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Upwork + WordPress.com

WordPress.com has partnered with Upwork to help you create the site of your dreams! Upwork is a leading network of freelancers, with a wealth of WordPress and CSS specialists at your disposal. 

Use this referral link to get bids from qualified freelancers who can customize your site to get it looking like you want.

WordPress.com Plans and Site Customization

If you are a freelancer or agency customizing someone else’s site on WordPress.com, you should be aware that some WordPress.com plans allow complex theme changes. Let’s look at best practices for the Premium and Business plans.

Customizing WordPress.com Sites

WordPress.com Premium comes with a CSS editor in the Customizer, where you can add CSS overrides to change a theme’s look, and in some cases, the layout. A few things to keep in mind:

  • Only put your CSS overrides in the editor, don’t copy the entire stylesheet.
  • Avoid using !important in custom CSS unless it’s needed to override inline CSS, or other special circumstances.

In addition to the above, WordPress.com Business allows you to install plugins, custom themes, and even third-party themes. You can also create child themes to make modifications beyond CSS, such as HTML template-file changes and custom functions.

A few things to keep in mind with the Business plan:

  • Never edit the original theme files – unless you’re using a custom-built theme – or you’ll lose all your customizations every time the theme’s creator releases an update.
  • If you need to modify a WordPress.com premium theme’s PHP files, you’ll need to install a child theme plugin, as we don’t provide access to them. You may download a free WordPress.com theme from its showcase page.
  • If you only need CSS changes, you don’t need a child theme; add your CSS overrides to the Customizer’s Additional CSS panel instead.
  • If you only need to add a function, you don’t need a child theme – use a code snippets plugin instead, such as this one. This method lets you add extra functionality to your site while eliminating the need for a child theme, and still protecting the change against future theme updates.
  • The first plugin or third-party theme on a site must be installed by the site owner. After that, all administrators may install subsequent plugins. If for any reason you have trouble with an installation, please contact support.

No matter what plan you have, if you find yourself making many major changes to a theme, keep in mind that you might be better off either starting with a pre-made theme that’s closer to your needs, or hiring someone to build a custom theme that’s just the right match for your vision.

Working With an Upwork Freelancer

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Writing a Job Post

After you create your Upwork account, you’ll need to write a job post to describe the work you’d like to have done on your site. When writing the post, we recommend adding as many details as possible. This will make your project easier to understand, and help you attract more qualified candidates. 

Here are some of the questions you will be asked when writing your job post, along with suggested answers next to each question:

  • What service are you looking for? (web development)
  • What skills are you looking for? (WordPress, CSS)
  • How many freelancers do you need? (1)
  • What’s your project need? (one-time or ongoing)
  • How would you prefer to pay? (hourly rate or fixed price)
  • What is your budget? (this can be hidden from freelancers, but Upwork will use it to help match you with an appropriate candidate)
  • Experience level of your desired freelancer (entry level, intermediate, expert)
  • Location preferences for your freelancer (U.S. only or anywhere)
  • What stage is the project in? (I have a concept, I have designs, I have specifications)
  • Describe the work to be done

If your job is urgent, you should indicate this in your job post so that freelancers can try to respond to you as quickly as possible.

You may also want to clarify to freelancers that you already have an existing site on WordPress.com that you want help with, in case they offer to sell you a new site instead.

Need help with your job post? Here is a sample post that you can use as a template:

I am looking for help updating my WordPress.com site.

My WordPress.com site address is _____ and I’d like to make some changes to the way it looks.

The things I’d like to modify on my site are: _____

This site is a sample of what I would like to achieve: _____

I’d like the work completed by this date _____ and my maximum budget is _____ USD.

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Selecting a Freelancer

After you submit the job post, you can expect to start hearing back from freelancers who are interested in working with you.

If you post a job on a weekday during regular U.S. business hours, you will typically start getting proposals from qualified freelancers within a few hours.  Once you receive proposals, you’ll need to message your chosen candidates, clarify the job requirements, and agree on pricing. You can also interview them if you choose. Holding live interviews isn’t required, but is highly recommended.

You can learn more about the recommended steps to hiring a freelancer through the videos on Upwork’s website.

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Payment

You can choose to hire freelancers on an hourly-basis or for a fixed amount through your Upwork.com account. If you opt for a fixed rate and you change your mind about how many changes you’d like, or if the complexity of the changes increases, your freelancer will add a new milestone to your project with an updated price.

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Security

Never give out your own username & password to anyone, including an Upwork freelancer.

If you would prefer to have your selected Upwork freelancer make the desired changes to your site directly, you can invite them to become a user on your site. If they don’t already have a WordPress.com account, they can create one here.

Keep in mind that a freelancer will need to be given the Administrator role in order to have access to the Customizer, or to manage your themes and plugins. As a result, once your selected Upwork freelancer is finished working on your site, we suggest removing them as a user on your site until the next time you need assistance.

We strongly recommend all site owners and Upwork freelancers choose strong passwords and enable two-step authentication on their accounts, for added security.

Upwork FAQs

How do I find quality freelancers on Upwork?

Do you recommend that I start with a fixed or hourly rate price?

We recommend starting with hourly, as it is possible that the scope of your changes may change.

Will Upwork protect me from paying for work that I don’t want?

How much is my project likely to cost?

It varies depending on the experience level of the freelancer and the nature of the work you need done. Generally $20-$40/hour is a common rate, however rates vary widely based on a number of factors. You’ll be able to get a better sense of the projected cost for your specific project by communicating with prospective freelancers via your Upwork account.

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