Official Scope of WordPress Development Service
We often get asked, "What do you say no to?"
In the world of WordPress development, there are many ways to get help with your WordPress website. RipplePop is unique when compared to the standard agency or freelancer approach. This article is our attempt to make what we do and don't do as clear as possible.
The first thing you need to ask yourself is, "Can this be completed within the WordPress admin area?"
If it can be, then we will most likely be able to assist with the request. Our service does not cover external services. This means we will not log into your MailChimp account and set up your next email campaign. What we can do is set up the MailChimp connection from within WordPress so that subscribers are correctly populating your lists.
Often times we can meet in the middle when 3rd party services are involved. A good rule of thumb is that if it can be completed within the WordPress admin area it most likely fits under something we can cover.
The second thing you need to ask yourself is, "Am I asking for a completely new feature or am I asking for a revision or change to something that already exists?"
There is a key difference between a new feature request and a general support/revision request. A feature request is asking for something that does not yet exist. This feature or function needs to be implemented from square one.
A support request tends to revolve around tools or things already present on the site, ie. "Add an additional Revolution Slider to the footer of the blog template."
We can do feature requests, but they fundamentally require more time and attention and often need to be divided up into several creative rounds that will take multiple days to complete and receive feedback.
Lastly, ask yourself, "Can what I am asking for be segmented into smaller parts?"
One thing to always keep in mind is to try and make your requests singular in the action you are requesting. For example, we might get a request that tells us to build an entirely new contact page with a new contact form, map, and page content. While this request does fit within the scope of service, we'll automatically segment this into smaller creative rounds that make up the larger request.
For the contact page example, we would segment it into 3-4 creative rounds. The first round might be to make the form and test it. Then the second round would be to create the contact page and add the content. The third might be to add a Google map and the fourth might be to do final mobile/responsive testing. This helps us address each part of the request on an individual basis and tends to make the process go much smoother.
Here is a list of things we will definitely say "No" to:
- High level consulting/vague questions: There is no perfect guideline for this but for the most part, your developer will not be able to consult with you on high-level marketing questions like 'How do I increase the conversions on my site?' or 'Can you give suggestions on how to improve the branding and design of my website (or a page on my website)?' or 'How can I improve my page ranking on Google?'. These types of requests are too vague and hard for a WordPress developer to answer confidently without business, design, SEO, and marketing experience. We still like to help where we can but you must provide clear direction. If you feel you need consulting on your website then you can try to schedule a call with us and we can see how to create specific, actionable requests from your needs.
- Clone or duplicate a site (this should be handled by you or your hosting provider, we can handle this work if necessary using our Developer Days)
- Edit WordPress core files or plugin files (bad practice)
- Create connections between two tools or services where no plugin already exists to accomplish it. If a plugin or tool does not exist already to complete a custom connection between services, we will not build a custom one for you. Zapier is your friend.
- Deadlines - You can always re-prioritize your request queue, however, just because your customer is demanding you get their request done in the next 2 hours does not mean we are bound to that deadline. We'll always do our best to accommodate but we can't honor deadlines you set with your customers without first consulting us on the request and reality of that deadline.
- Website builds from scratch - We do not do site builds from scratch. If you create a new site from a base template and want us to customize it from there, that is another story since that is a living site we can jump into. However, if you need us to get WordPress installed, set up the database, and provision a new server, that is not covered. If you need a site build from scratch, that is exactly what our Developer Days are made for.
- Work that involves premium 3rd party applications - We are not Microsoft Excel experts or Photoshop wizards. If you need us to do work in external programs for you, we will ask that you complete that work yourself or with your team as we can't afford to train and pay for every potential service you may already be using or own.
Over time you'll learn that we are a better fit for some projects and not others. If you ever have any questions don't hesitate to ask your developer. They will work hard for you!