Of the more than 1.7 billion websites published on the internet today, 35.2% of them are created using WordPress.
Despite more advanced and user-friendly content management systems (CMS) arriving, WordPress remains the most widely used CMS by businesses for their website.
That’s because creating and managing a WordPress website is easy. All you need is a reliable web hosting service provider, a WordPress theme, a couple of plugins, and your content.
You’re website’s ready.
But if that’s the case, why do many businesses still hire a WordPress developer?
More importantly, should you even hire one to build your website?
In this blog post, I’ll explain why hiring a WordPress developer will a significant investment you’ll make for your business.
I’ll also share the steps on how to hire the best WordPress developer based on your needs and budget.
What is a WordPress developer?
At first glance, this is a straightforward question with an equally straightforward answer.
But as I was completely surprised by how different the answers are when asked this deceptively simple question.
Here are some answers I came across:
I found a couple of commonalities among all of these definitions. Based on this, I came up with this definition:
“A WordPress developer is a professional who can help you conceptualize and develop a customized WordPress website based on your business’ needs and goals.”
Reasons to Hire a WordPress Developer
1. Your website’s tailor-fitted to meet your needs.
Even the most robust WordPress theme you can buy can only allow you to tweak its design so far. If you try to tweak it any further, you could risk ruining the entire theme.
A WordPress developer is well-versed in many of the standard coding languages used to create most WordPress themes and plugins. He or she can further tweak the theme you already purchased so that it works exactly the way you want.
The same thing goes with the plugins that you got installed on the back-end of your WordPress site.
But what if you haven’t bought a WordPress theme yet?
Your WordPress developer can create a website from scratch based on how you envision it to look and work.
2. Optimize your website for search engines.
When optimizing websites for search engines, most business owners tend to focus on applying on-page SEO techniques like including targeted keywords within their web page content and tags.
Others would build include off-site SEO techniques like guest posting into the mix.
But what many business owners don’t realize is that there’s a third type of SEO.
Aptly called Technical SEO, this optimizes your website’s site architecture, structured data. That way, search engine bots can easily “read” your website.
Having a WordPress developer on your team will help make sure that your website’s back-end is optimized correctly. He or she can also promptly make the necessary adjustments each time you add new content to your site.
3. Improve your website’s user experience.
Since your WordPress developer can help you construct a website from scratch, you can have a website design that makes it easier for your visitors to find what they’re looking for.
On top of this, he or she can also fix bottlenecks that’ll cause friction in your marketing funnel. If you don’t address this, you can minimize your site’s ability to convert your visitors into leads and customers.
4. Keep the data you collect private and secure.
The internet’s filled with unscrupulous characters looking to target vulnerable websites to hack and steal their customers’ data.
According to a study done by Varonis, a cyberattack happens every 39 seconds.
Even more alarming is that 67% of these cyberattacks target websites that belong to small- and medium-sized businesses.
And the results of a cyberattack can be disastrous, especially if you’re running a small business or a startup.
On top of the revenue, you’ll lose because of the cyberattack, you face a stiff penalty from regulating bodies, which includes paying a hefty fine and imprisonment.
A WordPress developer protects your site and prevents it from becoming a victim. They’ll know how to inspect your website’s code and server security to make sure that there are no vulnerable areas that cybercriminals can penetrate.
5. Help you understand your website analytics.
Your WordPress developer can pinpoint critical website data analytics. They can also help you understand what the data are trying to tell you.
You can then use this information when planning the marketing strategies you’re using. As a result, you can further increase your conversion rates and generate more revenue.
The challenge of hiring a WordPress developer
With all these benefits, you’ve got to wonder: Why don’t all businesses hire a WordPress developer?
There are two reasons for this.
The first is that to find the best WordPress developers, they don’t come cheap, especially the excellent ones.
A recent survey conducted by Glassdoor shows that WordPress developer fee of $76,526 each year to hire the best WordPress developer.
Second, not everyone who claims to be a WordPress developer can provide you with the quality and service you’re expecting.
Where to find the best WordPress developers to hire
Google search results
This is the first stop for businesses looking to hire a WordPress developer, especially if you want to hire someone in your area.
The trick to finding the best WordPress developer is to add your niche or industry in your keyword phrase.
For example, if you’re looking to hire a WordPress developer in San Diego that caters to businesses offering financial services, you’ll type in the search bar “Financial Services WordPress developer San Diego.”
