In any business you can act on the behalf of your customer or you can act on behalf of yourself.
In the web world, I can spot a client who comes to us who has had a developer or agency acting on behalf of their own selves a mile away. I log into the back end and what do I see: a custom theme, custom page layouts, possibly no WordPress menus, no backup, and an admin user sitting right there.
You know what prior developer? Shove it.
Building a custom theme that you (the agency or developer) will never update, that takes hours and hours to create, that ends up ruining the great flexibility that WordPress innately has, is selfish.
Now before you get your panties in a bunch, there may be times when a custom theme is needed. But for 99.9% of small to medium business in this country, there are so many resources already built that provide such a great array of choices to any business that a custom theme is almost never warranted. And they provide flexibility. And growth (as you hope your customers grow their business as well). And they take advantage of the great features WordPress has to offer instead of ripping those features out.
And they cost hardly anything.
I have sat in conference rooms to take over a website that was developed in Manhattan, looking through the plate glass windows at the skyscrapers on one side and the open office configuration on the other side with lots of developers listening to their music and pumping out websites. Now, are they good developers? Sure! Awesome, in fact!! Do they care about their client? Is their product better because it comes from “the city” and it was made by young people who are tech-savvy and it’s expensive? No. And the bill was $40,000. Instead of $8,000. Or $6,000.
Small and medium business owners in this country are trying to make it. They are putting their heart and soul and finances into their business to provide a better life for their family. They worry all day and all night. They are constantly thinking. Business is booming and too busy. Then it is slow. When will the money come in? Who will stiff them? Who values their product and who will screw them over?
Small and medium business owners need a developer who is looking out for their best interests. Finding a solution that is fast to implement, the least expensive to implement, that plays nicely with their other software, and that will be updated and supported going forward.
If you support small and medium business and you are an amazing developer, I beg you to put your “cool developing ideas” to use in another way and give this budding business a product that is supported, is in line with standards, and has growth potential.