Choosing the Right WordPress Developer
So you’ve made the (smart) decision to develop a website with WordPress.
Chances are, you heard a lot about WordPress but, like many people, you’re stifled by the initial stages: website development and web design.
While taking on this process can seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. There are many options to get your website up and running as planned — and looking good. It’s entirely possible to end up with the website you want by hiring a WordPress developer or building it yourself.
Your decision will come down to whether you have the time and motivation to do it — and the specific needs of your website.
If you’re confused about how to make your WordPress website a reality (and how much to spend making it happen), you’re in the right place. This article will help you find the person for the job.
Should I Design My Own Website?
Before we look into hiring you a web developer, let’s make sure that the right person for your WordPress project isn’t actually yourself. WordPress is an extremely user-friendly platform that empowers beginners to make fully-functional websites.
To help you decide whether the DIY route is for you, there are some things to consider:
When You’re the Right Person for the Job
Taking charge of your website development will indeed save you some cash. But, you’ll need to spend some time learning the ropes. As luck would have it, there’s a massive WordPress community always willing to help newcomers out.
Building your website might even save you time in the future. You’ll have the skills to make additional changes going forward. You’ll appreciate not having to depend on someone else’s schedule, so any tweaks and updates go live as soon as you’re ready.
Plus, you have 100% creative control, which is great if you enjoy it and have a good eye for design. That said, you should have some interest in being involved in building your site. Otherwise, what’s a labor of love for some will be a laborious effort from which you want to escape.
When It’s Time to Call in the Professionals
There are many reasons why you might not want to build a website. If you don’t have the design and technical skills to make it happen, or you may be constantly nervous about messing it up. If it goes well you might worry that it breaks somewhere down the line because you missed an essential detail out.
If this sounds like you, then turning to a professional might be a good option. This way, you have peace of mind for sure-fire results. Even if you have experience with website development, you might lack the time to see this project through properly, and don’t want to wait until you do.
If you’ve decided you’d rather hire a WordPress development professional, your next consideration is finding the right designer/developer to fit your needs. The two disciplines are very different and call for different skills to take care of creating different parts of your website.
- WordPress Developer
A WordPress developer works as an architect. They can help look at the bigger picture and meet your goals. They can come up with ideas, and set up solutions. For example, if they can’t find a plugin that fits your needs, they will suggest custom programming to create it.
- WordPress Designer
A WordPress designer focuses on user experience, without changing the core functionality.
Since both parts of web development depend on each other, it’s common for WordPress specialists to have transferable skills across the two disciplines.
It’ll become clear which one is necessary for your site once you know what you need from your web professional.
Define What You Need
Thanks to all the advanced customization options, WordPress is adaptable to pretty much anything. There are no limits to what you can do, so you need to figure out what you want before approaching a website developer. This way, it’ll be easier to gauge if they have the time and skills for the job.
Do you imagine your restaurant website will book reservations? Perhaps you’re thinking about a dropshipping site with payment and shipping integrations? Do you need a portfolio of designs? All of these things are possible with WordPress and will pose no trouble for a WordPress developer if you let them know exactly what you need for your website.
It’s helpful to begin a creative brief — a list of things your site needs to have. Remember, an experienced WordPress developer will be able to tell you what’s already possible with existing plugins, and themes, and will know how to create the rest. Your’s might include things like the:
- Background of your company, and some information about your products and services.
- Purpose of your site and if you’ve got specific objectives like promoting a book, or driving more sales.
- Technical specs, like whether your site needs to take payments, hold customer accounts, or requires a lot of dynamic content.
- Examples of existing websites that have features you’d like to have.
- Brand guidelines such as following a specific color pallet or sticking to certain fonts.
- Images and logos to be included on the site.
From this brief, it will be clear to your designer the level customization your site needs, and the time it will take to deliver your objectives.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a WordPress Developer?
The question of how much to pay for a WordPress developer depends on what you want them to do. Your scope of work is a good place to start. There might be other things that see the price of a web build add up. Things that need to be solved that you didn’t think of. Plus, the skill level of the developer will affect the total cost.
Developers may charge an hourly rate and good WordPress devs will charge at least $100 an hour, with some much more than that. It’s more common to set a fixed price for the total build, one that’s based on your project requirements and any advanced customizations you need. A website will likely cost at least $500-$1000 for a simple site.
Where to Find WordPress Developers
Now you’re clear on what you need from a WordPress developer that you hire. You have two options, you can either find someone through a design agency or find a freelancer to work on an ad hoc basis.
- Hire a dedicated web design agency
An agency is often a brick and mortar outfit. They might be based in a local city or another country — but a real place where design and dev experts create your website. These established agencies are perceived to be a lower risk as you have a more personal relationship with the designer. They do come at a higher price than freelancers.
- Hire a freelance WordPress developer
The next option is to outsource your work to talented individuals and businesses worldwide. On the plus side, you can see the online portfolio and reviews of the supplier. Often, you do not pay unless you are happy. Freelancers also tend to be slightly cheaper than agencies.
And while there is no shortage of freelance WordPress developers. The trouble might be finding a good one. The best way to recruit a web professional is to stick to reputable sources. These include
- Recommendations from someone you know
- Well reviewed designers or agencies
- Freelancer platforms Freelancer, and WordPress jobs
It can take longer to find the right freelancer, and the hiring process can take much longer still. This is something to bear in mind if you’re under time constraints
When you’ve found a dedicated developer you’re happy to work with, get it in writing. Preferably a contract that contains everything you have discussed and agreed to, like due dates and number of revisions. Make sure there’s a mention that ownership of the website and design belongs to you.
Once you are happy with the terms and the contract is signed on the dotted line, you can start onboarding. You’ll need to grant them access to any login credentials such as your online WordPress admin, and any essential files like logos and branding — so they can get started.
Do It Yourself Instead of Hiring Someone
How do you know whether to create your own website and nurture it? We’re now going to show you what it’s possible to accomplish in WordPress even if you can’t code or don’t fancy learning.
First, let’s be clear on when coding for WordPress tasks is absolutely essential.
When Coding Is Necessary For Using WordPress
We’ve spoken about hiring help for fear of tinkering with code in WordPress. But what does that involve? Coding in WordPress needs a baseline knowledge of the programming language HTML and CSS, at a minimum. For more advanced tasks, you’ll need to be aware of the scripting language PHP. These coding skills allow you to:
- Create themes and plugins
- Customize style elements using CSS
- Add new functions or edit existing ones
If you’re interested in learning HTML, CSS, and PHP, more power to you. Keep in mind that none of these skills are necessary to create a professional-looking site with functionality provided by premade themes and plugins.
Publish Content in a Snap
Thanks to the latest editor Gutenburg, WordPress has never been more beginner-friendly. This new block system is similar to the simple drag-and-drop interface associated with site builders, making it more intuitive to use. This is great news for beginners who are just starting out building a website or starting their first blog.
Create a Website
Creating a website in WordPress could also mean a blog, an eCommerce store, a forum, pretty much anything you can think of. That’s all thanks to plugins. With plugins, you can add functions like shopping carts, appointment booking, social media sharing buttons, galleries, live chat, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools, and much more.
Plugins make your life easier because without them you’d need the coding know-how to implement these features on your own. There are thousands of free and premium plugins to choose from. You’re now only tasked with researching the best one for your website’s needs.
To add advanced functionality to your site, simply click install from your WordPress dashboard, and hey presto, your salon can take online bookings. If you don’t like a plugin, uninstall it and try another one.
Customize Your Page Elements
One of the first things you’ll encounter when building a site in WordPress is the themes. With themes, you can choose a style for your site, and customize each element within your web pages.
If you’re looking for completely custom website design, page builders provide a lot more flexibility, without having to touch a line of code. Top WordPress page builders include Elementor, Visual Composer, and the Divi Builder Plugin.
Get Started With WordPress
There is no shortage of help to build your first WordPress website. Installing WordPress can pose the biggest problem for beginners, but with a managed WordPress hosting service like EasyWP, that’s all taken care of for you. Simply choose an EasyWP plan and the actual work setting up your website with WordPress is all done online behind the scenes. Try EasyWP now for the simplest way to set up a WordPress website.
In this article, we’ve demonstrated that you have options to get your WordPress site off the ground. We’ve also covered the things you can do with WordPress, even if you don’t have any coding experience.
The simplest way to decide is by asking yourself what is best for you. Whether you are interested in learning the platform or investing your time in web development, or whether investing in a professional fits best. If you envision a basic website such as a portfolio or personal blog, you can probably manage it yourself without much effort. Take advantage of the online sources available to help new users out.
Think back to your creative brief. If your website sounds more complicated than your skill level, needing custom design and functions, then a WordPress developer is worth considering.