Managing a freelance WordPress development business

Tonight’s meetup features WordPress Consultant Bill Erickson.

(Live streamed at


Bill Erickson: Tools for organizing his development business

Video streaming by Ustream

Being a WordPress developer means not just knowing WordPress but how to run a business.

Tips to waste less time communicating with clients

  • Clear communication eliminates frustration & sets expectations
  • How much does it cost – state rates and mimimum charge upfront
  • Give example of projects
  • What services do you provide
  • Stock emails for every kind of client interaction and stage of process

Managing business

  • Uses email as initial form of contact – contact form rather than phone number
  • Clear emails serve as a contract/agreement with client.
  • Once email contact has been established, all information goes into custom CRM (Customer Relationship Management tool) for prospect and project management
  • Clearly communicate scope of work, billing, timeframe
  • Once they agree, invoice is sent out for 25%; project completion at end of one week (not including changes); balance is due in 3 weeks regardless of whether or not the client has all changes in.
  • Everyone on calendar has paid 25%
  • Clear rules and deadlines – everything is organized.
  • Keeps track of time spent, budget, effective hourly rate
  • Tracks inquiries, conversion rate
  • Define time for calls – you can’t get work done if you’re always taking calls. Schedule phone calls, and be accessible by phone. For example: 8-10 am – emails; 10-12 pm – phone calls; 1-5pm – coding
  • Follow WordPress development for information on new features, code
  • WordPress is based on backwards compatibility

Bill’s CRM tool – more info (and download link):

Recommends plugins to use with CRM:

When migrating sites, Bill recommends never use WordPress’ Import and Export tools – it doesn’t grab everything, sometimes breaks links. Bill has a different process – visit his post on how to move a website.

Also referenced:
Flex Slider for WP Rotator – plugin developed by Bill Erickson: Turns WP Rotator into FlexSlider, a fully responsive jQuery slider. – time management/billing tool



  1. Really interesting, but unfortunately the video keeps freezing and I’m not able to watch much of it. 🙁

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