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Freelance WordPress Designer and Developer

I design and develop custom, easy-to-update and easy-to-maintain WordPress themes for editorial, marketing, and content websites.


I live and work in New York City (NYC), where I left my job leading a design team at Google to begin my freelance WordPress development career, and eventually grew this business into Studio Simpatico. I’ve been building websites since 1995, and building websites on WordPress since 2010. As a designer with a strong background and career in UX design, I have a deep appreciation for both intuitively organized content management systems and attention and precision to visual design detail. ¬†Though I spend most of my time working on projects for Simpatico, I still take on freelance WordPress consulting projects, as well.

New York City Freelance WordPress Developer Tamara Olson

Me, thinking

Past Work

At Studio Simpatico, a WordPress design and development agency, we offer full design and development services for custom WordPress themes. However, I’m also happy to work with design agencies or freelance WordPress designers to bring their designs to life as custom themes. Below are a few custom WordPress themes I’ve built and coded myself:

How I design and develop websites using WordPress custom themes

There are two primary (and dramatically different) approaches to creating a site with WordPress. I don’t believe either is inherently ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ — the ‘right’ choice really depends on you and your business. You can a) build a custom theme, or b) use a premade theme (including ones with Squarespace style pagebuilders, like Divi). I outline the pros and cons of these approaches in this article.

If you do decide a custom theme is right for you, as a freelance WordPress developer, I’d love to help you bring it to life! I build themes based on design files (Sketch, Figma, or Adobe XD) created by Studio Simpatico designers or external designers, and build all of my themes on Amber Weinberg’s barebones starter theme, Super Hijinksified.

New York City Freelance WordPress Developer Tamara Olson

Me, typing

These are a few of my favorite plugins

A site that is a big pile of plugin soup is no good for everyone, and I try to avoid that at all costs. However, there are a few gold standard plugins that are beautifully designed, and maintained. I’ve never built (or rarely build) a site without: