When it comes to CMS platforms, WordPress dominates the industry. It is the backbone of the internet and claims that 43% of the visible web is running on it. Considering there are 1.18 billion sites, it is a staggering number of installs.
For entrepreneurs who are not coders and looking to set up a WordPress site, the task may seem a little daunting.
Where can I hire a WordPress developer? How much does a WordPress site cost to create?
These are some of the questions that are common and for good reason. If you want to hire a WordPress developer remotely, we provide crucial tips to help you locate and collaborate with the best talent.
4 Essential Tips for hiring a WordPress developer
What are the qualities to look for when hiring a dedicated WordPress developer? As someone who owns a niche business, selling organic Darjeeling tea, you do not know.
Jargons such as “full-stack WordPress developer” are confusing and often misleading (FYI, full-stack simply means they can build both the front end and back end, browser-side and server-side).
Without further ado, we tell you the right qualities to look for when hiring a remote developer for your site.
Know your requirements
The first step is about you and the site you want to create.
Since you are hiring a freelance WordPress developer, one assumes the site is a business site or a blog that should attract readers. You probably won’t spend hard-earned money to hire a developer for a WordPress site that contains your midnight musings on existentialism.
But what type of site and blog?
In the case of a site:
- Do you wish to advertise your business and inform its activities?
- Do you want an online store with product pages, checkout and CRM?
- Do you want a hybrid site that offers information about a physical store but also handles ecommerce?
In the case of a blog:
- Will it contain guest posts?
- Will you be the sole writer or do you want a magazine such as Techradar?
- Do you want to attract a wider audience through SEO?
- Do you want to monetize it through advertising and endorsements?
You must be amply clear about your intentions. Prepare a detailed brief of about a thousand words. If there are similar sites, include them for reference.
This would allow the WordPress developer to understand what you need.
Quiz their expertise
Unlike the late-90s, the WordPress developer you hire is unlikely to have a degree in computer science.
Most of the processes for site-building are available through self-paced courses. It may be paid (from Udemy, Coursera etc) or free (e.g. Traversy Media on YouTube and Smashing Magazine tutorials).
The vast number of developers out there makes it hard to find the right person. There are a lot of wannabes who are unable to execute and the whole deal might end up going south after a month of waiting.
Ask upfront how they learnt the tradecraft—college, community college, self-taught, internet courses?
And also ask for their Stack Overflow and Reddit handle.
Check his portfolio
He must have executed past contracts. Go through the websites carefully.
Notice the aesthetics, navigation and how all of it is tied together.
Keep in mind, the content displayed is not part of the developer’s task, nor the search ranking.
Open the site on your smartphone. Is it optimized naturally or through Chrome Simplified View?
Open across browsers both on desktop and smart devices—Safari, Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Opera. Does it work equally well on all of these?
Of course, there might have been alterations to the site after he set it up. Someone else might have gummed up the works.
Drop an email to the owner of the site. If he responds, ask him clearly whether he considers the developer worth employing.
In case the developer is a newbie with advanced Java or Python Certification from a trusted source and has a very meager portfolio (or none at all) pay very little at first and have him set up a prototype. Experts call it a wireframe.
Before you invest any more, ask what themes he wants to use, which web editor (Elementor, Divi etc), to have a clear idea. Do not mistake it as exploitation. The developer is experimenting with you. It is fair he gets very little till he has experience.
Test his aesthetics
Like automobiles, a website is a product made using technology but largely judged by aesthetics.
You don’t want your site to end up looking like the ill-fated Ford Pinto, do you?
The aesthetics of the site provide subtle cues to the audience.
Not being a technological person, you have no idea about modern trends. But the developer should.
Ideally, the designer and developer should be different persons. But for a small budget project, that is not possible.
A part of website design is temporary and has to be changed every few years. You don’t want to end up with a site that looks like Yahoo! circa 2001.
The new design trends include:
- Retro fonts
- Parallax scrolling
- Increased use of animations
- 3D effects
- Lazy loading
- Flat design
- Material design
- Dark mode
and plenty more.
A quick web search about “the latest website design trends” would show you several articles with images.
The audience expects to be delighted. Not in the sense that they want a song and dance, but a nice visual experience, quick loading, intuitive navigation, well-placed images and so on.
It might be that the developer knows all the computer languages from Perl to Python like the back of his hand, but can only create sites with aesthetics that make Wikipedia look positively stunning in comparison.
How much does a WordPress developer charge per hour?
Good developers are expensive. According to Upwork, the median hourly rate is $20. Assuming it takes 25 hours to set up a site, the project cost will be around $500.
But the median is an indicator, nothing more. The same site also lists developers who charge $100 per hour.
They know how to make HTML and CSS do tricks such as Gaussian blur. The more affordable one’s use code developed and released by others, while better ones can figure out the code syntax.
That takes effort, intellect and a lot of trial and error. Therefore, they are expensive.
Better class developers are also adept at installing the best plugins and advising you which would make the site have optimum performance.
But let it be said that there is a developer for every budget, from $50 to $5,000. It is very much like buying a car. Do you want a plain vanilla Toyota Corolla or a fully loaded Bentley Continental? Both work well but one is more classy.
There are a lot of places where you can discover talent. Upwork is one and Toptal is another.
Uplers Talent Connect provides pre-vetted human resources. Unlike other platforms, you do not need to perform screening. Uplers already does that for you. You have access to the best WordPress developers for a fraction of what you pay in the US and Europe.
Hiring a WordPress developer is quite complex and you should take as much of the guesswork out of the picture as possible. Assured quality leaves you free to pursue the development of other areas of the business while the website takes shape.