Without a doubt, WordPress is the numero uno when it comes to website builders.
It powers a third of the web and the WordPress CMS has an almost 61% market share.
Kudos to you for deciding to use WordPress to power your business website. Trust us, it by far outpaces the also-rans.
But how do you hire a dedicated WordPress developer? There are specific traits and skills you must look for. We provide all the background knowledge you will ever need.
Role of a WordPress developer
We promised a little background. Here it is.
WordPress is a platform that allows anyone to create a website. It has been around since 2003 and was originally meant for publishing blogs.
However, the WordPress community is dynamic, and they built a versatile application. So diverse are its uses that it can be used to build a media website (e.g. BBC America) and for powering a top online real estate business (e.g. Zillow).
Anyone can put together a basic WordPress site with no more than a week’s training and some handholding.
But a website has to be a lot more than basic to be appealing.
That is where the need for a dedicated WordPress developer arises. A WordPress developer is a professional website developer who specializes in the WordPress ecosystem.
It’s not that they dabble in it on weekends. They work regularly and know all there is to know about WordPress and the most often used plugins. Besides, they can also maintain a site and scale it up as required.
How to recruit a WordPress developer?
But how do you separate the wheat from the chaff when hiring a remote WordPress developer?
Ask these questions and you will find the best-suited one.
Do they know WordPress Theme development?
It’s easy to take an off-the-shelf theme from Elementor and use a single click to apply it across a site. It is quite another to have worked on theme development.
The same holds true for plugins too.
What this query allows you is to find their involvement in developing the WordPress ecosystem.
Does it matter? Yes, it does. Being involved in any sort of development means they have a better idea of coding. It is the best test of the coder’s skills since the product they create is going to be open to review.
A developer who has worked on theme development could tweak and set up a theme exactly as you require. Since it requires more than the usual understanding of HTML and CSS, the job is best left to experts.
How many references do they carry?
Unless you are paying bottom dollar (something that would be accepted by a complete newbie) you should ask for references and a portfolio.
It is quite difficult for a portfolio to speak for itself since it is remarkably easy to download a website and claim that one wrote the code.
That is why you need a reference site and an email address. If possible go for a video interview of the owner to find what worked and what broke.
The other reason for references is to learn if the work was completed on time and with a minimum number of changes.
Ask about their proficiency
Which programming languages are they experts in?
Since you probably have no idea of coding, testing their background might prove to be a hard nut to crack.
Do they know Python, Java, PHP, MYSQL?
Your site might not need the use, but any programmer worth his salt knows a few of these.
It also exhibits curiosity they have. Without curiosity, one cannot progress far in this field.
Does he charge hourly or per project ?
It’s customary to advertise the hourly rate on job sites.
However, as a layman, you have no way to know how long your work should take. What if it takes six hours, but you are billed for thrice that many?
The better approach is to go for a flat rate, e.g. $200 for a basic business site, $800 for a WooCommerce site with 50 product pages, and so on.
A flat rate lets you bargain. You also have a grip on cost overruns.
If you find someone who is ideal but does not want to sign up for a flat rate, make him disclose a possible number of hours and project cost. Then hold him to it.
Most job sites allow some form of escrow payment. Work with the developer to set up milestones and pay accordingly.
Before you pay a dime, make sure it’s all on paper.
A caveat. Your developer might be in Ukraine or Orlando and there is no way to enforce contracts across international boundaries. Therefore, take this part slowly and be vigilant.
Can he configure plugins and help you take baby steps?
Most sites would need several plugins:
- Elementor or similar for a website builder and themes
- MailChimp for mail management
- Yoast for SEO
- OptinMonster for pop-ups
- WPRocket for caching
- Google Analytics for traffic
and so on.
Most of these are quite easy to use and you can learn to work with them in a few days.
But it definitely helps if a WordPress Developer helps you out with the primary configuration.
You could share the screen with him using TeamViewer or similar software and he could show you how to optimize a plugin.
Even if a developer charges a little extra for this tutorial, consider this a worthwhile investment. The rich plugin environment of WordPress is what makes it so desirable and knowing how to work the most essential among them is essential.
Would he be available for further developments?
Your site might begin malfunctioning and no matter how many times you try to restore just won’t work. The pages might be askew or the plugins might not be reporting correctly.
Unless a developer provides you with reasonable assurance that they will be available, don’t sign up.
After you have some experience of running a site, you might want to upgrade it and add new features.
The one who developed the site is the best possible person to modify and expand the contents.
Take the headache out of hiring a WordPress developer
The above is a lot of work.
Imagine going over the details with a dozen or more developers over a weekend and maintaining copious notes of the interview.
In the end, you are puzzled if you should choose the pony-tailed guy who has built a WooCommerce store or the one with a buzz cut who has published two WordPress plugins and three Android apps!
There is an easy way out. Uplers Talent Connect can provide you with the best WordPress developers with minimum fuss.
They have a talent curation process that is second to none and offer full-stack WordPress developers at a highly competitive rate.
Give them a call and you will be the proud owner of a dream website in a week.