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1. Introduction

It’s also important to consider the amount of work that you need doing, and choose your developer accordingly. But the question still remains: how can you find the best WordPress developers in the first place? This guide will help answer some of the big questions you’re trying to navigate through, and help you find the perfect WordPress developers for your website!

When you’re hiring a new WordPress developer, there are a couple of things you need to consider: What skills will your WordPress developer need? What kind of project management style do you need in a developer? Do you need a full team of developers, or just one?

In order to make the most of your website, you need to hire the services of a professional WordPress developer, but it’s often difficult to find the right person for the job. The problem, of course, is that WordPress developers are everywhere, and they all have different skills, levels of competency, levels of professionalism, and of course, levels of trustworthiness.

WordPress continues to be one of the most popular web development platforms in the world. And it’s no surprise why. WordPress is easy to use, offers a perfect starting point for your website, and is highly customizable for those who want to dive deeper.

2. Understanding Your Needs

Because enacting staff changes can be such an onerous and difficult task, many people won’t go through this pain unless the person they have in their organizations isn’t working out. In an agency relationship, if the fit isn’t right because of poor selection, things can be more painful and more risky with damage to your organization’s roll-out.

When it comes to approaches to setup of WordPress projects, integration with other platforms, development techniques, approaches to support and warranties, every developer is going to bring its own relative pros and its relative cons to your project. Whether you’re looking to hire a new member of staff, agency or a contractor to help you, you should be prepared to sift through a mountain of developers to find the one who is absolutely right for your type of work and who meshes culturally with your organization.

The WordPress community at its heart is made up of such passionate people (maybe a little too passionate sometimes), but they’re very passionate. And you will never be without choice on the number of developers who would be able to help you. But they’re also very opinionated and there are many ways to skin a cat.

Understand your needs, understand what is that you are trying to achieve so that way you can have an initial brief that is very detailed. This is very important, not just for you but it is also important for the developers that are going to be quoting you. If you can get some estimates, if you need that, some quotes, you need to give a good brief. Be specific about what you need but also be specific about what you don’t want.

3. Researching Potential Developers

At this point, it’s important to note which things are absolutely non-negotiable for you and your stakeholders. Jot these things down. Are there particular parts of the project, contractual terms that must be adhered to, etc.? Knowing these will help you to quickly eliminate some WordPress developers from further consideration, saving you valuable time and effort.

Reading reviews for the WordPress developers you are considering is a must. Google Reviews, Yelp, Clutch, and The Manifest are good places to read each and every review of the WordPress developers on your list. Keep in mind that you’re looking for patterns in these reviews. You may see an anomalous one here and there, but if a company is consistently praised or consistently panned for a particular aspect of its work, this will tell you a lot. Are the bad reviews all from years ago? Do they miss deadlines or go over budget or fail to communicate? A good review of your stakeholders isn’t necessarily a fatal flaw, but you will want to take that into account when you make a decision.

Once you have a working list of potential developers, it’s time to do some basic research into the people and companies you’re considering. Here’s what to look for and the best ways to do it.

3.1. Reviewing Portfolios

Customer reviews and referrals can lead you to expert, professional, personable developers. You should call references and ask about a WordPress developer’s project management skills and industry-specific expertise, even if those references weren’t provided. They also need to be excellent team players. WordPress developers must work effectively with every kind of business professional, especially people who are not familiar with website development. They also need to be good leaders. With their expertise come responsibilities. Great developers have a strong understanding of the nuances of their industry, plus they are patient, considerate leaders. After all, web development is a process that requires more than just technical expertise. Even if it’s the most dazzling portfolio you’ve ever seen, be aware of WordPress developers showing off only their most beautiful work. The tastiest portfolio examples are rarely straightforward, no matter how impressive they seem. Keep in mind that you want a developer who can fit your price, diligence, expertise, and methodology.

