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Review of WP Coder

Published by Chris Coyier

I was recently asked by the guys at WP Coder if I would do a review of their service. I don't do it very often, but they seemed like nice guys and WordPress is of particular interest to me lately. As it happens, I was tinkering with a theme in Photoshop right as they asked me so it was perfect timing. I finished up the theme and shot it over to them to start the process. I thought their order form was quite nice:

Completing the ordering form gets you all set up in their system. Their backend client area is quite nice. From here you can view your current, pending and complete projects, as well as view and take care of your invoices. I particularly like how the communication on the project takes place. Each project has its own page that holds all the files for the project and a back-and-forth conversation between you and them during development of the theme.

How much does it cost?

Like any reasonable design company, it depends. How complex is the theme? How much custom WordPress coding does it need? JavaScript? Lots of page templates?

You fill out the order form and explain it as best you can and they will be in touch with a price quote within 24 hours. To begin work, you pay half up front, which is perfectly acceptable for a non face-to-face service like this. They only accept PayPal in USD.

So you have some idea, prices start about about $300 for very simple themes, and average about $400-450. Turn around time is 5-7 days on average.

Do they do a good job?

Yes, they do. I gave them a theme that looks pretty simple at a glance but is fairly complex once you start breaking down the actual layout. I had a few things in there that were pretty high on the ridiculous scale that honestly I had no idea if they were even possible. For example, I wanted to use literally typographic periods as background circles for numbered comments. Turns out this is an incredible difficult thing to pull off cross-browser and they weren't able to pull it off (neither was I!), so we scraped it. All in all, the theme was a perfect representation of what I asked for.

What else?

A big one is that they don't outsource the work to weird under-paid slave coders in a warehouse somewhere. Their coders are themselves (based in the U.S. and Australia) and do all the coding by hand. They won't publicly display your theme anywhere unless you give them the go ahead, and they hold on to the complete theme for 6-8 months in case you somehow totally screw it up.

So, what about this theme of yours?

I'm glad you asked. Later this week I'll be giving it away for free, so stay tuned!


  1. Thanks for the review. I’ve always wondered if services like that are worth the money. It’s good to keep in my back pocket in case I ever get into a jam.

  2. Jim
    Permalink to comment#

    How about showing your design and then demo the result? Without pics of if, this post is useless.

    • Whoa there, shooter.

      I said I’m giving away the theme for free. Probably tomorrow. I’ll be including the PSD as well, so you can draw you own conclusions.

    • Coffee just shot out of my nose when I read “Whoa there, shooter”.

    • heldopslippers
      Permalink to comment#

      ohw man…

      why do people post this kind of commends.
      Dear Jim. As the big boss of this blog mentioned in his very nice article. he
      will be posting his design (thanx you for that !)

      I am really curious about you initial design (with the round things or whatever it is).
      Maybe i will give it a shot! .. just to checkif it is really THAT impossible :D

  3. Mike Hunt
    Permalink to comment#

    What a shill.
    Since you get to use WordPress for free, and you seem to use it for EVERY site you make, oblivious to the fact that it’s a blogging platform, not a CMS, maybe you should think about giving something back, instead of constantly taking, which I’m sorry, seems to be all you do. Apart from trying to get famous for your shit advice.

    • Scott
      Permalink to comment#

      You must be one of those stupid people, aren’t you?

    • Permalink to comment#


      Go away, just go away. You really don’t have to read this blog, you don’t have to notice all the free advice and knowledge and tips and tricks and skills and all that that Chris shares here (I would say “gives back”), and you don’t have to waste white space with your inane comments.

      If you have something to say, say it nice, or just
      Go away.

      Thank you.

    • John
      Permalink to comment#

      Gasp… Mike Hunt has some cheek – The free advice, tutorials, videos and downloads from Chris are blimmin’ fantastic… oh – just re-read his name – bit of a wind up merchant methinks.

  4. I really dig their page design. The assembly line idea was clever.

    Sidenote: Chris: how long, after a submission is made to Script & Style, does it typically take to be approved?

  5. ckester
    Permalink to comment#

    Nicd! i’ll be really looking forward to seeing the theme that you drew up for us!

