WordPress Category Now Available On Microlancer.com

MicrolancerLogoMicrolancer, an Envato owned company has recently added a WordPress category for users needing work done to their WordPress site. The site has been in private beta since April of 2013 and helps build a bridge between freelancers and clients. The site currently has three different WordPress service categories available, Website to WordPress, WordPress Customization, WordPress Plug-ins. Service Providers (freelancers who list their services and provide them for buyers) can choose a fixed price for their services, as well as a turnaround time that suits them. Buyers pay upfront. Any disputes are resolved fairly by Microlancer staff. Skellie was nice enough to answer two questions I had concerning the site.

WordPress Services On Microlancer

What’s the biggest difference between using a job board and something like Microlancer?

You can find someone great much more quickly and with much less back and forth than you can using a job board. On Microlancer, prices are fixed and clearly visible, and each job states a turnaround time that the service provider must meet. Every listing includes visual examples of previous work, and a description of what is included in the service. There’s no time spent on trawling through copy and paste job bids, endless back and forth communication, trying to get a clear quote. Everything you need to know is stated upfront before you’ve paid a cent.

How will consumers be protected from people trying to rip them off?

When a buyer purchases a service on Microlancer, the funds don’t go straight to the service provider. Instead, they are kept in holding and only released when a job is successfully completed. If at any point during the job the client is unhappy with the work, they can start a dispute. Disputes are fairly resolved by Microlancer staff. A client will never be forced to pay for bad quality work, or bad service.

One thing I noticed on their How It Works page is that clients receive a set number of revisions so you better know what you want before doing business. When asked who controls the number of revisions clients/customers receive, I was told that the seller controls the number of revisions as well as the turnaround time but the revisions were capped at 3. I was also curious to know whether customers can provide feedback through ratings or reviews and yes they can. Although not all services have reviews as they are optional from the buyer, here is an example of a service that has both a recommendation percentage on the right-hand side and at least one review below the service description.

A Service Providers Perspective:

Microlancer is in its infancy but I was able to get in touch with at least one service provider to try to get their thoughts on using the service. They have only used it for a week or so but this is what they had to say:

I’ve had one project so far but I don’t see myself using it in the future unless I really spend some time prepackaging everything I do into little one-off services.

The whole interface just doesn’t fit into a good mechanism for working with code. Perhaps my viewpoint is skewed as I do so much freelancing for WordPress on Codeable.io (which is amazing for WordPress freelancing).

How would you rate the experience of dealing with clients via Microlancer?

Poor. No live chat so the back and forth is slow. My single experience with a project so far has been that the client didn’t actually read the description of the service and instead just read the title and went off that. So while my description said ‘12 specific style changes‘, what he wanted was something different. As of right now the project status is unknown to me. We had a bit of back and forth to clarify what he wanted, I agreed and now have not heard anything. The project was “started” but I assume I’ll need to contact support to have the project cancelled.

What is your general observation of the service?

Very mixed feelings. It’s nice to have another option for freelancing and one at which I can just list my services and wait for clients to pick them is enticing. However it doesn’t seem to have a good mechanism in place for scope creep, additional feature/service requests or a good client interaction.

My Thoughts:

Cruising around the site looking over the various services being provided, I think Microlancer is a great idea. There seems to be a WordPress service for everything such as customizing the WordPress login screen to modifying an existing design into a responsive layout. However, it will only be as good as the work clients receive. Collis Ta’eed CEO of Envato has had an abundant amount of success with the likes of ThemeForest and CodeCanyon. Will Microlancer be another feather in his cap?

If you have any questions, concerns, or general feedback for Microlancer, feel free to share it in the comments as representatives will be monitoring the comment section.

7 Comments


  1. I’m glad to see these types of services popping up. I refer theme users who want minor custom coding to Tweaky, which Microlancer is going head to head with. These services really fill that gap between paying $100/hour+ and having nothing done at all. Excellent for theme buyers that don’t has teh codez or a bucket of cash.

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  2. @Steven Gliebe – I’ve had a number of emails from people looking for designers or consultants to help them with their site because their previous person in charge of the job ditched them or did a horrible job. I usually tell them to post a job position on jobs.wordpress.net but now I’ll also send them to Microlancer.

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  3. Hilarious – 70% of the enquiries I get are for help with products bought in Envato marketplaces. Sadly, those jobs are rarely worth taking – you can’t fix a plugin or theme that is fundamentally broken – but perhaps a marketplace actually run by Envato will foster specialists who specialize in dealing with the problems of specific popular products. You could buy your theme or plugin and then receive an email telling you which freelancer is good at making it work.

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  4. The only plugin that comes up in a repository-search using ‘forest’, is Displet Theme Code Helper, which aims to fix a specific code-problem that is propagated in themes distributed mainly through Theme Forest.

    The plugin page prominently cites an article by Andy Stratton, about the problem. An eye-opening read.

    It’s possible that Theme Forest, and Envato, are not directly to blame for much of what happens on their watch … any more than WP-ABTesting was to blame when they made use of Theme Forest products.

    Instead, these guys may be victims of their business-model (using ‘victim’ loosely). Theme Forest distributes over 10,000 themes & templates, from wherever & whoever … and obviously they can do little effective checking & vetting, either of the products, or the entities behind them.

    It becomes basically inevitable, that with no control over anyone or anything, first the noxious stuff will creep in, and then discovering a happy home, will deliberately seek an accommodating shelter.

    The first thing about Microlancer, is going to be that they are Envato.

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  5. @Ted Clayton – Thanks for the feedback, Ted. You get different results if you search for “ThemeForest”, but it’s a good point that people perhaps should also tag with “Theme Forest” for those who put a space in there.

    Regarding some of the issues you raise, we’ll shortly be implementing a new set of requirements for themes on ThemeForest, you can read more here if you’re interested: http://notes.envato.com/news/update-wordpress-theme-submission-requirements/

    We’re aware of some of the shortcomings on ThemeForest, and we’re actively working with our authors to improve the situation.

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  6. @Japh points out:

    … You get different results if you search for “ThemeForest” …

    I’ve been spoiled by Google Search, and Firefox Find. I’ll make a good review of the 26 plugins for ThemeForest & Envato.

    … [W]e’ll shortly be implementing a new set of requirements for themes on ThemeForest …

    And that post about those changes went up a month ago: Envato & ThemeForest have had their sleeves rolled up for awhile now.

    From that post:

    In the future [after implementing new requirements for new themes on TF], we will be actively working towards library re-reviews to bring the library up to these new standards. – [emph. added]

    Ah yes, excellent. This what the natural tendency toward rot & noxiousness requires.
    =====

    ThemeForest & Envato are ultimately a good thing, for WordPress, on several counts & levels. Their presence & success on the scene is an asset for WP. By properly hoeing the row they’ve chosen, issues can be tamed and their value increased.

    Thanks Japh!

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