Ask every candidate to send you their portfolio before you interview them. Just looking at all their work lets you weed out any candidates you’d never want to work with. And taking some time to look at their portfolio helps you form an impression of their technical ability. As you see what they’ve done for other people, think about how you would fit in as their client. If you’re still interested in working with them, it’s worth scheduling an interview and talking to them about their work. Ask them why they made the decisions they did, and see if those reasons make sense to you. If they defend their design decisions effectively and thoughtfully, your prospective WordPress developer probably has the technical ability you need.

3.2. Checking References

To extract the most value from this step in the process of finding the best WordPress developer for your project, go into this stage with a clear understanding of your project’s key objectives. When you know what you are trying to achieve by reaching out to this reference, you will be able to take full advantage of their knowledge and experience working with this WordPress developer.

Want to get a preview of how a WordPress developer has worked on other projects without having to set up a test project yourself? This is where learning about the developer’s references can be helpful. Once you have narrowed down your list of potential WordPress developers, reach out to the references they have provided. At this time, you can also look up reviews for the developers on websites like Clutch, Upcity, or Good Firms. Past clients will give you an honest account and may even be able to answer questions about communication, response rate, whether they delivered on time, as well as quality of work.

3.3. Assessing Skills and Experience

Having a CS degree, on the other hand, counts for somewhat less. Recent experience is a weighted factor, but years of freelance work count just as much as employment at a larger company or a client list of several publishers or even magazines. Second, implement a coding test. Pure knowledge and enthusiasm are most often what are best gauged from a hiring trail. Usually, unless it’s some drastically unusual or high-profile site that can afford to, most postings for WordPress developers won’t require an on-site interview. Follow some coding tips to design a simple test that can be completed async style and evaluated concurrently with many other concurrent interviews. Tailor this test to the requirements of the position. This part is when this candidate meets this particular position’s needs. This segment is largely self-service on the hiring manager’s end. It’s when someone on the team or the hiring team talks to the candidate after they’ve passed. Gathering a development team that knows their way around WordPress.

Externally, you can also determine the quality of a potential hire based on the various sites, blogs, and references they point to on their portfolio. WordPress is open-source and about as community-based as it gets for a portal service. Because of that, there are a lot of high-tier, specialized folks talking about their work in the wild and in any and all forums. There are high-profile blogs, IRC channels, and conferences that all deal heavily in WordPress but aren’t officially part of WordPress. Boot camps and universities are useful in terms of outright learning by pair programming or mentorship.

Researching and culling your list can only take you so far. As always, with hiring decisions, the big deciding factor is how knowledgeable and skilled the candidate is at what they do. In the case of WordPress developers, testing can take some forms. Firstly, look at their portfolio. What is their recent experience with WordPress, and how often do they use it? Do they consistently work for clients who obviously know what they’re doing? Hiring someone who frequently works with clients who don’t is a red flag.

4. Interviewing Candidates

When a particular candidate crosses your selection criteria, you could take an interview to test a few other things like how good communication he has, whether he gets your issues, requirements, and especially if he could execute your requirement the way you want. So here is a given set of questions and what to look for when putting those questions. Which system is good for a news website: WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal? I should have asked: Do you have any experience developing a news website in WordPress? What could be the table structure for the news with multiple news categories with localized comments and ratings? This question is to ensure that the candidate has done some coding instead of just customization of WordPress themes and plugins, which is quite different from development. What is the best caching mechanism that could be applied to a website? Look for the option the candidate provides. This is a way to ensure that not only the candidate offers the optimized solution but also that he should have strong reasons to support his selection. What are the best sources for getting optimized streaming news? Apart from the sources, he should know the art of getting the news. What could be the influences of job web services in content service? This is also a tricky question, and you should look for how confidently and passionately the answerer presents it. The heading is one of the common problems a news website faces. What is your strategy for solving it? Info: This is to ensure if the candidate is capable of dealing with critical problems logically. If a blog is fetching a lot of traffic and the server is taking too many requests to process, what could be the possible areas, and how could you debug them? Recruitment: Again, what all he knows and, more importantly, how deep he could go to resolve the issue. How would you implement a cache on a webpage with Ajax? This question is to ensure if the developer is capable of handling Ajax cache and to know if the candidate could handle the additional load of the Ajax calls.

