Starting Out

Starting out as a web developer isn’t easy; markets are saturated, people will always look to undercut you and good clients, the type that value your work and understand the complexity of it for the price, are very hard to come by.

It’s difficult to carve out a successful formula that works all of the time and many have to rely on simply putting the hours in to create quality material that stands out.

However, despite there being a lack of definitive methods to help you become the best web developer there is, there are a number of things to avoid if you don’t want to drive your clients away.

Please keep reading for five of the biggest no-no’s an up and coming web developer can make….

Over promise but under deliver

A potential client was impressed with your website, they love the range of services you offer and you’re finally about to have the first all-important meeting. Surely you should oversell yourself a little bit to wow them and ensure you bag yourself a new customer?

Don’t! By all means drive home the point about your brilliant service and levels of skills and experience but remain cautious; one of the worst things you can do is set unrealistic targets and deadlines without meeting them!

Take your time to sensibly analyse the levels of work required and if you have a realistic deadline in your head then add to it, it’s always best to leave yourself some leeway in case an unforeseen problem arises.

You’re pretty much uncontactable

You probably read that heading and thought ‘duh’, obviously people need to be able to contact you and receive a swift response.

However you’d be surprised at how much business can actually be lost as a result of slow replies and poor service.

Make sure you’re on top of communications; even if you’re snowed under and can’t dedicate time to a detailed email simply send a holding reply as this shows you’re thinking about the customer.

Also make sure you strike the right balance in terms of methods of communication and outlining availability. Set boundaries, make a clear contacts page and leave your clients with a clear idea of the best times to get in touch.

You’re not charging enough

When you’re starting out as a web developer it probably seems like a good idea to offer cheap prices in order to entice customers in.

While this can help you build up your portfolio, it can create problems for your business in the future, for example clients will likely only request basic sites that aren’t a good showcase for your services, in the process severely hampering your chances of finding better paid work.

Low prices can also start alarm bells ringing in the minds of prospective clients who believe that quality and money correlate – low prices = low quality. While you know this not to be true and it’s your strategy, be mindful of under-pricing yourself out of the market.

You don’t have clear payment terms

This relates to four key points, below, to do with payment terms which you should ensure you have covered:
• Make sure you have standard contracts that protect both you and your clients
• Ensure it’s clear that you require down payment before you start working
• Only send a proper quote after you’ve thoroughly assessed your client’s needs
• Make sure your contract includes provisions for additional work
If you aren’t following the principles above you should look to incorporate them as soon as possible; not doing so could prove very damaging in the future.

Our payment terms are:
40% upfront,
50% once designs have been signed off and work is underway,
Final 10% will be invoiced when the site is ready to go live!

Your projects are a nightmare to maintain

WordPress is a brilliant tool to use because you can add plugins, themes and an array of customisations, making sites beautifully bespoke and unique.

However don’t forget that when you’re handing sites over your clients are the ones who will have to contend and work with it going forward.

The easier it is to maintain and tinker with the happier your customers will be and you’re less likely to run into problems down the line, although a hiccup or two is understandable.

Also, a lot of web work comes from approvals so if you leave your customers satisfied you stand a much better chance of them passing your details on. Simple.


We could write a fancy summary here but instead we’ll leave you with five key points to bear in mind if you’re starting out as a WordPress developer:

1. Don’t overpromise
2. Do make yourself easily contactable
3. Don’t undersell your services
4. Do outline clear payment terms
5. Don’t overcomplicate projects

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