Finding the perfect WordPress Developer can be a real struggle, especially if you are looking for the first time or have been let down by a previous WordPress Developer.
The first thing to be aware of is the difference between a WordPress Developer and a WordPress Designer.
Whilst it may seem as though they are one and the same, often they can be, but when working with a bigger web design company or web design agency then you may find that the roles are split completely.
A WordPress designer will typical be a web design expert who exclusively designs WordPress themes and templates. They often do not touch any code at all, they may know HTML will usually just design the master PSD files and pass the designs on to a WordPress Developer who will then do the integration of the designs into WordPress.
A WordPress developer on the other hand will have a completely different skillset. It’s highly likely they will be of the “scientist” persona and feel more comfortable writing line after line of code than they would designing a WordPress layout. A coder is very functional and practical orientated, they typically struggle to make things look nice and are happy as long as it functions as it should.
You can see the contrast in the 2 personalities, so you can see why it’s difficult to find one who does both, however they do exist!
To get the maximum out of your WordPress developer you probably want to go for someone who is just a pure WordPress Developer.
You will need to research locally and maybe even nationally to find someone who meets your level that you can trust and you may not hit upon them first time.
When interviewing your WordPress Developer you might want to ask some questions such as:
What’s your HTML/CSS skill level? Is all your CSS/HTML W3C validated?
Do you code 100% from scratch or do you build on top of an existing template?
How do you handle creating the responsive/mobile friendly elements of the design? (check examples!)
How long have you been working as a WordPress Developer for?
Can I see your WordPress Work?
Can I have 5 references from 5 of your WordPress only projects?
You will be surprised at how many people ignore these basic questions. Having validated code is important for usability, obviously you need to see their WordPress work to understand what they can do and the most important of course is to always get those references from 5 of their WordPress projects.
Do not get general references, you want WordPress Development specific references.
A great WordPress developer will have no issues what so ever with answering the above questions and providing you what you need.
Your WordPress developer will also be able to advise you on things such as web hosting and optimising your website for speed.
Most web hosts these days offer WordPress specific hosting which comes with WordPress already installed or at the very least a 1 click installation button which makes getting started super simple and takes the work load off your developer straight away.
Once your website is complete and live, it’s vital that you get your developer to optimise you WordPress website for speed.
There are lots of plugins available such as TinyPNG and WPCache which help make your WordPress website load super quick.
You will also need to protect your WordPress website from hackers, ask your developer to recommend security plugins such as Sucuri which help protect vulnerable files and folders and keep your website safe from hackers.