How to Hire a WordPress Web Developer
Due to its popularity, you have a great number of options when looking for a WordPress developer. This guide can put you on the right track to finding a WordPress partner that can help you achieve your business goals.
Web design and development are important to any business owner who needs or has a website because having a website is business 101. However, creating and maintaining a website is not always easy and is certainly time-consuming. This is where a web developer can come in. However, as the market is being flooded with different website platforms, one has shined above the rest—WordPress.
If you decide you want your website to be created in WordPress or need someone to maintain your current WordPress site, you will need a WordPress web developer. This article will explore how to hire a WordPress developer that fits your business needs.
What Is WordPress Development
WordPress development is the specific skillset to create and maintain a website using the WordPress open-source platform. Anyone can use WordPress without tons of experience or a certificate/degree. However, if you want to have a quality website, it is highly recommended to hire a WordPress development consultant or agency with someone with this skill set.
What Are The Different Types Of Web Development Work?
As has been mentioned in our article on Software Development, web development is a niche developer under the software development umbrella. Instead of focusing on applications or software on the computer, this type of development focuses on websites. Web software and the work that developers do depends on the internet connection, and the work they do can range from a simple website to a complex web application. Within web development itself, there are different types, as listed below:
Front-End Web Development
Back-End Web Development
The back-end developer does the opposite of the front-end developer. They work on the part of the software that the audience or client cannot see—the back end. This programmer or developer builds the infrastructure of the software. Typically, when someone thinks of a back-end developer, they think of a coder—someone making sure that all the logic is functioning in a way that seems like magic or a different language to those not practiced. Back-end developers work with the server that the website is housed on to make sure all programs and applications function.
Full-Stack Web Development
A full-stack developer is essentially a full-service web developer. They work on the front and back ends of the product. A successful full-stack developer must be versed in all types of development, including customer service, as they must shift between the different types of development and user needs. A full-stack web developer is perfect for someone who needs a simple website, typically a small business because this person can do everything. However, as the website becomes more complicated, it is harder and harder to find a full-stack web developer that knows everything about front-end and back-end development in which case hiring an agency that has both is key.
Depending on who you talk to, the types of web development could even branch out further than what we have listed below (e.g., gaming web development), however, the above is a good first step in understanding web development.
Why Is WordPress Such A Popular Option?
If you do a simple Google search for WordPress how-tos, you will see hundreds of websites dedicated to best practices for using WordPress. This is because WordPress has become the standard for website platforms. WordPress is easy to use, has thousands of templates, and because it has become so popular, has set the standard for how websites should function.
Pros And Cons Of Developing A WordPress Website
As with any platform you decide to use, there are pros and cons of using it; WordPress is no different.
WordPress is a great tool because it has a user-friendly content management system, meaning that even a novice can use it. While you could technically use WordPress yourself (and may decide to do so if you need to make content updates), it is still best to leave it up to the web developers.
As part of its usability, it also has access to over 54,000 plugins, meaning that you can integrate practically anything to it, especially if you are using an eCommerce application. From a marketing angle, WordPress follows SEO (Search Engine Optimization) best practices so that your website will be easily found on the web and have good traffic. Finally, it has thousands of WordPress themes and templates, meaning that your web developer does not have to reinvent the wheel when creating your website.
However, there are a few downsides to using WordPress. WordPress is an open-sourced platform meaning that it is not proprietary. That in turn means that its security is not as tight and may increase risk. Depending on the template that is chosen, speed and updates may be tricky to complete and could create issues, especially if the theme has a lot of unnecessary code. This is also why customization is difficult outside of the templates. While custom templates are possible, they are a bit more tricky.
Thankfully, all the negatives of WordPress can be easily resolved by hiring and using a web developer that is an expert in WordPress. They would be able to prevent security risks and work around tricky code that may be causing the site to slow down.
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What Businesses Can Benefit From WordPress?
The short answer is any business! WordPress has so many templates and options that it is perfect for any type of business. However, it does have limits. If you are looking to create a website that should act as a database, then WordPress is not a great fit for you, and you should look at a CRM or find a developer that can create something from scratch for you.
Alternatives To WordPress
WordPress is not the only website platform on the market. Alternatives include Wix, Weebly, Shopify, Squarespace, BigCommerce, and many more. Each site has its own specialty. For example, Shopify is a website platform that specializes in e-Commerce. If you have a website that is simply retail, then you may want to explore Shopify. However, the benefit of WordPress is that it has access to thousands of plugins so your site can still run on WordPress with the functionality of an e-Commerce application.
Why You Should Hire A WordPress-Specific Development Consultant
If you are a small business owner or someone with few employees, you will likely be outsourcing your web development and website design needs regardless. As WordPress is the industry standard for websites, it only goes to show that you should hire a web developer that specializes in WordPress. You could certainly hire an agency that has expertise in multiple platforms, but if you have decided to use WordPress, you will receive more bang for your buck by hiring a WordPress-specific development consultant.
Hiring A WordPress Developer
You may have decided that you are ready to hire a WordPress developer. Now here are some questions and answers that will help guide you with your search:
How Much Does It Cost To Develop A Website In WordPress?
The key costs associated with creating a website on WordPress is with the developer. There are standard costs from WordPress, but the bulk of costs will come from the agency or freelancer you choose.
There are two cost structures for designing and developing websites: hourly or flat rate.
- Hourly rate: This rate can vary from $30-$80 solely for design work and $100-$180 for development work.
- Flat rate: The average cost of a basic website is $6, 750.
Hourly rates are typically used for the maintenance needs of a website or if you are creating a very basic website and do not anticipate much support after that.
When developing and designing a website, you will typically see web designers charge a flat rate, with a contract that includes a project management plan. The fees will include setup, design and building, content creation, client training, and maintenance. In addition to the cost of the partner you choose, there will be additional costs such as web domain and web hosting, which usually incur an annual fee to maintain the URL and securely hosting the site on the world wide web.
How To Find A Web Design And WordPress Partner
Take some time to read reviews across many different locations on the web to get a feel for what working with these partners is like and if they might be a good fit with your organization.
And then there’s good old-fashioned word-of-mouth. Reach out to your network and ask who they have used for their development needs in the past. This is where you will likely get the most candid responses, which is important when considering an investment of this magnitude.
Skills To Look For In A WordPress Development Company
Unlike a Web Designer, when looking for a web developer, you do not necessarily need someone who is creatively minded. This person should understand the coding and processes that are on the backend of a website. Here are some skills to keep in mind.
Coding And Markup Languages
Access To Marketing And Business Expertise
While it is not within the scope of a web developer to work on marketing (e.g., SEO), to build an effective website, they will need to have access to a marketing expert who can support these needs. All agencies will have a dedicated person, but if you work with a freelancer, ensure they have this access or skillset.
Ability To Test, Mitigate Risk And Effectively Launch
When deciding on a developer, be sure to ask how they approach risk within a website and how they approach the process of testing and launching a website. This is key for ensuring there are no bugs and your website is on point when launched.
If you decide to use WordPress for your web platform, then you certainly need someone who is an expert on WordPress. A developer may have years of experience working with Shopify or another platform, but if they do not know WordPress in and out, then they will not be of use to you.
Questions To Ask When Choosing A WordPress Development Company
In general, here are some questions you should ask when looking for WordPress developer:
- What is your specialty?
- Are you a full-service agency or do you specialize?
- What is your pricing structure?
Not all WordPress developers are the same. Some specialize in a certain type (e.g., eCommerce), some may specialize in a certain industry (e.g., health care), and many have different price points and packages (monthly, yearly, ad hoc). It is also vital that the company offers a maintenance package. When discussing the pricing structure and scope, be sure to go over maintenance work and pricing.
Post-Hiring Expectations And Website Maintenance
After you have vetted and signed with an agency, you can expect: