Hiring: WordPress Developer

The Sterner Stuff team is growing! We’re seeking a self-motivated WordPress developer.

Quick Version

  • WordPress developer with 1-3 years experience – must be able to write and understand PHP
  • Eugene-based preferred
  • Part- to full-time (20hr/week minimum)
  • Starting at $24/hr (additional details)

Sterner Stuff + What We’re Looking For

The right candidate should love the modern web, but also value efficiency and reliability. Using the right tool for the job. You’re comfortable utilizing modern web technologies that often make a mobile-first web app a strong alternative to an expensive native phone app.

This means you aren’t strictly interested in building custom WordPress themes, but also not afraid to get your hands dirty building custom elements on an otherwise drag-and-drop site. The block editor has come a long way and it can accomplish a lot.

You should also be comfortable writing and customizing plugins. You should know your way around actions and filters and be able to utilize them when necessary.

Ideally, you’re curious and excited about new technologies. We’re not full FSE around here quite yet, but each project is a new opportunity to dive into the theme.json file, or turn a site footer into a block-driven partial, and learn a little bit more.

We believe in building on top of what we have rather than starting over. Most clients come to us with an existing site, content, marketing efforts, and more. Usually, there’s not a good reason to throw away everything. Can we reuse existing content? Is a new design the right decision at this time? We work with our clients to understand and meet their unique goals.

Sterner Stuff is a small shop and our most common feedback from happy clients is that they love having a personal relationship with their web developer. While you won’t be a project manager, you should be comfortable – perhaps enjoy! – interfacing directly with clients from time to time and should be able to manage yourself in large part.

While remote work is acceptable, we prefer a local candidate that can stop into the office from time to time. Camaraderie is important around here.

Our Tech

We don’t like rolling the dice on unproven plugins, one-off ThemeForest themes, that sort of thing. We strive to stick to a few bulletproof tools.

For example, we like unopinionated themes that can be flexed to meet a variety of applications, rather than those with a specific niche and a shelf life. For example, this site was built with Blocksy, a low-bloat, customizable theme with support for major plugins like WooCommerce and no page builder bundled. Themes like Astra or OceanWP also fit this bill.

Another great example of this is the WooCommerce ecosystem. When possible, we’re using extensions that come straight from the WooCommerce storefront rather than third-party tools the Automattic team can’t vouch for.

That said, in line with our commitment to preserving existing equity when appropriate, we’ll sometimes inherit clients and support their website with whatever tooling they showed up with. But that means putting together a roadmap to phasing out those tools for more reliable ones.

What We Need Done

The sorts of projects we work on are varied. We have some clients with “brochure-ware”, but we prefer to work with folks with interesting problems to solve, including high traffic, eCommerce, and events management.

If you’re handed a design, we trust you to decide whether it constitutes a totally custom build, or if the block editor on top of one of those themes we were talking about would suffice. Responsibly making these decisions helps us focus client budgets on the more expensive problems, like those we mentioned above.

To get real specific, these are all things we’ve tackled:

  • Import Salesforce records as custom post types on a recurring cron to populate a dealer locator
  • Manage membership subscriptions for a local chamber of commerce using WooCommerce + WooCommerce Subscriptions
  • Build a series of starter templates for various ticketed training classes powered by The Events Calendar
  • Create a group membership system for teachers to grant students access to digital instructional content using Restrict Content Pro
  • And more!

You’ll also be responsible for monthly plugin updates and support requests for existing sites, like menu or content tweaks, or providing a little bit of training to a client.

While much of our work is in WordPress, we have multiple ongoing Laravel projects on the books and are increasing our focus on retail clients for whom Shopify is a good fit.



  • Basic Git competence
  • Comfortable writing object-oriented, properly namespaced PHP, not just dragging-and-dropping WordPress around
  • Experienced using WordPress actions and filters to customize plugin and core behavior without forking anything
  • Experience creating child themes in WordPress (a good handle on the WordPress template API) and, ideally, building a theme from scratch based on design assets
  • Experience integrating with third-party REST APIs
  • Ready to embrace the WordPress block editor (Gutenberg) when appropriate rather than pout about it


  • Experience building and maintaining Laravel sites and tools, sticking to established Laravel patterns when possible
  • Familiarity with Vue, React, or another modern JS framework. You might have a preference, but you’re not dogmatic
  • Basic understanding of various levels of caching on the web
  • Shopify experience

Tools We Love

These are some tools we commonly use. Familiarity with them will give you a leg up.


The budget for this position is currently $24/hr with a huge priority on increasing that. This translates to roughly $50k/year, but we don’t like the salary model because it promotes unpaid overtime.

The full picture is that you’re the second employee on the team, allowing me (Ethan) to focus more on business development. This will increase income for the company with a primary goal of improving your compensation. Long term, we look forward to offering retirement and healthcare benefits.

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