4.1. Preparing Questions

First of all, explain your expected level of technical support and any WordPress roles you’d prefer your WordPress developer to fill. You’re probably looking for someone who can assist you with frontend design and/or customization, bug fixing and website optimization, and backend support and/or hosting. You might need different roles covered depending on your skill level or on what kind of project you are working on.

Have any WordPress developers in your mind after reading the first three steps? The fourth step in your search should be to contact them and ask them the right questions. Try asking them a variety of questions, so that you get a better understanding of their skill levels. It’s possible to gauge developer knowledge even if you aren’t technical-savvy yourself.

It’s essential to ask well-thought-out questions from the start to continue assessing the best WordPress developers and to find the best double you can. Remember that the best developers are busy most of the time, so you might not get a response from some of them or you might have to wait. So make your first emails count, ensure they provoke interest, and contain interesting questions that will make the WordPress developers want to communicate with you.

4.2. Conducting Interviews

Send every candidate the same test assignment focusing on the most important skills, and ask all candidates the same questions. This way, all candidates can be compared fairly. Start your interviews with the same questions, and make sure that every candidate has enough time to ask their questions. The balance between asking questions and answering questions from your side should be equal. Every candidate should also have the opportunity to talk to a more senior person in your organization. Preferably, your WordPress lead, the CEO, or at least a technical senior within your organization.

You should always take your time to talk in a more informal setting. This is also why you should not conduct an interview with 60 candidates. It is just impossible to invest the time needed to be really sure that a candidate is a perfect fit. You want to talk to a maximum of five candidates. This means that to find five candidates, you will need to start a process with 20 candidates. Having 20 candidates in your process also keeps you sharp, as it offers you a fair basis for you to compare the candidates. If you do not have 20 candidates, please go back to point 4.1., as your communication was not convincing enough, which makes it likely that the communication to your future WordPress developer will not be effective.

5. Making the Final Decision

Please consult references if you are still unsure. If you are choosing between two or three talented developers, decide based on who provided the best references or referrals. If a developer’s former clients are full of praise, follow through on this testament. Finally, don’t just do the necessary due diligence. Due diligence is the cornerstone of financial success. Once you have picked a great candidate, don’t just assume that you are making a good choice. Always sit down and talk over important aspects of the job, including your expectations, the total compensation, and a timeline for the project. Always pay the best freelancers a deposit and put a solid contract in place before the job commences. If you select a great developer and pay a reasonable deposit, you can trust they are a good fit for your business and will help you realize your goals.

Ultimately, whether or not you hire a particular WordPress developer is a decision only you can make. However, we wanted to offer some final guidance that could help you. For example, I frequently recommend that people look at how developers handle the bidding process. Did a developer provide an estimate and time frame? Was it clear and detailed? Did the developer ask good questions? Your best freelancers questions. Always ask good specific questions when interviewing your best freelancers. Ask them to justify why they are a good fit for your company and what unique skills they possess.

6. Conclusion

Remember that we are here to try to link WP users and help them to improve, providing valuable and high-quality information, always! If you have anything in doubt, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. Sharing the code, the final result, enables you to find mistakes and misconceptions, thus we invite you to expres yourself freely! Keep on keepin ‘on!

We hope you have enjoyed and understood our guide, and are now ready to improve your skills in a meaningful way. You should now be able to pick up the thread of our regular series of posts on how to become a better WordPress developer with ease. In upcoming posts, we will be examining some unconventional ways of working with predefined WP artifices, dealing cleverly with repetitive tasks, performing more efficient and functional queries, outputting content in a more straightforward way, understanding what we have to do in a few simple steps, exploring more deeply our beloved heart-coded theme, and a lot more.

Thrilled to reveal marvels? Step inside and uncover what sets us apart!


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