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!