A code of conduct for WordPress developers who want to do right by their small-business clients.

"Because the small-business website marketplace cannot effectively police itself, there needs to be an honor code among website developers to watch out for clients’ best interests."

-The Small-Business WordPress Developer Code of Honor

Why the Honor Code

"WordPress is a wonderful technology, but most small business website owners are not having wonderful experiences with it." -The Small-Business WordPress Developer Code of Honor

WP Honor Code is a project by Fred Meyer at WPShout. It comes from his experience, over many years doing WordPress client work, that most WordPress clients are not being well-served by their developers.

The Situation

By its nature, small-business WordPress development is very loosely organized: there are no certifying organizations, entrance exams, quality control or oversight systems, or centralized places for feedback or complaints. And because the work is so technical, clients are often not in a position to tell good work from bad until it's too late.

In some ways, this environment is similar to feudal Europe or Japan: a relatively small population of people with specialized tools and resources, in an overall environment without strong oversight.

The Solution

Just like in a feudal society, we need a code of conduct for the specialists: a detailed, binding commitment to be our own source of oversight, to refrain from misbehavior, and to use our tools for benefit. For us, that's the WordPress Developer Code of Honor.

You can read a very detailed analysis of the situation, and the honor code itself, in the original article on WPShout: The Small-Business WordPress Developer Code of Honor.

How to Use This Site


Read and Sign the Code

Read over the Code and reflect on it. Are these practices you can uphold in your own client work? Are there any you disagree with, and why? (You're welcome to give feedback in the comments of the original article. We do listen and have revised the Code based on feedback to this point.)

List Your Business

Make your commitment public by listing your agency in our directory. You may even find it a source of leads from clients who want a developer they can trust, although we make no promises on that front.

Display Swag

Let everyone know that you do things right! We have the following button options available now:

Once you've signed, feel free to put these in your sidebar, your email signature, anywhere you like. Link the images back to this site address, https://wphonorcode.com, or, preferably, to the specific URL of your listing on the site.

Help us Refine the Code

We want the Honor Code to be a living document, and so we want to hear your questions, ideas, and suggestions. The best place for a lively conversation is the WPShout Facebook Group.


Skim the Code

Learn what WordPress development done right looks like! Feel free to ask any developers you might hire if they do business in line with the general approach the Code outlines.

Hire from Listed Developers

Want to make sure your next experience in WordPress is a good one? Consider hiring an Honor-Bound Developer for your project.

Give Feedback on Your Developer Experience

This is a place for you to keep us honest. Was your experience with a listed developer in line with the Code? Say so! Or was it inconsistent with the Code? Tell us exactly how!

We run this as a public service, so your full experience with any listed agency is welcome, whether positive or negative.