How to hire the right WordPress developer for your website.

How to Hire the Right WordPress Developer for Your Site

The Nine key tips to help you find and hire a great WordPress developer for your project.

Let’s begin with a Little History

WordPress is a fantastic piece of software. There’s no question about that. It’s the most popular publishing platform in the world and of all websites on the planet, some 43% websites run on WordPress. That’s a whopping accomplishment for a tiny piece of software that’s grown from a blogging tool to a formidable content management system.

WordPress has a massive community of developers who write themes and plug-ins for all kinds of uses. Not to mention, thousands and thousands of developers use WordPress day in and out. It’s that popular and it’s very well supported.

Should I do it on the Cheap or myself?

Having a WordPress website designed is reasonably cheap and even a Do-it-yourself (DIY) possibility. Yet, if you’re hiring a web developer, issues can arise. For instance, when developers choose poorly coded or cracked themes, plugins and page builders to develop websites, instead of a robust toolset. It’s completely understandable that at times they just don’t know any better. Say if they’ve just started out or are simply trying something new.

Choosing the right ‘FREE’ WordPress theme or plug-in from hundreds of thousands is a hit and a miss. The WordPress ecosystem is gigantic, so there’s always a chance that the site being created for you is going to suffer at one point or another. A developer with a bad toolset is as dangerous as someone who’s deliberately trying to break your website. This can lead your website to be unoptimized, slow and at risk of being hacked.

How’s your Experience so far?

The other day I spoke to a customer (who registers his domain names through us) and he sounded averse of WordPress. His WordPress sites was giving him a hard time and he felt that the WordPress ecosystem (themes, plugins, page-builders or even WordPress) were to blame.

He had found that some plugins broke functionally when he updated them—which really shouldn’t happen, so he wanted a different solution! Something like Grav – or anything but WordPress, in other words.

This is a classic example of someone who has experienced the myriad problems that poorly coded themes (read FREE) and plugins (read FREE again) cause time and again. These are of course independent of WordPress, though when things go wrong, people often blame the platform, rather than explore the real underlying problem.

Let’s do what the Pros do!

So here are a few tips to help you out of the mess or to save you from getting into imminent trouble.

  1. Hire the right kind of developer,  someone who’s not only capable of finishing the job, but someone who’s willing to take you along with them. I’ve always liked people who ask the right questions. They’re keen to solve problems and borrow your time to understand things better.
  2. If you’re on a tight budget, hire someone qualified who agree to work within your budget, willingly. This requires that you know what you’re looking for and are willing to spend a reasonable amount. Keep in mind, all those fancy ideas you have on your list translate into cost of development, so be realistic and divide a large project into workable chunks.
  3. Avoid hiring the lowest bidder for the project. I don’t mean the lowest bid can’t be the best, I mean the idea of picking the lowest bidder is outright silly. Don’t go cheap on your investment.
  4. Type out a project brief or a list of things you are looking for in your website. You can do this by looking at other websites or by simply listing your goals for your site. Think about why you want to exist on the web? Who you want to reach out to? How do you want to engage them? What’s your style, what colors you prefer and how neat do you want your website to look. Your web developer will benefit from your thoroughness, so make it count.
  5. Choose WordPress, yes, WordPress isn’t the problem. Hire someone who have done exceptional work in terms of design, build and SEO on the platform. Ask them to share their design process and see if you’re able to communicate with them swiftly. There’s no point in hiring someone who will have issues understanding you or someone who is having trouble talking about work they’ve done.
  6. Ask them about their preferred choice of WordPress themes, plugins and page builders. Are these fully licensed from their publishers, available freely or widely popular? Will you be paying for licensing or whether license are included in the price they’ve quoted (and for how long)? How often are they willing to update WordPress and other software (see the point below)?
  7. Remember your website runs on software and all software either gets updated or runs the course of its life. Your website too can get outdated in a couple of months (if not weeks) time! So keep that in mind. An up-to-date website gives an impression of a lively company, one that’s up for business. And updated software means a secure experience for your site visitors, and peace of mind for you.
  8. Factor in the costs of updating your website from day one. Have WordPress, your themes and plug-ins updated at least once a month. If your business is largely offline or that you simply don’t care, have someone review the basic stuff once a year, and have them run an update when necessary.
  9. Avoid DIY updates. It doesn’t work, specially when you aren’t the person developing or maintaining your website. A customer of ours ruined a perfectly working website only because she went in and updated her WordPress theme and plug-ins. The site went offline and started throwing errors. We helped her in restoring the site, yet it was a hassle for her.

Don’t risk your Website’s Reputation

In the end, look for signs of disarray before hiring. A web developer who’s going to do a great job will have a well thought out web development toolset. Something they use, pay for and roll-out for their clients on a regular basis.

At Spiderz we choose to develop websites on WordPress with GeneratePress Premium (theme) and Elementor Pro (page builder). When it comes to plugins, we choose some of the best ones to extend WordPress’s functionality, like Yoast for Search Engine Optimization, Autoptimize for JS and CSS optimization, Cache Enabler for page caching, Advanced Custom Fields for customized workflows, and a handful of others, as and when we need them.

All top-notch software, from top-notch developers, and licensed.

If you need us, we’re just a click away!

If you’re looking for a smooth, hassle free, web development experience using WordPress, give us a shout.

We’ve been developing WordPress websites for various clients for at least a decade or more. We’ll be glad to work for you. And we run blazing fast WordPress servers on AWS and Azure to keep your sites running 24.7!

Yasser Masood
Yasser Masood is a partner at Spiderz. He co-founded Spiderz in 2002 in Dubai, some twenty years ago. His area of expertise is Brand development and Web technology. His other companies are CloudWeb, Zuzaz, Dyrk and 1stAccount. You can reach him by writing to – he’ll be happy to hear from you!
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