LinkedIn is another excellent place to look for quality WordPress developers.
Searching on LinkedIn is very much the same as searching on Google.
What’s great about LinkedIn is that you not only get to read reviews from previous clients, but you can also ask current clients about their working relationship with the WordPress developer you’re considering.
That way, you can make a well-informed decision on which WordPress developer to hire.
Freelance marketplace sites
Many business owners tend to veer away from using freelance marketplace sites when looking for quality WordPress developers because of the many horror stories written and videos published online.
In reality, you can find many WordPress developers in these sites that’s got the skills and experience to create a website for your business based on your requirements.
RipplePop is a great example.
For one thing, you’re assigned a dedicated WordPress developer with the skills and experience required based on the details you provide them.
Second, if you’re not happy with the WordPress developer that was assigned to you, you can request to have your WordPress developer changed at no extra cost.
And if you’re still unhappy with the results, you can request RipplePop to refund your payment.
How to find and hire the best WordPress developer for your business
1. Assess whether you need to hire a WordPress developer.
Before you go out and start searching for a WordPress developer to hire, take the time to review and get clear about why you want to build a website in the first place.
If your goal for building a website is to promote your brand and serve as a resource hub for your target audience, using a pre-built WordPress theme will suffice your needs.
On the other hand, if you intend to sell your products on your website, then hiring a WordPress developer will be your best option.
2. Don’t discount WordPress developers who charge low rates for their services.
I’m sure that you’ve read several articles that discourage you from hiring a WordPress developer that charge a low hourly rate.
Their reason is simple: quality comes at a price. So, if you want to hire the best WordPress developer, you need to be willing to pay a bit more than you were probably hoping.
I disagree because several factors affect a WordPress developer’s hourly rate. One of them is the standard of living where they’re based.
To prove my point, I went to PayScale and searched for the average annual rate you’ll pay two different WordPress developers.
For the first test, I checked to see how much I’ll have to pay for a WordPress developer based in Las Vegas, NV, with a Bachelor’s degree and at least two years of experience.
Here was the result I got:
For the second test, I check to see how much I’ll have to pay for a WordPress developer based in New York City with no college degree and only a year’s worth of experience.
This was the result I got:
As you can see, the WordPress developer living in New York with hardly any experience and no degree or certification will still charge a higher rate than a more experienced WordPress developer living in Las Vegas.
Why did this happen?
The answer’s simple: The cost of living in New York’s higher than in Las Vegas.
So don’t assume that higher rates mean better website quality.
3. Have a project brief ready.
The best WordPress developers would expect you to have a project brief ready before your initial meeting.
A project brief is essentially a document that details everything that you want the WordPress developer to do when it comes to your website.
A well-written project includes the following details:
The scope of your project.
Giving the WordPress developer a background on what you’d want them to do will help them determine whether or not they can complete this within your set timeframe.
At the same time, they can adequately conduct an audit of your website and advise you whether or not what you have in mind is feasible based on your current online assets.
Your buyer’s journey.
This will help the WordPress developer conceptualize your website’s site map and structure to make it easier to convert your visitors into leads and, eventually, into customers.
Current design assets.
This is crucial if you already have an existing website, and you’re looking for a WordPress developer to update it to improve your visitor’s user experience.
Not only would this help ensure that your overall brand identity remains consistent after your chosen WordPress developer finished updating it.
Your brand messaging.
One of my favorite quotes from Simon Sinek is:
“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”
Your brand’s message explains the “why” behind your business. This is what will help you build a trusting relationship with them. So, it’s vital that your WordPress developer clearly understands this.
If you’re planning to accept payments from customers on your website, you need to tell your WordPress developer which payment gateways you intend to use.
That way, your WordPress developer can properly integrate these within your website and make sure that the proper security features are in place to protect your customer’s data.
4. Consider a flat rate instead of an hourly rate.
If you’re running a startup or small business, the chances are that you’re working with a very tight budget with hardly any wiggle room.
Opting to hire a WordPress developer that’ll agree to complete your website on a flat rate prevents you from receiving an invoice that’s beyond what you can afford.
RipplePop is one site where you can hire the best WordPress developers for a flat monthly fee.
5. Check out the websites of the WordPress developers you’re considering.
As they say, “the proof is in the pudding.”
Or, in this case, the website.
The best WordPress developers understand that the best way to showcase their expertise is through their website.
