It’s no secret that WordPress is the fastest growing content management system (CMS) platform on the web. As of this writing, WordPress has a 54% market share of all websites that use a CMS. As users continue to flock to WordPress, there is a massive demand for WordPress’ products and services and potential or Armenian developers.
If you’re already a WordPress expert, your products and/or services are part of a rapidly growing market. If not, you need to join the WordPress community and turbo charge you business. In fact, over the past few years, I’ve seen the launch and success of businesses that are built entirely only around WordPress.
In this article I would like to present various business models that have proved successful around the world and hold great potential for the Armenian tech sector. We’ll look at the mechanics of each model and how they differ in terms of craft, operation, benefits and downsides. If you’re a designer or developer looking to leverage your expertise in WordPress to build a business, let’s just say you have quite a few options to consider.
1. WordPress Design/Development Consultancy
The most common way for a web designer/developer to build a business around WordPress is to offer web design services specializing in WordPress CMS sites. Your client base would be businesses, organizations and individuals looking to establish a web presence with a user-friendly way to update and manage their site content.
Like any consultancy, this business model is time-based. Either you charge an hourly rate or quote flat project fees that are derived by estimating the amount of time a project will take. While a time-based model may be more difficult to scale, there are two factors that allow you to gradually raise your rates: your skill level and the demand for your services. Both should improve naturally as your consultancy progresses.
Plus, the fact that you use WordPress speeds up your development process by providing amazing base functionality, a strong community to support your craft, and a user-friendly platform to build on top of. Using WordPress is a highly efficient way to capitalize on your time-based business model.
There are many online markets you should review, which you can build your business on and were listed by us and a great starting point: Armenian talent reaching foreign, larger markets. According to Freelancer.com, over US$6,926,477 of WordPress services have been sold. There is also a vast abundance of WordPress consultancies out there. CodePoet maintains a worldwide directory of WordPress specialists. FreelanceSwitch is always a good place to find freelancers as well. Many of the
WordPress Theme Customization
WordPress themes have become wildly popular among both users and web developers. One of the most common requests from clients is to have their WordPress theme customized to fully suit their needs. Freelance web designers who are just starting out may find this to be a great market to serve.
You might specialize in customizing themes from one particular theme provider. For example, WooThemes has a listing of “Affiliated Woo Workers.” Or theme customizations may fall into the general mix of WordPress services you offer. We’ve also seen specialized shops like TweakMyTheme that exclusively offer theme customization services.
If your skills are more specialized, you may find steady work as a subcontractor for agencies and other consultants. For example, if you’re a WordPress plugin developer who lacks design skills, you can offer your PHP expertise to designers or agencies looking for specific functionality built into a larger WordPress site.
One benefit of subcontracting is that all of your jobs are collaborations with design/dev professionals rather than the end client. There tends to be less stress and easier communication when the people you work with “speak the language.” You can generally expect more professionalism this way as well.
2. Web Design/Development Agency
After working for several years as a freelance consultant for clients inside and outside of Armenia, you may reach a point when you want to grow your business. But with global competition, raising your rates might be difficult. The logical next step is to hire full-time employees or subcontractors and transition to an agency type operation. But WordPress offers you an alternative path.
Not only can it serve as your primary web development platform for as a stable and rapid development framework, but you can look to the vast WordPress community to find new hires and collaborators. By supplying you with it’s vast amount of resources, you will be able to greatly expand your business without having to expand your company employees and expenses.
Having a community of resources from around the world, allows you to multiply your earnings per hour or take on more projects simultaneously. Many of these resources may not even be available in Armenia and many are even FREE! Most importantly, you can also deliver a better final product since it was built with well engineered and test plugins like WooCommerce.
3. WordPress Themes Sales
Among the most prominent business models in the world of WordPress is theme sales. Today’s market is flooded with WordPress theme shops and the competition is fierce. The massive growth of the WordPress user-base means thousands of new users are entering the market every month. But for Armenian software developers this gives you a major advantage you don’t have now. The buyers of themes are buying a finished product and buy the theme based on the “Look & Feel” not who the developer is. Or where the developer is from. Many of the developers for WordPress are former communist countries like Armenia.
In the world of WordPress themes, there are quite a few options to consider as you plan your business:
Independent Theme Shops
One way to enter the themes business is to start up your own independent ecommerce website to sell your themes. There is a lot to consider before diving in. First, building an effective ecommerce site is a tough task in and of itself. You’re also responsible for all of the marketing costs and customer database infrastructure. Of course, the benefit is you get to keep 100% of the revenue from your themes.
Another benefit to selling WordPress themes independently is the freedom to try out various pricing models, such as simple one-time theme sales, membership to access all themes (a recurring revenue model), or free themes with premium support.
WordPress Theme Marketplaces
For most of the Armenian developers interested in designing and selling WordPress themes, but aren’t ready to build and market their own independent ecommerce website, joining a popular marketplace could be the way to go.
The benefits of selling on a marketplace is that you get to focus on designing and supporting themes while the marketplace handles the bulk of your marketing and traffic generation. The downside is most marketplaces take a significant commission on sales and usually don’t give you control over theme pricing. Another potential downside is your themes are listed right alongside many competitors so it can be easy to get lost in the mix. But with great products shown on a high-traffic stage, the pros can certainly outweigh the cons.
4. Plugin Development & Support
Premium plugins may offer more of an opportunity for newcomers than theme sales. While they are very popular with users, there are simply less plugin developers in the space. But the market is growing rapidly and given that most of Armenian programmer have more experience in functionality rather than User Interface.
If you or your team have the development chops to create awesome functionality built on top of WordPress, plugins could be the business to look at. Like WordPress themes, one route is to independently sell your plugin through your own ecommerce site. Gravity Forms, Plugin Buddy, and Cart66 have shown that this business model can be successful. You can also release your plugins on marketplaces such as CodeCanyon, WP Plugins, and Mojo Themes (they also have plugins).
One potential challenge in a plugins business might be customer support. This can prove to be even more difficult than supporting themes since there are so many compatibility variables. But with the right support team in place and a great, carefully developed product, the customer support challenge can be overcome.