When it comes hiring a website developer and building a website, WordPress is the most commonly used CMS (Content Management System) tool in the world. Out of the box, WordPress is a highly functional website platform with many options to build exactly what you want for your business. Many of the world’s best developers have chosen to support and develop themes and plugins for WordPress due to its popularity and the fact that the code base is open source.
Choosing WordPress as the website platform for your business is a great decision. There are many skilled website developers out there. Finding great WordPress developers is a very different story. Knowing the key questions to ask when searching for a WordPress website designer will help find one that is right for your business website needs.
Key Issues to Address When Looking for a WordPress Developer:
1) What level of WordPress Development Skill Does Your Website Designer Have?
Many website designers call themselves WordPress experts. It is important to know their level of expertise. To simply install WordPress and work from a theme does not make you a developer or expert. This is much like saying, I can go to Home Depot and buy a toilet, therefore I am a plumber. Ask how your developer handles issues and customizes WordPress websites to understand more about their scope of knowledge.
2) Has Your Website Developer Built a WordPress Website From Scratch?
This is very important to know. A developer that knows the ins and out of WordPress will only add in what you need – nothing more. This will help your marketing efforts and keep your website healthy for the long-term. If you hire someone that just installs pre-built themes you are going to get a website that is slow and bloated. All of this means your marketing efforts will fall short as people do not wait for slow websites. You may also encounter many compatibility issues in the future.
3) Does Your Website Developer Rely Solely on Pre-Built Themes?
If you need a website launched within a day, pre-built themes are a great way to go. If you want to spend the time on your business and develop a fast, slick, well thought-out website that generates business and is built for the long-haul, a pre-built theme will be a major detriment to your business. Theme builders will supply you with many modules you will never use. They are also very difficult to customize (unless you hire someone with expertise). Know what your business needs for the short and long-term are before making a decision on buying a pre-built theme.
4) Does Your Website Developer Rely Exclusively on Plugins?
Plugins are an amazing tool in WordPress. We use them often. The trick with plugins is to know which ones you should use, how they will impact your website’s performance and how compatible they are with your infrastructure. Using too many plugins will also slow your site down. Ask your developer to only use plugins that are necessary. Also, find out whether the paid version of any plugins offer enough value to warrant a big upgrade. Many free versions are not supported by the plugin developer. So, if you ever encounter a problem with the plugin, it will be up to you to solve it.
5) Will Your WordPress Website Developer Maintain Your Website and Keep It Updated?
As great as WordPress is, it is important to know that it must be maintained to perform well. Think of it like locking up your store when you leave, and having a cleaning crew come in to clean the floors and empty the garbage. Take this approach with your website. Understanding that you need to have your website regularly maintained is vital. Hackers all over the world are looking for websites that have not been updated. They seek out vulnerabilities in old code in order to get at your information or add malware to your website. If your website gets hacked your online reputation will suffer. Make sure you get your WordPress core files and plugins tested and updated monthly.
All of these are key considerations that will impact your business in the short and long-term. Make sure you do your research and ask these key questions. We have seen many clients bring poorly designed WordPress websites to us that need a complete overhaul in order to attract new business. Ask your website developer the right questions.
Check back for part II of this blog as we dive into how your WordPress developer can impact your business goals and marketing efforts.
Your website is the digital storefront of your business. Ensure its success by hiring a digital marketing agency or qualified website developer to build and maintain your WordPress website. If you have any questions regarding this blog or developing a WordPress website, please contact us using the form below, using the chat function on our website, or by calling 1-855-656-5262. Follow us on Instagram or LinkedIn. We look forward to hearing from you if you are looking for a new website developer. We are located in Burlington, Ontario.
Open-source software (OSS) is a type of computer software in which source code is released under a license in which the copyright holder grants users the rights to use, study, change, and distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose.