WordPress is obviously great for self-publishing your website. However, hiring a developer could be a good idea when you’re in the build or redesign phases. The decision to hire is easy, but choosing the right one can be a challenge.
Fortunately, there are some practical and logical steps you can take to make the entire process easier. Knowing where to find the right WordPress developers is a good start. Also, aligning your needs with their skillset is also important.
In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of choosing the right WordPress developer. We’ll then look at some key steps to finding and choosing a developer for your website. Let’s get started!
The Importance of Choosing the Right WordPress Developer
As we mentioned, WordPress ideal for those with little to no coding experience, especially with the proliferation of themes on the market. However, you’re also likely to hit a brick wall at some point in the development process. Depending on your vision, you may need a degree of coding skills to achieve your goals.
At this point, you’ll want to consider hiring a WordPress developer. Of course, they’ll have the necessary chops to create intuitive websites, likely in less time than you’d take.
The right developer will make you feel at ease with the whole process. They’ll have the experience to guide you through the process, and give you the necessary understanding of how your website functions.
What’s more, the benefits of choosing the right developer continue after your website’s launch. So-called ‘aftercare’ should be a big part of the development cycle. In a nutshell, having a developer on the team at this point will be a boon, especially if there are any issues arising from your site’s launch.
How to Choose a WordPress Developer for Your Website (4 Key Steps)
Knowing you want to hire a WordPress developer and actually hiring them are two very different things. The hiring process can be daunting because the knowledge gap could see you hire the wrong choice for you.
To ensure you choose the right developer, you should consider these four key steps. Let’s begin by getting on the same page regarding your needs.
1. Ascertain What You’re Looking For
Before you start looking for a developer, you’ll need to thoroughly understand your own needs. For starters, consider whether you already have a design – a look and color scheme – in hand. If so, you’ll likely only need a back-end developer. However, if this project is a complete redesign, you should look into what’s known as a ‘full-stack’ developer – i.e. one who can work on your front end too.
You also need to consider the overall goal of your website, as this will determine the features and functionality you need. For example, a traditional and passive site structure (containing a minimum of a home page, About page, Contact page, and blog) will require different skills and functionality than a site based around community interaction.
At this point, you’ll have more of an idea of the sort of developer you need. If you goal is to simply freshen up the layout, you’ll want someone with front-end design experience. However, the greater the number of features you’ll want to include, the more likely a back-end technical developer will suit you.
We’ll discuss skillsets more later, but speaking of knowledge, you should also consider whether there is any functionality you’ll want to keep. Of course, any developer you hire should also have experience with the tools you want to stick with.
2. Know Where to Find the Right Developer
Once you have an idea of the type of developer you need, it’s time to hunt for them. As you may expect, there are a few approaches you can take.
The first place to look is on dedicated job boards and marketplaces such as Freelancer and Upwork. There are also websites dedicated to WordPress freelancing such as Toptal and Codeable to consider.
However, there are plenty of developers who don’t advertise via these channels. As such, good old-fashioned search will be invaluable. Depending on whether you need the developer to sit in-house, you may even want to restrict your search to the local area – although this may be fruitless depending on your location.
Finally, contacts in your industry or niche can help too. Check out friendly competitors, or scour websites you like in your niche to see if you can find a “Created by…” link at the bottom. Many of the best developers are found through word of mouth, and if real people are happy, there’s no better social proof of the developer’s talent.
3. Look At The Developer’s Skillset
If you need to hire a developer with design experience, you also need to consider whether you can comfortably work with the software they’re using. Professional designers are generally well-versed in Photoshop, Illustrator, and wireframe programs. However, they should also have web development language experience – as we said, unless you’re making multiple hires, a full-stack developer will be important.
While coding languages and software knowledge is important, you should also look at soft skills. This includes communication and flexibility. To determine their communication skills, the first task is to simply contact them and consider how they respond. They should use professional language and respond in a reasonable timeframe at a bare minimum.
4. Consider The Developer’s Portfolio and Past Work
Professional WordPress developers generally have portfolios highlighting their past work – at least, ones worth their salt will. You should look at any showcased work to determine the developer’s skill level, and see the type of work they generally complete. For example, if you want to build an e-commerce site, a portfolio without any retail websites may be a red flag.
Of course, if you’re considering front-end developers, their portfolio should include design examples. This gives you a feel of what they can provide and if they have a style to their work that suits your vision. For example, some designers prefer flat grid designs while others prefer asymmetric designs. Choosing the right one will make the design process much smoother.
You may even want to go the extra mile here and look up some of the developer’s past clients and contact them for a recommendation. After all, a portfolio is only going to showcase the best deliverables, and won’t offer any insight into the developer’s working practices, professionalism, and other factors.
Choosing a WordPress developer for your website can be daunting, without question. There are many professionals vying for your work, but they might not all meet your needs. The right developer will be able to work to fit your vision, and provide plenty of support after launch.
To choose a WordPress developer for your website, consider to following:
- Understand what you’re looking for.
- Know where to find the right developer.
- Look at the developer’s skillset.
- Consider their past work.
Do you have any questions about hiring a WordPress developer for your website? Let us know in the comments below!
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