When we ask questions and, more generally when we communicate with others, we make tacit assumptions. We think the other person listening to us perfectly knows our current scenario, where our question generates from, and all the terminology we used. Because of these assumptions, the communication flow hits "hiccups" and we might get asked to specify and add some details to what we just said.
The same communication issues occur when we engage with developers:
- "Can you help us with that? It's a small fix!"
- "I'm a PHP developer myself and that should be just a small code tweak to do..."
- "I just need a small [x]... should super easy for a developer"
These types of requests happen a lot to developers. Ask your dev friends.
In this blog post, I'd like to provide you with more insights on what small tasks and projects are in WordPress, how much they cost, and why a WordPress developer might disagree on calling something a "small task". To make it clearer, I'll also list out actual examples of small WordPress projects.
Are you ready, then? Let's dive in!
The definition of "small" varies from client to developer
There are instances when you reach out to a developer and list out a couple of requests for your WordPress website labeling them as "small" or "minor".
You honestly thought those tweaks to your company website were indeed not a big deal. I get it: it's not just you. We all have said something like this at least once in our life.
But, as we were wrong at that time, you are now as well because you're assuming all the details, which haven't been looked at, would magically fall into their place once you hire the developer.
When you ask something "small" to be fixed, you think everything else directly and indirectly connected to that element is 100% properly working. But that's just the tip of the iceberg: you're also taking for granted that the new tweak, once deployed, won't mess up something else and that your current customizations will keep working as they are right now.
If there's one principle that sits above any other else about communicating with developers, it's this:
Whether something is a small fix or small tweak lies in the hands of those who are going to take care of it because they have the tools and knowledge to determine what is to be considered small.
You maybe haven't realized it but this is happening already with all professionals you work with: plumbers, mechanics, painters. When you ask them for a price and an estimate on a "small thing", they give you a range of costs but nothing is defined before they have seen what you're asking about.
So, when you're trying to collect information about how much a small fix or small tweak on your WordPress website might cost you, you should reconsider if it even is a small project in the first place.
The definition of "small" varies from developer to developer
Things get a bit more difficult here as the definition of a "small project" varies from developer to developer as well.
There are different criteria on which developers base their explanation of what they consider small. Those can range from their interests, their preferences based on past and successful projects, to the type of engagement they like to build with their clients (shorter vs longer relationships).
With all that said, does it mean you can't have a price range on what a small task could cost you? Of course not!
How much does a small WordPress fix or tweak cost?
There are numerous WordPress projects that can be referred to as small or minor. Budget-wise, almost anything that falls below the $500 is almost universally considered a small WordPress project. As WordPress developer and Codeable Expert Daniel Stanojevic explains:
You can think of a small WordPress project, fix or tweak as anything in the $200 to $500 range. Some examples would be changing up the logo, changing the layout, just adding some stylized information. I often see clients having content on their website but it just doesn't look good, right? So, making their content look a little bit better, adding some padding and such can be referred to as a small project. Codeable is full of experts that love these types of projects.
It could be the case, though, that the developer you're engaging with usually works on bigger projects - like Daniel - and, to them, a small project might be anything that falls under the $1,000 price tier.
Now that you know how much a developer would price a small customization, tweak, or fix, let's have a look at actual examples of such WordPress projects!
Here's a list for your convenience:
Examples of small WordPress tasks
- Creating a landing page
- Adding a new form on a page
- Adding a slider plugin
- Adding a security plugin
- Configuring a new plugin
- Changing the logo on a website
- Adding some style to a page
- Changing the font
- Add the latest post on the homepage
- Content pagination tweaks
Small tasks have usually to do with HTML and CSS
For requests like those here outlined, you should expect to pay something in the $200 - $500, and in some cases up to $1,000. The costs of these projects vary from developer to developer because each of them ascertains their costs based on a variety of factors that include their hourly rate and the time required to successfully deliver. As Daniel highlights:
Usually, with small customizations the time required is the main factor affecting the end price. More often than not, it's about CSS and HTML tweaks, maybe a little bit of PHP for moving some elements around etc. The more complex the task the more the developer's experience starts becoming a prominent factor.
A developer's definition of a "small task", whether it's going to be a tweak, a fix or anything similar, is usually different from yours - the client. That opens up the different expectations around how much a small task could cost you.
The best way to ask a developer for an accurate estimate is to wear the reporter's hat: just state the facts, i.e. what you want to be fixed/changed/improved, and let the developers go through them and understand your request at their best.
If something should be fixed or tweaked on your WordPress website, do you honestly think a developer will charge you less because you labeled it "small" or "minor"? Actually, you're hurting your business because those words are red flags to developers and lower your chances to get your allegedly small task fixed.
Small, medium, large make sense when you're ordering a menu in a fast-food not when you're looking for professional work to be done.
This blog post features Daniel Stanojevic who is the co-founder of pixelDuo, a small development agency focusing on quality over quantity and long-term client relationships. They’ve worked with WordPress and have created countless solutions helping businesses all over the world thrive for over a decade. Since 2013, they also build web applications with the Laravel framework.