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Daniel Shaw · WordPress Developer Wellington, New Zealand

WordPress developer — how can I help you?

Many web designers offer “WordPress” as a solution. The information below can help you understand if I’m a good choice for your project.

What I do

  • Web developer for custom WordPress themes, blocks, and plugins
  • New feature development
  • Performance optimisation and technical SEO for improved organic placement in Google search
  • Urgent recovery if your website has gone offline or has been hacked
  • General maintenance, troubleshooting, and WordPress ecosystem support

I can’t help if…

  • You want to create a website using a visual page builder tool like Divi, WP Bakery, Beaver Builder, Oxygen, or similar
  • You’re starting a project with a pre-made theme from somewhere like Envato or Themeforest
  • You have a subscription website (read about the difference between and
  • You’d like to build a Google AMP website (honestly, please don’t do this…)
  • You need help with social media platforms or Google Adwords
  • You need a logo designed
  • You need graphic design for print
  • You’re seeking general IT support

So… what is a WordPress developer?

Confession time: I’m actually a front-end developer. Though I’m a WordPress development expert, my skill set is based in best-practice modern front-end development. This means I can offer more resilient solutions than a typical web design or marketing agency offering WordPress as an option.

Generally, I’m the type of front-end developer focused mostly on things like “interaction design & SVG, CSS/SASS architecture, WordPress themes, UX and a11y.” Despite this, I’m well-grounded in modern JavaScript: from vanilla, to frameworks like Vue and Svelte, to the tooling ecosystem of webpack and Docker.

Being heavily invested in WordPress as a CMS means I’ve worked with PHP a lot—and, increasingly, JavaScript for custom blocks—with occasional trips to the more structured lands of Laravel & Lumen. I use Composer and write unit tests on occasion.

I’m not a ‘traditional’ designer

My primary activity involves bridging the gap between technology and design. However, due to the small scale of the projects I work on, all previous WordPress projects linked from this site have been “designed” by myself.

I prefer to quote you for the total cost at the outset of a new project. To make this possible we need to have an in-depth discussion early on, to decide on the scope and timeline for your project.

  • General maintenance & troubleshooting

    75 NZD per hour, 400 NZD per day.

  • Discounts

    25% discount for choosing to create a more accessible website.*

  • Mark-ups

    120 NZD per hour for maintenance on a WordPress-powered website using a 3rd-party editing tool (i.e. not the native WordPress editor).

* New projects only, please see “So, what is accessibility?” for more information.

The reason for the increased rate is simple: page builder tools and the themes that typically utilise them offer a huge variety of layout options and presets. This is an attractive selling point and makes for an easy “feel good” purchase, but, for this reason, it helps defer important decisions around what is the best approach for your specific project. The result is usually a mess behind-the-scenes. Long-term, with these themes you are buying into a large codebase of which the majority is redundant. This is a great example of what is termed "technical debt" because the large redundant part still needs to be accounted for when any remedial work is performed.

Hey! You build WordPress websites but this site doesn’t run on WordPress?

It’s true, this site is built on Jekyll (2014–2017); Hugo (2017–2020); Eleventy!

While WordPress is often a great all-purpose solution, it always depends on the specific project. This means it’s not my default go-to option.

The promise of a content management system (CMS) like WordPress is the ability to easily update a website. The reality is a CMS is powered by a bunch of code connected to a database, all of which needs regular ongoing maintenance. It’s always about picking the right tool for the job.