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9 Must-Haves When You Hire A WordPress Developer

If you want a professional website, you are probably going to need the help of a professional WordPress developer. Whether you want to hire a WordPress developer or you just need some assistance, there are some key factors you should take into consideration before making your decision.

  1. WordPress Expertise
  2. Location
  3. Social Proof
  4. Responsiveness
  5. Attitude
  6. Experience
  7. Approach
  8. Price
  9. Professionalism

It’s not that hard to find a WordPress developer because WordPress is the most popular Content Management System on the planet.

WordPress CMS Market Share Statistics

Plus WordPress is easy to use, so it is used for a LOT of websites and blogs. Over 30% of all sites on the internet today use WordPress.

Over 30% of all sites on the internet today use WordPress. Click To Tweet

Having said this, there are times you need the help of a WordPress web developer, whether it be to create some custom functionality or fix a broken site.

Because WordPress is so popular, it is not difficult finding people who call themselves WordPress programmers.

Finding the best WordPress developers, someone you can depend on to get the job done, that’s a different matter.

Here are nine key factors you should consider when looking for a WordPress developer.

1.) WordPress Expertise

When looking for a developer, look for someone with WordPress experience specifically.

Just because a developer has experience with other content management systems does not mean they will do a good working with WordPress.

Each CMS has its on way of working, and each is very different. You need to understand the ins and outs of a system specifically before you can even begin to call yourself an expert.

Without WordPress-specific experience, a developer may try to use their own programming methods instead of using standardized WordPress methods, and this can create a real mess in the code.

As a result, the site will be prone to technical problems and will be difficult to update and maintain.

2.) Location

Do they work in your time zone? How well do they speak your language?

You definitely need to have a WordPress developer that will be available during your working hours.

What if something on your site breaks? If your developer is halfway across the world then you may have to wait almost a day before things get fixed.

In the meantime, you could be losing business.

Having a developer who is fluent in your language is also incredibly important.

There are nuances in every language. Miscommunications can be costly and there is a higher likelihood of typos or other problems related to text when English is not their native language.

3.) Social Proof

Do they have good reviews and testimonials from real customers?

These days, it’s easy to set up online and pretend to be something that you are not with fake reviews and testimonials.

Beware. It's easy to set up online and pretend to be something that you are not with fake reviews and testimonials. Click To Tweet

You want to hire a WordPress developer who has verifiable experience and real clients.

This is really the only way that you will be able to determine whether they actually have the WordPress experience that you need.

In addition, real reviews and legitimate testimonials can give you a sense of what it’s like to work with a developer.

4.) Responsiveness

Do they return phone calls and emails promptly? 

No WordPress site is going to function flawlessly, and problems do occur.

There will be issues that require a real-time response. You need someone available when things go wrong.

Having a WordPress developer who responds quickly is absolutely essential when your business depends on your website.

The last thing you want is for them to suddenly disappear, or take a week or longer to get back to you.

5.) Attitude

Do discussions with your developer make you feel comfortable or stupid?

You do not want to feel you are being held hostage by a WordPress developer who uses their technical knowledge to their own advantage.

Technical expertise does not mean they can use that as leverage to get their way.

It is your website, your money. You need to work with a WordPress developer who respects that. Click To Tweet

You also don’t want to be working with a design diva or surly geek.

Ideally, you want to work with a developer who will take care of the technical details so you can focus on the strategy and content.

6.) Experience

Can they provide examples of their previous work?

Make sure you only do business with WordPress developers who have a portfolio of their work to show.

But be careful. There are unscrupulous people who simply take copies of existing WordPress sites they find on the Internet and present them as if they are original.

The worst offenders don’t even bother to replace the “lorem ipsum” text meant to be a placeholder for the real content. In cases like this it is likely their English is weak and they can’t recognize the difference between real words and gobbledygook.

If a developer’s portfolio is full of generic sites or they do not list examples of clients they have worked with, proceed with caution.

However to be fair, a developer’s work is often done behind the scenes and may not be obvious. Try to verify with their previous clients the work they say they have done.

7.) Approach

Are they problem-solvers or direction-takers?

If you have a really concrete idea of what you want, then you want to work with a developer who can execute your vision.

On the other hand, if you are not sure what you want, you need a developer who has the knowledge you need to help you make the best decisions.

Ultimately the most important thing is the developer’s ability to combine your content and strategy with the technical foundation required to produce your site.

The best WordPress developers are the ones who know which technical tools will provide the best solution for any situation. Click To Tweet

8.) Price

Do they charge by the hour or by the project?

In general, charging by the hour tends to work more in favor of the developer than the client. Being compensated by the hour certainly does not provide incentive to get a project done quickly. Quite the opposite.

It is very common for web projects to take longer than originally anticipated.

A fixed-price project fee means that the WordPress developer has to ‘eat’ any overages instead of passing them on to you. That motivates them to deliver on schedule, because time is money – even when you don’t charge by the hour.

A fixed-price budget also means you have a pretty clear understanding of what the overall project is going to cost to complete.

9.) Professionalism

Is this their full-time profession or a side-gig?

Professionalism is one of the most important factors when choosing a WordPress developer.

No matter how talented a developer may be, he or she is doing you a disservice if that talent is not applied professionally.

This means their work is on time all the time. It also means that you get exactly what you ask for rather than what the developer thinks is best.

If a tight budget is a consideration you may think a student is a good solution.

However students don’t have the experience with deadlines, budgets and time management that a professional WordPress developer will have.

The same goes for someone doing web sites as a side job. Will they be able to give your project their full attention, or will they be working on it in their spare time?

Will they be available if something goes wrong? Will they have the experience to fix it?

For the sake of sanity, choose a professional, a developer who has at least three or more years of experience working with WordPress.

Hopefully these nine key factors will help you find the best WordPress developer for your project.

If you are currently in the market for a developer, talk to us about your requirements – maybe we are exactly what you are looking for!

In the meantime, please share your own personal experience with WordPress developers – good or bad.

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