  6. How much were you asked to pay for your template? Around $400 I take?

  7. Lonnie
    Permalink to comment#

    Don’t mean to play devils advocate here, but I tried to use them a few months back and, well, my experience was less than positive.

    We had a very simple, very straightforward template for a client with a rather low budget. It was nice, but there was nothing special about it. The only tricky part was our timeline. The client needed the site up before we even got the job.

    I emailed a handful of online WP coding sites and WP Coder responded promptly and gave us a comparable price (to the other sites) and said “yes” to meeting the tight deadline.

    We paid 50% up front and thought everything was settled. The due date was agreed upon and the client was happy.

    The date came and no word from the WP Coder guy – I had sent several messages checking in with no response.

    AFTER the deadline passed, I got a message from them that said they would have it the next day. The next day came and no template was provided, nor was any reason why it still wasn’t ready.

    We canceled the job, and WP Coder was very professional about it. They apologized and refunded the money.

    I have nothing against WP Coder, and since I never got the template I really couldn’t tell you how good they are at coding. We might give them another chance down the road, but for now we’ve found another online coding company we are really happy with.

  8. Will this theme be hosted somewhere so one can interact with it (outside the admin section) and view the source or are you just making the theme downloadable?

  9. Permalink to comment#

    Is the code acceptable?

    I know that with the company I work for some people have a tendency to rush things and you end up with a website that barely works(a house of cards).

    I know if I were a client that had to go in and edit some of the stuff my company has done I’d be pretty upset lol. Then again a typical WordPress build lasts about 1.5 to 2 days here.

  10. Permalink to comment#

    I am a freelance WordPress coder. I am small shop, and they [] are competition. But still i would like to mention this incident.

    Just few days ago i had a query from a gentleman who was already let down by some other WordPress coder, with money and time and was looking for a quick but reliable end to the project.

    Unfortunately i could not take up his project, and he told me he is going with , and the last i heard from him, he was very happy with his decision :)

    So i guess they have something in them ;)

  11. Jonas
    Permalink to comment#

    cant wait to get the files…thx for your screencasts on psd to wordpress.

  12. It would be nice to see some samples of their work. I don’t think i’d be prepared to pay for anything until. However, I really do like the design of the site. If that is anything to go by, then I’m sure they can do what they say.

  13. Thanks for the review Chris. We’ve considered using a similar service when we are behind, but haven’t been brave enough yet to test it out. I’d like to hear more on similar services for comparison.

  14. Permalink to comment#

    Thanks Chris. I can’t wait to see the outcome. Sometimes client time lines don’t allow much time, and they might be a handy fall back tool.

  15. The WPCoder website looks great, I like the clever approach they used to show the information, simple and sleek. However, shouldn’t they have a section with examples of the service (some template/WP Design, dummy or not, taken from Photoshop to WP and have the estimated price, timeframe, etc. of that specific project) so you can have a general idea of how good they are (quality) and if their skills satisfy your needs.

    As a side note: I feel the website needs to have a link in the orders page to go back to the home page and not rely just on the browser’s Back Button.


  16. Permalink to comment#

    This website is great.
    Nice work as always !

  17. Thanks for the review. I’ve seen WP Coder many times but never thought about using them for anything. But a solid review always helps!

  18. I wish that the people who leave nasty comments on here for no good reason would back up their attacks with identities instead of hiding behind anonymity like cowards.

    If you actually believe what you write, stand behind it.

  19. chetan
    Permalink to comment#

    oh… $300 seems like quite costly.. i know another good option their prices start from $200 for PSD to wordpress theme…

  20. james

    I used them for a project when I didnt have enough time to get everything done…. they were very professional and did a great job

  21. Justin
    Permalink to comment#

    I have to say that my experience with WPCoder has been brilliant.

    The work they did for me was fantastic. I’m currently tweaking a design, and will be sending it to them soon!

    Plus, their back end, client system, is awesome! I’ve asked them if they want to sell it, but they are holding onto it for a while i think!

  22. Permalink to comment#

    If you enjoy working with unprofessional kids who have no sense of professionalism nor the faintest idea of what deadlines are and mean then this is a company for you!

    Oh, not to mention vulgar status updates directed toward a PAYING client on a popular social networking site. That just makes the icing on the cake.

    These folks better step up their business if they care to be around for any length of time.

    Just a fair warning. They are horrible!

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