I had just written the #1 resumes bestseller on Amazon and had hit over 40,000 Kindle downloads. All I had to do next was to build a website to help promote it. “That should be easy!” I thought. I was so wrong.
When I created my first website, I overspent on my budget, couldn’t complete the project, and ultimately failed. I know firsthand some of the challenges faced when building a WordPress site. I’m here to share my lessons so that you don’t have to experience the challenges that I ran into.
At the time, this was my first foray into building a WordPress site. I literally had no clue what I was doing. But I’m a big believer that some of the best lessons are through first-hand experiences, so I dove right in. I quickly hired a designer and developer after reviewing their portfolio. They had a few projects that looked pretty good, so it seemed like a sure bet. Or so I thought.
Fast forward to a few weeks later. They showed me the final product and it wasn’t anything close to what I had outlined and described at the beginning of the project. In addition to that, any additional changes would have cost a lot more money. Money that exceeded the original budget.
I learned a lot of lessons including the importance of setting expectations up front, managing milestones, and deliverables much more tightly, being very clear around what is and isn’t included in the statement of work, and learning to manage a team better.
Most importantly, I also learned the importance of finding great talent. Looking back, I wish I knew which were the top platforms to find the best WordPress developer and designers. One of my biggest weaknesses was not understanding how to implement an effective screening process. It’s especially hard to do in the field of design and development.
According to W3Techs, 26.1 percent of websites are powered by WordPress. If you’re part of the quarter of the internet who runs their websites through WordPress, then you know that it’s worth hiring an expert (or two) to build custom themes, a beautiful design, and to add advanced features to make your site stand out from the crowd. Don’t cut corners — hire amazing talent to do a great job!
Toptal’s screening process and white glove matching service set it apart from the other freelance options on this list. Toptal is a network of elite WordPress developers and designers from around the world, all of whom have passed an intensive set of tests, including language and personality screens, live skill reviews with senior Toptal WordPress developers, and a test project as part of their application.
When clients come to Toptal with a project, Toptal’s engineers get on the phone with the client to discuss their aims and needs before hand-matching them with a senior WordPress developer from their network who can start work immediately. This dramatically cuts down your time spent sifting through résumés and vetting candidates yourself, as Toptal clients usually interview only 1.7 candidates before making a hire. Toptal has screened more than 80,000 people to connect companies with the top 3 percent of developers and designers.
Upwork is a massive online marketplace, with over 10 million registered freelancers and 3 million jobs posted each year. It’s a quick, easy-to-use website that allows you to search for WordPress developers based on their past ratings, location, hours billed, and hourly rates.
When considering a developer, you’ll be able to see their work history on Upwork, as well as any feedback provided by clients, any portfolio pieces they have chosen to upload, and the scores of any coding tests they’ve taken. Upwork doesn’t do any of the screening for you, so we recommend using the site if you have a relatively simple, short-term project that doesn’t require top-notch talent in order to be executed well.
As the name suggests, WPHired is an online job board made exclusively for WordPress-related jobs — from theme and plugin development to design to SEO. It was started by Jerome Degl’innocenti, a self-proclaimed WordPress fanatic, who wanted to make it easier for employers to find WordPress developers and vice versa for free.
You create an account, fill out a short form about what you need, where you want your developer to be based (if you have a preference), and if you are looking to hire a WordPress engineer part-time or full-time. You can also add a link to an online application form, post a video describing your company and the job, and connect your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter accounts to the post.
Finally, you can opt into their email list so you get a daily digest of available WordPress developers looking to take on more work. This site is a great resource if you’re just looking to be connected to developers and then have the time and resources to do all the vetting yourself.
WordPress Jobs is the only job board powered by WordPress itself. It operates similarly to WPHired: you fill out a form specifying what exactly the candidate will be doing, if the job is full-time or part-time, your rates and if you are open to negotiating, and whether or not you have a location preference for the developer.
You can ask for candidates to apply via email, online application, or by the phone and your job posting will be displayed for 21 days. The site is updated daily and has a huge audience of WordPress experts. We also recommend joining some of the WordPress forums and mailing lists to find out which developers are very active in the community.
As an employer, you have two options on Guru: you can browse the list of available WordPress developers featured on the site, or you can post a project and wait for them to reach out to you. The site has over 1.5 million registered freelancers, and a simple search for “wordpress developers” today yields over 6,000 results! In order to make your pool of potential candidates more manageable, we recommend that you map out all of the qualifications you’re looking for, as well as any non-negotiables, before starting your search.
When you sign up for Guru, you get access to their Work Room, an awesome resource for streamlining communication with your developer.Using Workroom lets you negotiate agreements, make payments, share files, set goals, and check in with your developer. Especially if you’re working with a remote freelancer for the first time, or if you have many freelancers to keep track of, having one place to manage everything is incredibly handy. Guru’s downside is that they don’t weed out amateur developers on their own. You only have prior reviews to determine who is the best fit for your job, so make sure to do your diligence in the vetting process.
Using Workroom lets you negotiate agreements, make payments, share files, set goals, and check in with your developer. Especially if you’re working with a remote freelancer for the first time, or if you have many freelancers to keep track of, having one place to manage everything is incredibly handy. Guru’s downside is that they don’t weed out amateur developers on their own. You only have prior reviews to determine who is the best fit for your job, so make sure to do your diligence in the vetting process.