Contract Work & Current WordPress

Below is some very unoriginal whinging and I sound like a curmudgeon, but I’m saying it anyway because it’s true and to move past it.

I get it, things change, code changes, products change, competition enters, and people gotta eat. It’s disheartening to admit though that I don’t seem to be able to make clients happy and make a paycheck with WordPress work anymore. that the WordPress community that made this amazing industry with open standards and collaboration feels like it’s now innovating more on garden walls than anything else. None of my last four gigs can be called successes, to varying degrees because of this.

Competing with studios and other WordPress shops has never been that difficult – there has always been smaller-budget work I could pick up – that’s not where I’m getting killed.

The Indian doppelgänger over on UpWork and their low rates doesn’t seem to be the problem either. I’ve found screening for US-based work can reveal decent work over there- as of last month anyway.

It’s the WordPress cartels. The hosts’ whose managed hosting product is designed to throw wrenches into workflows and sell the in-house “premium” support. The “commercial” themes that take accepted best practices as an affront to slamming the door behind them on the lock-in.

Example, and the impetus for this little rant: a while back I found myself needing to verify FOUR different cache settings to ensure the server was still writing changes. (host, theme, browser extension, and the good ol’ URL hack). This was just for minor fixes to a “current” “commercial” theme the client bought.

Those air quotes are because said theme also “didn’t support” child themes, meaning they actively sabotaged and obfuscated the loading order of stylesheets. This was a big popular product.

I’m like a nomad mechanic that has to first fight and defeat the existing shop staff and manager before being able to look at the car. It sucks.

WordPress used to feel like home, not being behind enemy lines.