider rents its storage, servers, space, and bandwidth to small businesses and these small businesses sell it to users.

Here the small businesses can be WordPress developers in this case, 

It works in a way that,

The one who purchases hosting from the Hosting provider is called a reseller because he is actually buying the hosting service, space from the hosting provider, and selling it to small business owners and users.

Interestingly in reseller hosting, 

Even though you don’t have to invest huge money in servers infrastructure and services but the hosting services you offer to people will be sold under your name like you are the real owner of the hosting service,

You just need some initial investment to buy reseller hosting packages from popular web hosting companies like,

  • A2 web hosting company.
  • Hostgator web hosting company.
  • Green geeks web hosting company.

You can offer web hosting service managed for WordPress CMS including some features mainly focused for WordPress users like,

  • Pre-installed WordPress.
  • Automatic wordpress security updates.
  • Automatic wordpress plugins and themes updated.
  • Daily WordPress backups.
  • Improved wordpress security and speed features.
  • Easy staging for WordPress websites.
  • Free website migrations.

People prefer wordpress managed to host services over shared hosting services because it makes managing their WordPress website easy with lots of features helpful for WordPress websites(some of them mentioned above).

You can easily start selling this wordpress managed reseller hosting services with very little investment in buying hosting and,

Do marketing with a team of wordpress developers to manage Websites and customer support services and possibly create a recurring source of income.

Learn more about how to start a reseller hosting here and the pros and cons of reseller hosting here.

These are all the ways you can actually make money by being a wordpress developer.

With that said let’s conclude the blog post.

Ending remarks.

There you go I have answered all the ways you can earn money by becoming a wordpress developer.

Do comment down what you think about how else you can make money by being a wordpress developer in the comment section below.

Share the blog post with your family and friends if you have found it helpful.

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Read my other blogs,

I will catch you next time till then,

Keep learning and keep growing.