From Torque: “Are WordPress Developers Really Cheaper to Hire?”
Short answer: Yes!
I mean, “developer” means a lot of things. A competent WordPress developer can be a massive help to your business, but it’s relatively rare that the bulk of that person’s work is hardcore “software engineering,” as in “we built the Google search algorithm and then Google Maps.” It makes sense that that kind of work be better compensated on average.
Then there’s the issue that many or most WordPress “developers” are actually somewhere on the scale of “implementer”: they can install themes and plugins and work with their settings, but can’t fully engage with WordPress as a software project at the level of code. This tends to dilute the WordPress developer marketplace as specialists are competing with non-specialists for the same work. Obviously, individual skillsets vary in any software project—but this simply isn’t as much as an issue in the world of, say, Node.js developers.
Relatedly, many or most WordPress projects are for individuals or for small businesses. Other softwares are almost uniformly for startups, enterprise, government, and other large and large-budget entities.
So these are all great reasons why WordPress developers are, on average, less expensive than developers in other software ecosystems. The linked article is great because it takes an empirical look at the question—and, on the way, gives some great information that will help you understand how the people in your industry set prices.
Image credit: georgivar