Irrespective of the business you run, it is imperative that you maintain an active online presence. The first step to this, of course, is to get a web developer to create a website for you.
Today, WordPress websites are the standard. As such, the developer you end up choosing will probably use this platform to create your site. Before hiring one, however, there are a number of things you need to know. These include the following:
1. Logic and Experience
First of all, you need to learn how to check for the experience and the logic of the WordPress developers you interview. The only way you are going to get the best results is by working with a developer with adequate WordPress skills and experience.
In terms of experience, keep in mind that the developer you pick needs a minimum of 1 year of active experience creating responsive sites using WordPress. Although the intended freelancer or company might have a web development course and worked on various WordPress development projects, only time and experience can teach them the insider techniques and tricks that are currently prevalent in the industry.
This is actually why most web development firms only hire developers who have at least 3 years of experience. The hiring process is also rigorous because the firms know that their reputation depends on the quality of developers they have to offer.
That said, the best way to learn more about the experience and logic of the WordPress developer you are looking to hire would be by looking through their client testimonials and project portfolio.
Find out whether the developer has worked on similar WP projects in the past. Then, check the project modules they used and see if they can be applied to your own website.
2. WordPress Themes
It would also be useful if you could learn a little bit about the different between a template theme and a hand-coded theme. Start by asking yourself whether your website is so unique that it can only work with a hand-coded theme.
Some top WordPress developers code themes that are great for their own projects. However, if the website you need is for a small business, you should have a good understanding of the drawbacks that come with using themes that are specifically designed for your company.
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The best option, however, would be to look for a developer who uses ready-made premium themes. Not only are these themes compatible with all future WordPress versions, they are also cheaper to run and maintain over the long run. Similarly, templates come with free updates for every new change that WP makes to its platform.
At the end of the day, the kind of website you are looking for will determine whether you hire a developer who works with hand-coded themes or one who prefers template themes.
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3. Project Timeline
Before you hire a developer, check with them to ensure that they will be free enough to be able to dedicate enough time, skill, and expertise on your website. Especially when you are working with freelancers, there is always the chance that a new project might take priority.
This will inevitably mean that the freelancer will push your website development project to the site, and consequently, you’ll end up getting your WordPress site much later than you had anticipated. To make sure that this does not happen to you, ensure that the developer you hire gives you a good estimate of the amount of time they will have to dedicate to your project. A number of hours per week that works for both you and them.
Where WordPress websites are concerned, the longer the time that is dedicated to the project, the better the website turns out. You certainly want to ensure that your project will get enough time to make it worth your investment.
4. Website Security
Seeing as how it is the largest web publishing platform, it is not surprising that WordPress is such an easy target for various security breaches. Ranging from hackers to phishing scams, there is no end to the number of attacks your new website could fall prey to unless you are careful and put certain security measures in place.
Ask your WordPress developer how they intend to help you reduce or eliminate these security threats, and the steps they will take to protect your website from any malicious attacks. Ask them about the measures they will take to safeguard the website. If they go the extra mile to provide additional security to every website they develop, the better for you.
For example, will they enable a firewall? Will they install a security plugin? A CDN maybe? Who will handle updates of the WordPress core, themes and plugins? Who will handle backups?
5. Post-Development Support
As far as possible, only work with WordPress developers and designers who will provide you with user support even after they are done with your project. You can never tell when your site could suffer issues or maybe get targeted by hackers, or if a small glitch could cause you to lose the information in the database you have diligently built over time.
Most WP developers you will come across typically offer anything between 30 and 60 days guarantee where bugs and problems will be fixed free of charge. Then you'll need to work out a deal for user support after the project is complete.
It is best to sign a contract with them stating that they will offer you a specific number of hours of help per month, perform updates, and support as necessary.
With that said you also need to ensure that your developer does some extensive testing on the website before they hand it over to you. This way, you will be able to ascertain whether it is compatible with all the major browsers and different mobile devices. Similarly, you will know whether the visual elements are correctly displayed according to the design you approved.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to hire a software developer?
The cost of hiring a software developer depends on a number of things. If you are offshoring to developing countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, you can hire a good developer for a relatively cheap price. Think less than $10 / hour if you go direct. If you go through a site such as Upwork, hourly rates start going up, expect to pay $15 per hour. If you go start moving to eastern Europe, prices go up, but not too much, expect to pay around $20 per hour. As you move towards western countries, you'll be looking at $30+ / hour. Prices get even more expensive if you go through marketplaces, where you'd have to add the fee of the market place so expect to pay more than $50/hour.
How do I hire a good developer?
The only way to hire a good developer is to test them out. If you are hiring through marketplaces, you need to ask a series of questions that are important to your work and reject any developers who are obviously weak in "regular" aspects such as their level of English or their communication skills. Once you've found a few candidates who seem like a good fit, you need to give them a small piece of work to test them out, because this is the real test.
Where can I hire programmers?
There are several places where you can hire programmers. The best places to hire programmers would be from sites that perform vetting such as Toptal or Hired. You could go to sites such as Upwork or Freelancer but since these sites don't vet their users, you will get a mixed bag. Fiverr Pro is a good balance of a fair price point with users that have a proven track record.
Over and above everything else, the stability, security, reliability, performance, and usability of your website will ultimately depend on the kind of WordPress developer you contract for the project. Learn about all of the above things and follow the advice in this guide to ensure that you end up with the best WordPress website for the money you are paying.
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