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What Is a Custom WordPress Development Company?

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A custom WordPress development company is a WordPress development agency that specializes in creating custom websites that meet specific needs and requirements. 

Companies like this provide robust, secure, and scalable WordPress solutions for any type of site, from ecommerce stores to corporate sites for multinational companies.

Let’s find out what these companies are, what services they offer, and what factors to consider when hiring one of them.

Key Takeaways

  • A custom WordPress development company is a WordPress development agency that can create any type of WordPress website, customizing it to meet the unique needs of their clients.
  • Custom WordPress development companies provide services like custom theme development, migrations, ongoing support, custom plugin development, quality assurance, multisite development, and more.
  • To choose a custom WordPress development company for your project, consider its experience and expertise in your industry, the performance of the sites its team has created before, availability, timeline for the project, and pricing.

What Is a Custom WordPress Development Company?

A custom WordPress development company is a development agency specialized in creating custom-made, unique websites using WordPress, the world’s most popular content management system (CMS). 

These companies are different from freelancers or small agencies that focus on small businesses and personal sites. A custom WordPress development company provides a wide range of services and solutions for clients, being able to build any type of website, from an ecommerce marketplace to a corporate site for specialized tech providers.

What Services Does a Custom WordPress Development Company Provide?

Given their range of services, a custom WordPress development company provides multiple solutions to their clients. These are the most common services most custom WordPress development companies offer.

Custom WordPress Web Development

Custom WordPress development companies can design and create WordPress sites specifically tailored to meet a client’s or business’s unique needs and objectives. This means the development company will not limit itself to standard themes and plugins, instead creating a custom-made site that aligns with the brand’s identity, audience, and goals.

A custom-made WordPress site may involve:

  • A unique theme.
  • Features created specifically for the site, such as a recipe search function for a site about food and cooking.
  • Custom metadata structures that help the pages and posts in the site reach higher spots in search result pages.
  • A custom-made plugin that exists only on this site.
  • An architecture designed to accommodate increasingly higher traffic.
  • Responsive and mobile-friendly interfaces.
  • Integrations with third-party solutions like CRM tools and payment gateways.

Hiring a company that knows how to develop these website elements ensures your project will go smoothly 

Custom Theme Development

WordPress has nearly 12,000 free themes available for users to download and apply to their sites. While these themes are very useful for beginners, they fall short for businesses with very specific branding.

To meet the branding and user experience requirements, custom development agencies can create unique themes for WordPress sites from scratch. Unlike pre-existing themes, this personalized approach allows developers to create a website tailored to a brand’s identity, needs, and preferences.

This process involves designing the visual layout, color schemes, typography, and other aesthetic elements to align with the client’s branding. It focuses on user-friendliness, responsiveness, and SEO optimization.

As a result, a custom theme enhances the user experience and the site’s performance when done well.

Ongoing WordPress Support

Ongoing WordPress support helps to maintain and enhance the site’s performance, security, and functionality over time. This service typically includes regular updates to WordPress core, themes, and plugins, ensuring that the website remains compatible with the latest technology and secure from vulnerabilities.

These are some of the ways a WordPress development agency may provide regular support for their clients once their sites are up and running:

  • Technical support for any issues that arise, such as bugs, errors, or functionality problems.
  • Maintenance and updates for all the software elements of the site.
  • Performance monitoring and optimization, such as enhancing load times, user interfaces, or database performance.
  • Security services to keep the site protected from breaches. Strategies may include regular security audits, updates, and backups to safeguard data.
  • Training and education to help clients understand and effectively use their digital products.
  • Emergency support and disaster recovery in case of major issues like server downtime or data loss.
  • SEO and marketing support through social media integrations, email marketing strategies, and more.

Not all clients require ongoing support after their site is ready and live, but the ones that do benefit greatly from having an experienced partner guiding them through all the technical details.

WordPress Migrations

A site migration is moving a site from one hosting provider to another, one domain to another, or one content management system (CMS) to WordPress.

Migration involves transferring all website data, including posts, pages, images, databases, plugins, and themes, to the new environment. It’s a time-consuming process that requires careful planning and execution to ensure no data loss and minimal downtime.

The service also often includes setting up redirects from the old domain to the new one to maintain SEO rankings and ensure a seamless transition for users.

There are many ways to migrate a site, and the necessary tools change depending on whether the site was originally built on WordPress or a different CMS. Sites built on different CMSs require more work and may even need custom solutions created by the agency’s developers, increasing the time commitment.

