When considering a website for your business, there are several options out there, but one which is increasingly becoming popular among website designers is WordPress content management system. With approximately 19% of all websites run on WordPress, it is safe to say that a lot of business owners prefer the ease of use and flexibility of WordPress.
The decision to have a WordPress based site does not end there, at the decision level. You need to go ahead and make it happen and this means hiring a WordPress developer. A WordPress developer is someone who will work on your site and create a stunning and custom website that will suit your needs.
The question now is how to find a WordPress developer who will give you what you need. As the popularity of WordPress has grown, so has the number of website developers who work on WordPress. These developers range in skill from incredibly fantastic to downright mediocre and it is important to know to which group a developer belongs to before you decide to go ahead and hire the person.
In order to ensure that you are indeed choosing the right person for your needs, here are a number of questions to ask before you hire a WordPress Developer.
What experience do you have with WordPress?
It is important to know what experience your developer has and how long that person has worked with WordPress. This is because you need someone who is really familiar with the way WordPress works and can use standard WordPress functionality when they are designing so that your site remains stable. This is relevant because WordPress is updated regularly and this might affect your site.
What sites have you worked on and what references do you have?
Hiring a WordPress developer is almost like hiring any other staff or consultant to work on your project and you need to conduct the necessary due diligence. Ask the developer to show you other sites that they have worked on and also to give you references from past clients. This should help you check out the developer’s skill and service delivery before engaging.
What hosting arrangements have you made?
The webhosting for your site is probably going to be a recurring expense, one that you would need to renew every year and so it is important to know what arrangements the developer has before you go further with that person. There are different webhosting options and depending on your needs, you might need one that is more expensive than average. Discuss with the developer and let them explain to you the reasons behind their choice in webhosting.
What plans do you have for security?
WordPress is open source software and because it is so popular, it is also the target of hacking attempts. If you are going to run your website on the WordPress platform, you need to prepare yourself for hackers because there is a very high possibility that your site will be targeted. So you need a developer who puts that into consideration and factors it in when writing the code for your website. Also, your developer should be able to recommend steps you can take to ensure that your site is less vulnerable.
How will the site be maintained?
Maintenance is an important part of a site, especially one that runs on the WordPress platform.This is because as we have already mentioned, WordPress brings out frequent updates and it is important to keep the website updated so that it runs without hitches and also for added security. For most web developers, maintenance is a separate contract which will attract a separate free so it is important to know what it entails before you enter into an agreement.
Is there any plan for backing up the site?
Things happen and one of such things that have already been mentioned is hackers. But hackers are not the only threat to your WordPress site and it is always a good idea to have a version of your site backed up and stored just in case something happens to your site. So find out from the web developer what plans he has for backing up your site or if she intends to use a webhost that offers such services.
Will the website be designed using a WordPress theme or from scratch?
There are three ways to create a WordPress site and these are by using a WordPress template as it is, customizing a premium template or creating the site from scratch. Either one is fine once the developer can explain to you satisfactorily, why one is preferred above the other. The fact is that they each have their pros and cons however if you are not in a hurry and can afford it, building a site from scratch is the better option because it will be built to specification, the code will be lighter and if the coder is really good, vulnerabilities can be closed making your site more secure than the average site.
Will you be providing SEO solutions?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is important for every website and it is a good idea to find out if the WordPress developer would be helping you with your SEO needs. It is important to know that SEO is an on-going need however the site can be optimized for search engine right from the start. Ensure that the developer knows something about SEO and how to properly optimize your site.
Can you make my website responsive to mobile devices?
The world is going mobile and a large percentage of people own smartphones and use them to browse the internet. The statistics are that 70% of all mobile searches result in action within 1 hour. Every serious business knows that having a website which can be accessed from all mobile devices is vital. There are websites that immediately adapt to the mobile device that is being used to view them and these are mobile responsive websites. You can also have a mobile version of your website created and set up so that it redirects automatically depending on the device that is being used.
These questions are by no means exhaustive and there are probably several more question you might want to ask because of your needs. However with these questions above, the basics are covered.