As I said in my wrap up of the 2013 Genesis Framework Developer and Designer Survey, I continue to be blown away with the generosity and energy from the Genesis WordPress community. Members of the community contribute amazing step-by-step tutorials, podcasts, free child themes, support forums and the list goes on. The response to the 2nd annual developer survey was no exception. We had 202 developers complete the survey this year—a 77% increase over last year! A huge thank you to all who participated and helped spread the word about the survey.
The original aim of the survey is to give Genesis developers a better idea about their peers on topics like pricing, best resources, etc. Based on some feedback I got after I launched the 2nd survey, I will be adding some questions and changing the format a bit next year. Please add any questions you would like to see in future surveys in the comments or ping me on Twitter.
2014 Genesis Survey Details
The 2014 Genesis Framework Survey had a total of 35 questions that covered a variety of topics such as demographics, services offered, design rates and more.
202 people completed the survey this year.
While not statistically significant (although we are getting closer!), the results provide an interesting look into the Genesis WordPress community. With historical data, we can also start identifying trends in the data. The report is divided into three sections:
- Who took the survey
- The services offered by Genesis developers
- Business of building websites
There was too much data collected to publish in a single post. I will be publishing follow-up posts and sharing more of the survey in the future.
How to read the survey results
I used Visualizer to display the survey data this year. The text directly above the chart is the question as it appeared on the survey. Hover your mouse over the charts to learn more about the data breakdowns.
Section 1: Who took the survey
Genesis Framework developer gender breakdown
Consistent with last years results, nearly 40% of respondents are women. It’s great to see data that bucks the trend of a mainly male dominated industry.
40% of Genesis WordPress Devs & Designers are women. Tweet this!
Where do Genesis developers live?
The 202 participants from this year’s survey represent 24 countries spanning the globe. The ethnic and gender diversity represented in the Genesis community is one of its coolest features, in my opinion. Here is a complete breakdown of where the survey participants call home –
Are Genesis developers freelance, studio owners or in-house?
As with last year, nearly two-thirds of respondents are either full-time freelancers or own their own design studio/firm. Why is Genesis the Framework of choice for entrepreneurs and freelancers? Because of its huge community, versatility, high security and standards, and Studiopress’ stance on licensing of the Pro-plus package.
How does the Genesis community connect?
The most popular platform that Genesis Developers continue to connect on is Twitter (join the conversation at #genesiswp). The biggest change from last years results was the nearly 4x increase in participation in the Facebook Genesis community. If you haven’t checked out the Genesis WordPress Facebook group, stop reading now and join the group. It is a great resource to find new tutorials, get support questions answered and connect with the community.
After I launched the survey, some devs made me aware of the burgeoning community on Slack. If developing Genesis websites is your full-time gig, check out the Slack community. You won’t regret it!
How long have developers been using the Genesis Framework?
A surprising number of respondents have been using Genesis for only two years or less – 50% to be exact. I interpreted this chart as proof of the strong and continued growth of the Genesis platform. To support this claim, here is a Google Trends chart showing the ever-growing popular of the term “Genesis WordPress”
How long have Genesis Developers been using WordPress?
The answers from this question mirror last years results—many Genesis developers are very experienced with WordPress. This highlights the learning curve from working with a WordPress framework. Experienced developers have come to choose the Genesis Framework as their theming platform of choice.
Note: Respondents were able to enter a specific number of years they have been working with Genesis and WordPress as compared to ranges in last year’s survey.
Number of websites Genesis Developers ship every year
As with last year’s results, this year’s respondents pumped out a lot of websites in the last year. I mean A LOT.
#GenesisWP developers ship 12+ sites a year on average every year. Tweet this!
Section 2: Services offered
Which Genesis-related services do you offer?
The results from this question are nearly identical to that of last year. The most interesting trend this year is that the amount of respondents creating and selling their own child themes. It’s incredible that the Genesis WordPress ecosystem is so large that it can sustain so many child theme developers.
What services do you offer clients?
Genesis developers continue to offer a wide range of marketing services for their clients in addition to WordPress development, specifically inbound marketing services.
Section 3: Business of building WordPress websites
Who is your preferred web host?
The affordable (actually, downright cheap) WordPress host SiteGround barely registered on last year’s survey. This year nearly 20% of respondents reported that SiteGround was their preferred web host of choice. WordPress specific hosting was just becoming popular in 2013. Approximately half of this year’s respondents listed a WordPress specific host as their web host of choice. Here is a full list of hosts mentioned by developers from this year’s survey –
|Who is your preferred web host?
|A Small Orange
|Storm on Demand
|Web Hosting Hub
How many Genesis child themes have you purchased in the last 12 months?
In-line with last year’s results, a huge percentage of developers reported purchasing a pro-plus theme that includes all the child themes that the theme shop creates. If you are a freelancer or own your own agency and spend a minute to do the math, a Pro-Plus package is the best deal. By far.
How much do you spend on web design and internet marketing related tools and software each month?
While there are a ton of free WordPress plugins and marketing tools, sometimes you get what you pay for. 45% of the respondents report paying over $100 on web design and digital marketing tools/subscriptions/software every month.
How have you attracted new clients in the last 12 months?
Unsurprisingly, word of mouth is still king when attracting new work for Genesis developers. The eye-popping stat that jumped out to me is that 78 respondents report that blogging was lead to new business. So how exactly do you keep on top of all these blogs? I recently found the Daily Bolt from Andrea Whitmer which aggregates posts from 33 (and counting) Genesis developer bloggers. Sweet!
What is your hourly rate for Genesis Related projects?
162 respondents | $84 avg hourly rate | $75 median hourly rate
While there isn’t a ton of research showing average WordPress developer rates, PayScale.com has collected salary data from over 1,200 designers in the US and reports the median hourly rate of $17 per hour – ouch! I truly hope this data is flat out wrong, but alas I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s true.
If the data is true, the Genesis developers are in big demand! While the average hourly rate is $84, the median rate is $75 – still well ahead of the PayScale respondent group!
One of the most common pieces of feedback from the survey this time around was that I didn’t include an option for this developers who don’t charge by the hour and have implemented a value-based approach to charging clients instead. Next year’s survey will definitely include a question(s) about value-priced pricing.
What is the average amount you charge for customizing a Genesis child theme?
154 respondents | $1,118 on average to customize | median is $1000
A quarter of respondents decided not to answer this question, in part I believe because there is no such thing as an “average amount.” The reason I have included this question in the survey is that many freelancers and agencies have “product-ized” Genesis child theme customization and some even list pricing tables. Of those who did respond, $1,118 is the average amount ($1,000 is the median) a Genesis developer charges to customize a child theme.
How much do you charge for a custom Genesis child theme?
As with the last question, a huge percentage of respondents reported that there is “no average amount” that they charge for a custom Genesis child theme. This question will definitely be overhauled next year. What would be helpful questions regarding how much developers charge/earn?
Thank you again to everyone who took the time to complete the 2014 survey! Please share your insights, observations, suggestions for next year’s survey and any questions you have below.
Lastly, if you found the survey and results interesting or helpful, I would appreciate it if you could share the results on Twitter, Facebook or your social network of choice! Slots Features for Dummies