On the other hand, WordPress-to-WordPress migrations require less work, and developers can largely automate them with migration plugins.

WordPress Custom Plugin Development

Experienced WordPress development companies can create custom-made plugins to address specific needs or functionalities that neither the WordPress core nor existing plugins can fulfill.

A custom WordPress development company has developers with experience in PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, database management, security, and API integrations. This knowledge allows development companies to understand your needs and create a solution.

A use case for a custom plugin could be an import from a different CMS. Depending on the type of data your site has, existing solutions may not have the tools to import all data fields. A custom plugin could associate these pieces of data and make imports possible when they otherwise wouldn’t have been.

Quality Assurance Testing

Quality Assurance (QA) testing ensures the website and its components function correctly, are bug-free, and provide a good user experience. QA testing for custom WordPress development projects involves:

  • Functionality testing. Ensures every function of the website works as intended.
  • Usability testing. Ensures the website is user-friendly, intuitive, and easy to navigate.
  • Compatibility testing. Determines how the website performs across different browsers and devices (desktops, tablets, smartphones) to ensure consistent user experience.
  • Performance testing. Involves assessing the website’s loading speed, responsiveness, and ability to handle traffic.
  • Security testing. Identifies vulnerabilities in the website to prevent hacking and data breaches. It includes testing for SQL injections, XSS attacks, and other common vulnerabilities.
  • SEO testing. Ensures the website is optimized for search engines, including checking meta tags, alt tags, headings, and other essential SEO elements.
  • Accessibility testing. Ensures the website is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities.
  • Regression testing. Regression testing ensures that updates don’t introduce bugs or break existing functionalities.
  • Plugin and theme testing. Testing for custom plugins or themes.

QA testing ensures your custom WordPress website is reliable, user-friendly, and high-performing.

Multisite WordPress Development

WordPress multisite is a built-in feature that allows developers to create a network of multiple sites from a single WordPress installation and dashboard. It’s particularly useful for businesses or organizations that need to run several sites with similar functionalities, such as franchises, universities, or a network of blogs but want to manage them centrally.

A custom WordPress development company will have experience creating multisite networks. Its developers have the skills to enable the multisite feature, set up and manage the network, perform custom domain mapping if necessary, and develop all individual sites.

Individual site development may involve installing themes and plugins on the central dashboard before activating them on specific sites, managing access and roles, providing ongoing support and training, and more.

How to Choose a Custom WordPress Development Company for Your Project?

The success of your project largely depends on the company you partner with to develop your site. These are the main factors to consider when choosing your WordPress development partner.

Clearly Define Your Website’s Goals

This is the first step, and it’s essential. From the beginning, you need to know the type of WordPress site you need. Building a personal blog with a few informational pages is very different from building a corporate site for an ecommerce brand with an international presence.

As a result, depending on their specialties and experience, any given WordPress development company may or may not be suited for the project.

Keep this goal in mind as you explore the rest of the criteria.

Experience and a Positive Track Record

Look for a company with multiple years of experience and a proven track record in custom WordPress development.

Most companies provide case studies on their websites, letting you explore their processes and results and whether they have specific experience in your industry or projects similar to yours.

Technical Knowledge

Ensure the company has developers with experience and expertise in the essential technologies and frameworks you may need to make your project possible. 

Here’s a list of skills custom WordPress developers may need, depending on the project:

  • WordPress core knowledge.
  • PHP programming. PHP is the scripting language that powers WordPress, making it essential for any custom functionality.
  • HTML and CSS for web page structuring and styling.
  • JavaScript for client-side scripting and adding interactive elements.
  • MySQL Database Management: Ability to work with MySQL databases, which WordPress uses for data storage.
  • API integration with third parties for extended functionalities.
  • Responsive web design to ensure your websites work on various browsers, devices, and screen sizes.
  • Security best practices.
  • Accessibility standards to make your website usable to all.
  • Performance optimization using various techniques like caching and minimizing resource load.
  • WooCommerce development, if your goal is to create an ecommerce marketplace.
  • Backup and recovery.

A company that has developers with these skills can take on any challenge.


High performance ensures your site is fast and doesn’t get bogged down when experiencing high traffic. After reviewing the company’s case studies, you can test each site’s performance by pasting the URL into Google Page Speed.

If you see consistently low or mixed results, it may be a sign that the company has trouble creating high-performing sites. However, it’s also possible that a new developer has taken over since. Hence, checking in with them is good if you’re seriously considering them for the project.

Availability and Size

Larger WordPress development companies will be more available for new projects. However, large companies may also provide less personalization because the project managers may have more work to do across various projects. That doesn’t always mean you should go with the smaller company, but it’s an important factor to consider.

Communicate with the company and get a feel for their process, availability, the size of the team that will participate in your project, and whether you’ll have a dedicated project manager for personalized attention.


Ask for multiple quotes from multiple WordPress development companies and compare them. While the initial quote is an estimate, and the company will likely need to perform a deeper analysis of your needs to establish a more accurate estimate, it’s a good start.

Explore every element in every quote to understand where the final cost comes from and determine which company provides the best value for their work. Don’t forget to ask for potential additional costs that may arise later.

Project Timeline

All reputable WordPress development companies offer plans for ongoing support after the site is live, helping you with updates and technical issues as they become necessary. Communicate with each company and determine what kind of followthrough support they provide to know whether you can count on them after completing the project.

Support After the Project

All reputable WordPress development companies offer plans for ongoing support after the site is live, helping you with updates and technical issues as they become necessary. Communicate with each company and determine what kind of followthrough support they provide to know whether you can count on them after the project is complete.

How Much Does a Custom WordPress Development Company Cost?

WordPress development companies charge based on hourly rates. These rates vary significantly based on various factors and are usually in the range of $20 to $200 per hour, with the most likely range being between $40 and $80 per hour.

However, given that custom WordPress development companies tend to take on complex projects that require specific skills, you should expect the hourly rate to be $80 or above.

Factors That Influence the Cost of a WordPress Development Project

The factors that influence the cost of hiring a custom development company are the following:

  • The experience of the developers involved. The more experienced the developers involved, the more the company will charge per hour.
  • Location. Developers who operate from countries with a higher cost of living and higher demand are more likely to charge more per hour than those in countries with lower costs of living, less demand, or both. This works both domestically and internationally.
  • Specific skills. Certain WordPress-related skills, like ecommerce development and custom theme and plugin development, command higher hourly rates due to their higher complexity.
  • The complexity of the project. More complex projects require more time, resources, and specific skills to complete. Hourly rates for basic websites may be in the $20-$60 per hour range, but the larger and more involved the process gets, you can expect rates to increase, sometimes exceeding $100 or $150 per hour.

Payment Models Used in WordPress Development Projects

Most custom WordPress development companies charge based on 2 payment models:

  • Closed-scope. Projects charge a fixed amount based on the estimated website development costs. Generally, the estimated project completion time is multiplied by an hourly rate.
  • Time and materials. In this model, the client agrees to pay based on the time and resources necessary to complete the project. This model results in ongoing monthly invoices until the project is complete.

Communicate with your WordPress development partner to determine which model fits your needs best.

How Long Does a Custom WordPress Development Company Take to Build a Site?

Creating a WordPress site can take anywhere from a few hours to hundreds of hours. In calendar terms, development can take less than 1 day to 3 or more months.

A simple blog with a free theme, a handful of informational pages, and no custom functionality may take as few as 1-3 hours to develop. On the other hand, a complex corporate project that includes rebranding, modern UX/UI, specialized data formats for improved SEO, and custom Gutenberg blocks can take at least 190 hours, which turns into at least 1 month of development, but often more.

For example, a large and complex WordPress site with extensive custom functions that solve specific client needs could take 250+ hours to develop over several months.

Custom WordPress Development Companies Make Unique Sites Possible

A custom WordPress development company is a WordPress development agency capable of creating any type of website, providing customized solutions for unique business needs. From a television channel to a specialized tech provider, these companies have the skills necessary to create the site you need.

However, it’s important to remember that not every company is suited for every project. Using the criteria provided in this article, you can choose the perfect company for your needs, ensuring you get the best possible value out of their services.

Our Custom WordPress Development Services

White Canvas is an Argentinian WordPress development agency specialized in web design, WooCommerce development, and White Label WordPress development. We’ve created hundreds of custom WordPress sites that meet the unique needs of our global clients.

Our developers can create custom themes and plugins that will provide the customized layouts and functionality your website needs to be user-friendly, scalable, and perform at a high level.

If you’re interested in creating a custom WordPress site or just want to explore our services to keep us in mind for later, contact us or schedule a call.