Use your project brief as a guide as you tour around their website. That’s because what you see on their website is most likely going to be the same quality of work you’ll get from them.
6. Take time to review their online portfolio or case studies.
Experienced WordPress developers would have an online portfolio to showcase the projects they’ve completed.
Others would include case studies about the results their clients experienced as a result of their work.
If the developer you’re considering doesn’t have either, If that’s the case, it’s possible that he or she is still relatively new and might not have the experience to meet your needs.
As you go through each of the case studies or portfolio samples, take note of those that closely resemble what and how you envision your website to be.
Then, go to these websites and ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the website’s overall design match what’s presented on the developer’s portfolio?
- How easy is it for you to navigate?
- What are the things that you like about the site?
- What would you want to be done differently?
I also recommend that you get in touch with the owner of the website and ask them a few questions about their working relationship with their WordPress developer.
By interviewing their previous clients, you’ll get a picture of what your working relationship will potentially be like.
7. Look at testimonials.
As a business owner, you know that not all of your happy and satisfied clients would allow you to use them as a case study subject. However, they’ll be more than happy to give you a recommendation or testimonial.
So, if you haven’t found any case study or sample work that’s similar to what you’re looking for, take the time to go through the testimonials and reviews that previous clients gave the WordPress developer for the work they’ve done.
8. Schedule them for an interview.
By now, you’ve come up with a shortlist of potential WordPress developers to hire. The next step is to schedule them for an interview.
I recommend doing a video call for your interview.
For starters, it gives you the chance to assess not only what the WordPress developer says, but how he or she says it.
This is crucial because 93% of the way how we communicate is non-verbal and can’t be controlled or faked. These include eye contact, facial expressions, and voice tone.
As you conduct your interviews, pay close attention to these non-verbal communication signals. They should be in sync with whatever the WordPress developer is telling you. If their non-verbal cues contradict what they’re saying, it’s possible that they may not be telling the truth.
Also, most video chat platforms like Skype and Zoom allow you to share your screen with the person you’re interviewing and vice-versa. This will help you give the WordPress developer a better understanding of what you want and expect once your website’s completed.
On the part of the WordPress developer you’re interviewing, you’re allowing him or her to show you how they intend to approach working on your project.
9. Take them out for a test drive.
Hiring a WordPress developer is very much like buying a car: Both require you to make a considerable investment. Also, the best way to find out if you’ve found the right one is by taking them out for a test drive.
Getting the WordPress developers you’ve shortlisted to do a small project for your website allows you to accurately gauge the quality of their work as well as how well they understand your instructions.
This also allows you to evaluate the entire working relationship you’ll have with them.
And since expert WordPress developers would be willing to do a test project at a much lower rate than what they usually charge, you won’t lose a lot if you’re not happy with the result.
10. Get everything on paper.
When you’ve chosen the best WordPress developer to hire, the last step would be to make sure that you get everything in writing.
Usually, it’s the WordPress developer you’ve chosen to hire that writes up the contract or agreement. So, make sure that everything written here is exactly what you’ve discussed, from the scope of the project to the terms of payment.
Also, make sure to go through the terms when it comes to handling your business’ intellectual property.
Remember, you’re not the only client your WordPress developer’s working with. He or she may be working with a business like yours in a different industry, or even your competitor.
You’d want to make sure that even in these scenarios, your business’ intellectual property and other sensitive information won’t be compromised.
There are, however, certain situations when the WordPress developer wouldn’t provide you with a written agreement. These are usually those that you’d find on freelance marketplaces.
In this case, you’ll need to write up the agreement and have the WordPress developer you’ve hired to sign it. Doing this ensures that the WordPress developer you’ve hired understands the expectations you’ve set during the interview session.
Preparation and careful research are crucial to hire the best WordPress developer.
WordPress still remains as the most widely used platform businesses use to build their websites. So, it’s easy to find and hire a WordPress developer who’ll be happy to create your business’ website.
But if you want to hire the best WordPress developer around, you’ve got to be willing to invest time and effort to find them. The steps I shared in this blog post will help you through your quest.
As you can see, there are no shortcuts to the entire process. You’ll need to invest a considerable amount of time and effort to hire the best WordPress developer you can find.
Now, over to you…
What’s the one thing that you’ll start doing today so that you can find a WordPress developer to create your website?
Share it in the comments below.