When it comes to making a WordPress site, should you hire a WordPress developer or go the DIY route?
That’s the first question we’ll tackle in this post…
Then, if you do decide a developer is the right decision for your site, we’ll share four tips to help you pick the right developer, as well as some spots where you can connect with quality WordPress developers.
When it makes sense to hire a WordPress developer (or not!)
Let’s get one thing out of the way – it’s very possible to build a functional WordPress site yourself.
However, many people still hire a WordPress developer to do the job, and this is an approach worth considering.
Let’s discuss some of the pros and cons to help you decide if hiring a WordPress developer is really the best solution for your needs.
👍 Advantages of hiring a WordPress developer
- Less time learning the ins and outs of WordPress.
- The developer will be able to add custom functionality to your site, which is useful if you need very specific features and options.
- There’s less of a chance of your site will look ‘cookie cutter’ – i.e., just like everyone else’s.
- Your developer (if they’re good) will know how to get the most out of the platform, which means maximizing your site’s performance, security, and so on.
- You’ll have someone you can reach out to for help with technical tasks, updates, bug fixing, and more.
👎 Disadvantages of hiring a WordPress developer
- Hiring a developer can be an expensive proposition – anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars depending on your needs.
- You’ll be more reliant on the developer in order to manage and maintain your site.
- If you make a poor hiring decision, you can end up with an inferior result (and not much recourse to do anything about it).
- You may not really need a developer, particularly if your vision for the site is simple.
- It may take longer to get your site built and off the ground.
What’s right for you?
While all of the above factors are important, the two that matter most are budget and complexity. If you don’t have many resources, and also don’t require any custom functionality, consider doing it yourself.
On the other hand, those with the budget required who want a site customized to their specific needs may benefit from hiring a professional.
How to hire a WordPress developer to create your site (in 4 steps)
Hiring a developer can be a smart move – but it can also be risky. You want to end up with the right person, and you don’t want to pay more than you need to. Let’s walk through what you’ll need to do to maximize your chances of ending up with a stellar final product.
Step 1: Consider your needs
Even if you won’t be building your website personally, you’ll want to have a clear idea of your needs before you hire a WordPress developer. The more specific information you can give them, the better the end result is likely to be.
You don’t need to start planning the layout of your site, but you will want to decide on its purpose and contents in a more general sense. For instance, it’s important to consider:
- What the goal of your site will be – to share information, build a community, make sales, etc.
- The types of pages you’d like it to contain, and the volume.
- Any specific features and functionality your site will require, such as order or booking forms, calendars, media integration, e-commerce capabilities, and more.
Once you select a developer, these are the first pieces of information you’ll want to communicate to them. This way, you’ll know you’re both on the same page about the direction your site should take.
Step 2: Be aware of the costs involved
As we mentioned earlier, building a custom website can be a costly venture. Of course, a site built using WordPress won’t cost as much as some other platforms. Still, you’ll want to know what kind of expenses to expect.
How much you end up paying will depend largely on:
- The scope of the project. How many pages do you need? Many WordPress developers charge by the hour, so the bigger your site is, the greater the potential cost.
- The complexity of your requirements. Custom-built functionally and/or features commands a higher price. Modest needs, such as a basic blog, company brochure site, or small storefront should cost less.
- Your chosen developer’s level of experience. You’ll find a wide range of developers charging anywhere from $5 to $100 per hour. The middle of the scale is often where you’ll often find the most competent and reliable hires.
Ultimately, a custom WordPress site can cost between a few hundred dollars and $5,000 (or more). However, the above three guidelines should give you an idea of where your own project will fall on the scale.
Step 3: Know what to look for in a potential hire
If you’re planning to hire a WordPress developer, you’ll need to know how to assess candidates. This can be a tricky proposition, especially if you have little technical expertise of your own. However, you can still make an informed decision.
To do so, you’ll want to consider the following factors:
- How much is the developer charging? In particular, be wary of those on the very low end of the scale, charging $5 to $15 per hour (or so). This very likely indicates a lack of experience.
- Do they have a portfolio of previous work? The best thing you can do when vetting a potential hire is to look at past websites they’ve built. If you can, visit the sites and spend a little time on them, testing to see if information is easy to find, if key features work properly, and so on.
- Can you find references, reviews, and/or testimonials? If possible, see if you can get in touch with someone else the developer has worked for, and ask what their experience was like.
- Does the developer have experience with WordPress specifically? A more general developer isn’t likely to get as much out of the platform, and may be less familiar with key languages and skills.
- What tools do they use? Some developers will build you a custom WordPress theme, while others will use page builder plugins like Elementor. There’s not really a right or wrong here, but you’ll want to know exactly what the foundation of your site will be because it will affect how you make changes in the future.
Finally (and perhaps most importantly), it’s smart to reach out and have a conversation with the strongest candidates before making a decision. Ask them about their experience, let them know what you’re looking for, and so on.
This will tell you a few things – how quick the developer is to respond, how well they communicate, and how clearly they understand your needs. Plus, it can give you a sense for how easy they’ll be to work with – the importance of which can’t be overstated.
Step 4: Start searching for candidates
At this point, you’re ready to hire a WordPress developer! The final step is to start looking for potential candidates.
It’s important to take your time with this process. Look around multiple sites, compile a list of possibilities, and compare them against each other (using the list in the previous step). Once you’ve narrowed the field down to a few top options, you can reach out to each of them, and use the results as a guide to make your final choice.
As for where you can find potential hires, there are a lot of options. You’ll find them on general freelance sites, as well as WordPress-specific hiring platforms.
For more advice on where to start, you can check out our list of the best places to hire WordPress freelancers. You can also consider hiring a developer locally, by visiting local events and contacting nearby institutions.
If you have money to spare but not much time on your hands, commissioning your website can be a smart move. What’s more, this enables you to have a site built to match your exact needs, with all the features and functionality you require.
Fortunately, it isn’t hard to hire a WordPress developer. There are a lot of knowledgeable and reliable people who can help. To ensure you find the right person for the job, you’ll want to:
- Consider your needs.
- Be aware of the costs involved.
- Know what to look for in a potential hire.
- Start searching for candidates.
Do you have any other questions about how to hire a WordPress developer? Let us know in the comments section below!