When it comes to CMS (content management system) platforms, they don’t get much more powerful than WordPress. With over 40% of websites powered by the platform, you’ll be in good company if you opt to start your next website project with WordPress. And since WordPress.com is the fastest WordPress managed host on the web, your site will shine here.
Obviously, WordPress is popular, but unlike simplified website builders that exchange customization flexibility and function for ease of use, WordPress can come with a bit of a learning curve.
Suppose you have a precise vision for your site that demands custom features and design. In that case, you’ll likely need to dive into the code to meet your objectives. Anyone with minimal or no WordPress development experience should probably seek the help of a professional at this point
So, in this article, we’re covering how to find and hire WordPress developers for your specific startup needs. Rest assured; by the end of this blog post, you’ll be better positioned to hire someone who matches your project requirements and gets things right the first time around.
Let’s get started!
Do You Need to Hire a Dedicated WordPress Developer?
If you’re just starting out, your needs might not be so complex that you require a dedicated WordPress developer. After all, if you just want to create a straightforward website using WordPress.com’s free plan, you’ll probably find that the interface is incredibly user-friendly.
WordPress.com features an intuitive drag-and-drop content editor that enables you full customization over your site’s building and web design – with no coding required.
At this point, it’s worth mentioning that you have nothing to lose by giving WordPress.com’s free version a try. Why not play around with the platform and see what you can create with one of WordPress’s themes and some customization time? You can set up a simple site within minutes. Trust us; it’s easier than you would think.
With WordPress.com’s different pricing plans, you can add functionality as and when you need it. The more time you spend with it, the chances are, the more comfortable you’ll feel building a website yourself. In addition,the Business and eCommerce plans scale alongside the needs of your project, so you may find you’re able to unlock all the functionality you’re looking for with WordPress.com’s plugins and extensions.
However, if you’re a larger business and don’t have the time or headspace to design a new site, you might want to consider hiring someone else to do it for you. Or you may have built the site yourself and feel it needs a custom WordPress theme or some fresh functionality, and you don’t know how to add it yourself.
In those instances, a professional freelancer is a much safer bet than DIYing your website’s core features. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you risk creating a poor user experience and suffering from unnecessary downtime. Both of which can affect your brand and, more importantly, your bottom line. As such, sometimes it’s more time and cost-effective to hire a professional WordPress developer from the get-go. Thanks to WordPress’s open-source nature, it’s pretty easy to grant your WordPress developer access to your website’s code.
How to Find WordPress Developers
Finding the right WordPress expert to collaborate with is often the trickiest part of working with a WordPress developer. There are hundreds of sites and online marketplaces like Upwork, Toptal, and Codeable. You’ll find thousands of freelancers willing to take on all manner of WordPress jobs. Here you’ll discover coders located worldwide – the UK, US, India, etc.
Each comes with its own set of pros, cons, and features, and each ranks their developers differently. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult to know if those rankings reflect what you’re actually looking for.
Some services rank their WordPress freelancers according to reviews; others focus on star ratings for different areas of service. In contrast, others may hone in on the quality of the WordPress programmer’s portfolio.
Then, other sites focus on curation – either by their in-house team or their user base. Some undertake a vigorous vetting process with pre-screenings, qualification requirements, etc. In comparison, others don’t have any kind of vetting in place.
The moral of the story? It’s a mixed bag out there! It’s easy to browse loads of different freelance marketplaces, all of which boast different approaches, making it nearly impossible to compare developers accurately.
Aside from this, you’ll also need to find a professional freelancer geared towards your specific business needs. Different sites and marketplaces specialize in varying areas of WordPress development. For example, there are development companies for enterprise-level developers, WooCommerce and eCommerce developers, agencies, etc. WordPress even offers its own web design and development service, which is certainly worth checking out.
It’s down to you to do your research and identify exactly which kind of developer best suits your WordPress job. First, you’ll need to clarify which services you’re after and which skill sets and qualifications your ideal candidate will have. To help figure this out, we’re providing some pointers on how to find the best candidate for your project, no matter which marketplace you use.This makes it much easier to pick a marketplace that suits your project requirements.
What to Look For in the Best WordPress Developers
Once you’ve found a platform and have started browsing through the talent on offer, you’ll have hundreds, if not thousands, of developers to choose from. This begs the question: How do you identify the best WordPress developers for you?
Here are a few factors to consider:
Area of Expertise
What aspect of your WordPress site are you developing? Consider this question carefully, as the answer will determine your developer’s required skill set.
- Building a new WordPress site or eCommerce/WooCommerce store entirely from scratch?
- Improving the web design and visuals of an existing site?
- Adding functionality to your current website?
- Improving website security or making other technical improvements?
- Needing custom plugin development?
- Overhauling your entire SEO (search engine optimization) strategy?
- Looking for custom theme/template development?
These are just a few potential WordPress jobs you might be looking to undertake, but you get the idea.
