Ten Tips to Make Sure You Get the Right WordPress Development Team

Hiring the right person to develop your website can be a challenge, especially if you’re doing it yourself or working with someone who doesn’t have experience with WordPress development.

There are many things to consider when making this important decision, and we’ll give you some useful tips on how to go about it right here! Here are ten things you need to keep in mind when hiring your next WordPress developer:

1. Be clear on your end goal

When you begin your search for a developer, it’s critical that you’re clear on what your end goal is. This will go a long way in ensuring that you find someone who fits your unique needs. Be sure to clearly explain any non-negotiables, as well as your desired timeline and budget.

This also helps eliminate candidates who may not be right for you — there’s no point wasting time on someone who isn’t equipped to meet your specific needs. Asking developers what types of WordPress sites they’ve built in the past can also help narrow down potential matches.

2. Ask if they are familiar with your specific issue

Ask if they are familiar with your specific issue. There’s no shame in admitting you need help; when it comes to hiring someone new, you should make sure they’re up-to-date on current trends and developments.

Ask how they would approach your situation or if they have any recommendations for resources or software that can help you out. If you already know some of their preferences or background, be sure to take that into account as well.

Don’t get too down on yourself if not everyone responds — sometimes freelancers just like hearing from people, even if it isn’t about work.

3. Ask how they would tackle your problems

It’s important that you pick your developer based on their proven experience tackling real-world problems similar to yours. Ask how they would tackle your problems and what they have learned from doing so in their past projects.

Listen carefully for their response because it will tell you everything you need to know about how they think and work, as well as whether or not they are right for your job. In addition, talk to current or former clients of theirs and make sure those people are happy with them too.

Finally, don’t be afraid to hire more than one developer if needed; using multiple developers can speed up development and lower costs due to competition among contractors who may be bidding on your project.

4. Ask what skills they have to help you

When you’re interviewing developers to see if they can help you create your site, it’s a good idea to ask them what skills they have to help you build it.

What kind of other sites have they built in addition to their portfolio?
Does that expertise match up with what you need or want for your business or personal site?

You should also make sure they know how to work with all types of WordPress sites — not just those on Wix and Squarespace, which are probably not what you want.

For example, if your site needs some serious customization, does that developer know about custom post types and taxonomies, custom post formats and how templates work within WP? If not (or maybe even if so), you might want to rethink hiring that person.

5. Look at their portfolio

Find out if they have experience developing sites with WordPress and a portfolio of past projects. Be sure to look at these closely so you can see their level of expertise, how complex their projects are, how good their code is, and what kind of themes or plugins they use.

There’s no point in getting someone who can do something awesome — it’s completely pointless if they don’t know how to do it on your site. For example, if you have an ecommerce website using WooCommerce, you need developers who understand that platform.

There are many different kinds of software out there; make sure your developer has experience using whatever technology you’re using on your site.

6. Ask what support channels they offer

When you’re working with an outside party, especially on a project that involves content and copy, it’s vital to make sure they offer solid support channels.

When you’re spending money, it’s important that you have someone to turn to when something goes wrong. At minimum, ask what methods of communication they offer — chat platforms like Skype or Zoom are great for troubleshooting quick questions while emails and phone calls are better for complex issues.

It is also important that your developer has direct access to your site. With platforms like Squarespace or Wix it can be difficult at times for developers of other platforms to get into your site so we would encourage you to use WordPress as it is one of the most versatile ways out there!

7. Consider hiring an agency instead of a freelancer

Don’t want to hire a freelancer because of lack of experience or trust factor? Consider hiring an agency instead. Agencies usually have more people on staff, providing a higher level of experience. If you’re looking for quality design, development, and/or hosting services from a reputable company with an established team of professionals that can support your site long-term, an agency might be better than a freelancer.

Many agencies will assign one developer as your primary contact. Having someone dedicated to your project who can answer questions throughout its lifecycle is a huge benefit.

Plus, agencies often have other resources on staff like graphic designers and SEO experts that you could benefit from depending on your project’s needs.

8. Ask about their process for completing projects

The different steps they take in completing projects and deliverables is worth asking about because it will give you an idea of how they’ll do things on your project. Some developers have formalized processes while others simply wing it.

The important thing to consider is whether their process meshes with yours — because you’re going to need someone who can work well within your existing business framework. If your company has strict deadlines, for example, you want someone who can work efficiently; if you run leaner and tighter than most companies, you may want someone with experience working in those conditions.

9. Try working with them for 30 days first as a trial

No matter how perfect a candidate’s resume may seem, it’s important to hire with your gut. Take 30 days to trial them and see if you enjoy working with them. A developer that seems like a perfect fit on paper could end up not being a good match for your team if they don’t work well in practice.

The best long-term hires are often ones where you feel like you got lucky — but luck means nothing if you haven’t done your homework first! Consider getting another person from within your organization or trusted friend involved in the process as an unbiased third party who can help ensure everyone has clear expectations about what will be expected during a trial period.

10. Ask for a detailed quote

Any reputable developer will be willing to provide a detailed quote that details their expertise, pricing and timeline. Keep in mind that quotes can vary based on where you live, your industry, or how difficult it is for a developer to accomplish your project.

If a potential partner doesn’t want to give you a detailed quote, it might be a sign they’re not very serious about your business or are too new in their development career for you to fully trust them. Also, make sure you ask about cancellation fees and whether there is an engagement contract involved.

Hire a WordPress team with confidence

Hiring a WordPress development team can be challenging, but there are some things you can do beforehand to ensure that your project and resources won’t go to waste. Hire a WordPress development team who are qualified in their field, stay open-minded, and keep communication channels open.

A developer’s level of experience (both with WordPress specifically and with coding in general) are top-of-mind when making an initial decision. But it doesn’t stop there — you’ll also want to know how flexible your developer is and whether or not they do both frontend and backend work. With so many moving parts, you’ll want to feel confident that your developer has what it takes for success.

Make sure you make use of your time with them, listen closely to what they have to say, and ask questions as they come up. With these tips in mind, WordPress development will seem like less of an effort on both sides.

Special thanks to Tremis Skeete, Executive Editor at Product Coalition for the valuable input which contributed to the editing of this article.

Ten Tips to Make Sure You Get the Right WordPress Development Team was originally published in Product Coalition on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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