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When you’re building a WordPress website, you typically have three options: you can do it yourself, use a template, or hire a web designer to help you make your vision come to life. Going the third route has several advantages, especially in terms of convenience and skill. But before you enlist a professional’s help, make sure to do your research and consider the following.
One of the biggest reasons is because they have a technical skillset that you likely don’t. A web developer will know how to create a website that delivers the best user experience and one that is fully SEO-friendly on the back end, so you don’t have to do as much manual work to increase your site’s visibility in search engines.
Another advantage of hiring a web designer is that your site will be fully customized. Yes, this is something you can do with a template if you know a little CSS or have a few coding skills, but a developer can build a site for you that is truly unique to your business so that you stand out and attract your target audience.
Hiring a web designer can also save you time. If you need to get your website live as soon as possible, a skilled professional can help you go from concept to a functional website much faster than you could on your own.
Also, if you want more custom features, such as an eCommerce integration to more easily sell products or an online community portal where your subscribers can interact with each other, a developer can build these things from scratch.
Long story short: if the list of requirements for your website exceeds what you could get from a standard template and would take more time than you can currently spare among your other responsibilities, hiring a developer is something to seriously consider.
When you post your project — whether it’s on WordPress-focused board or another online marketplace — make sure you’re very clear on the project requirements. Clearly detail the scope of work, what customization you need, and your timeline. It also may help to provide some links to other websites as inspiration and to give potential applicants a better idea of what you want to create.
Once you have some candidates to choose from, thoroughly vet them. Ask about their technical skillset and their experience building websites in your niche. For example, someone who has years of experience building sites for restaurants might be a better fit if you’re looking to do the same, instead of someone who’s done it a handful of times for local accounting firms.
You also should ask each developer about their process for building a custom website and what, if any, ongoing maintenance services they provide. Ask how easy it will be for you to make edits or updates to the site on your own, and inquire whether the developer will provide resources to help you do this.
Based on your conversations, ask the final candidates for an estimate and share your budget with them to ensure everyone is on the same page. Obviously, a highly-skilled freelance web developer will cost more than someone who isn’t as experienced, but depending on your budget, it might be best to get the most qualified professional you can afford, rather than going with someone who bid lower but may not be the right fit.
Your website is an investment. Collaborating with the right developer to build it can help you achieve a beautiful, fully functional site that uniquely reflects your brand.
Your site could potentially live online for years, so take the time to work with a web designer who will create something you can be proud of.