Once you’ve identified the area of expertise you’re looking for, consider whether the project requires a developer with specific know-how. For instance, think carefully about the various workflows, content, and WordPress development services you’ll need. This goes a long way towards helping you identify the kind of developer you’ll need. To help get the ball rolling, here are a few examples of specific functionalities that may demand more niche expertise:
- Creating and editing complex forms
- Multimedia support
- CRM integrations/plugin development
- Sophisticated eCommerce/WooCommerce functionality
- Advanced SEO
- UI/UX Optimization
- WordPress template/theme development
The bottom line: Compose a detailed list of all the website functionality, features, and website design you need – as well as any specific skills, know-how, and education you want your developer to possess. From there, you can start assessing the portfolios and profiles of potential web developers and conclude their suitability accordingly.
Another factor to keep in mind is, of course, your budget. The cost of your web development project hinges on several considerations. For example, you could spend $30 to get a developer to spend an hour improving a few contact forms on your existing WordPress site. Or you could pay $20,000 for a brand new site for an enterprise-level business.
Generally speaking, pricing depends on the following factors:
- The size and complexity of the web development project
- How many years of experience the coder has
- How many and which specific skills are required
- How much custom work is needed compared to existing plugins/ WordPress themes
- The tightness of the deadline
- Do you require your freelancer to work for you full-time or part-time?
In light of the above considerations, work out the budget available to you and create a cost-benefit analysis. But, above all, be realistic. You won’t get a brand-new, high-quality WordPress website built for just $50.
Shopping around can help you to get a feel for the average cost of your web development project. Then, once the quotes start trickling in, you’ll be able to identify if a developer seems too cheap or too expensive. In either case, there’s probably a reason why.
Remember: Don’t prioritize cheap labor above all else when it comes to WordPress development services. An inexperienced developer might do more harm than good and cost you dearly further down the line if you need to shell out for repairs and maintenance.
Instead, there are other ways to keep costs down. For starters, consider only focusing on the features you need the most. To help identify what to prioritize, do some research to see whether your desired functionality could be addressed with existing plugins or WordPress themes. Typically, commissioning custom work is more expensive than purchasing and installing premium WordPress plugins and themes.
Being flexible over your timeline is another sure-fire money-saving tip. A tight schedule will likely cost you extra, so don’t heap extra pressure on your web developers if the website development project allows.
When collaborating with any freelancer, you’ll need to be prepared to work and communicate with them for the foreseeable future – and hiring WordPress developers is no exception. Some WordPress jobs can take weeks or even months to complete, so it’s essential you and the developer, literally and figuratively, speak the same language.
If you notice any red flags while emailing back and forth with a developer, trust your gut. It’s not worth the hassle. You don’t want the working relationship to turn sour because you don’t get on with your WordPress expert for any reason.
Also, ensure the developer can clearly communicate their requirements – i.e., how and when it will be completed and what costs may crop up along the way. A professional developer should provide a precise breakdown of the development process and keep you in the loop at all times.
The developer’s soft communication skills are vital, especially if they’re joining a team of other WordPress experts working on the same project. You want someone who can communicate well with your web designer and/or project manager to produce the best possible results.
And finally, consider time zones and regions. Do you need a developer that can work in-house and full-time with you? Or do you only need someone part-time? Will you require availability during your own office hours? If the answer is yes to either of these questions, it might be necessary to pick a developer in the same time zone as you – so if you’re an American startup, hiring a WordPress freelancer based in France might not be a feasible option.
One final consideration is the kind of contract you’ll want to establish with your chosen developer. Again, there are many factors to bear in mind that could impact the direction of the website development project.
Ask yourself, for example, if you’ll need the developer beyond the project. Or, do you just need them for a specific project and then leave it to you?
Suppose you’re developing your small business website. In that case, consider hiring a developer on retainer or even hiring an in-house developer for the long term. This may come in handy if you think you’ll need help maintaining and running your website going forward.
Whatever you decide, your contract needs to cover the exact terms of the working relationship. You’ll also need to determine whether you’ll pay for the work on an hourly basis or as a lump sum for the entire WordPress project. Again, the contract will need to specify this.
Are You Ready to Hire WordPress Developers for Your Project?
A WordPress website can be an exciting project and key to seeing your small business flourish and your creative visions come to life. If your project requires extensive custom code, that technical work is often best left to dedicated WordPress developers. It’s not always easy to pick the right developer for your business needs. Still, with thorough preparation, you and your project manager can make an educated decision.
Be sure to plan your WordPress project beforehand, so you can kickstart your search fully aware of the average costs involved and the skillsets you’re looking for. This goes a long way to help you find and hire WordPress developers.
We hope you’ve found this article helpful! Remember, although hiring a WordPress developer is undoubtedly beneficial in some scenarios, WordPress.com enables you to accomplish amazing things by yourself with its easy and intuitive editor. So try it out for free before you decide to hire a WordPress developer. Good luck!
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