10 Questions to Help You Hire a Dedicated WordPress Developer
October 27, 2021
When your website needs a redesign, or you just want to blow it up and start all over again, you will need to find the right WordPress expert to get the job done. However, knowing how to find a good WordPress developer can be challenging.
Your options will usually be to hire a creative team or find a freelancer, and there are many important factors to consider. After evaluating your resources and deciding that you’ll need to hire a dedicated WordPress developer, it’s helpful to know which questions to ask to help you find the right person or team.
A standard approach to identifying vendors is writing a website request for proposal (RFP). While the RFP process is a good first step, in our experience designing websites over the years, we have learned that finding the right fit is just as important as finding the right skillset and abilities.
There are important questions that need to be asked and answered before signing a contract with a website design and development company or a freelancer. We recommend a get-to-know-you session before committing to a working relationship. The web design and development process is a long one so you want to be sure you can work well together for the long haul.
While finding the right fit is an important part, you also must discern if the skills, experience, and capabilities are there as well. Here are ten questions to help you complete a thorough interview process:
1. Describe your discovery process
Start by understanding the nuts and bolts of the WordPress designer or developer’s creative process. Ideally, you already have a comprehensive marketing strategy in place and will be ready to provide clarity about the goals and purposes of your website.
A good strategy always begins with a comprehensive discovery process. Technical capabilities won’t matter if the creative team doesn’t grasp who you truly are and what your brand represents. Listen for things like competitor analysis, keyword research, and search engine optimization to ensure that they’ll be able to recommend how to help your target audience find your site.
2. Describe your project management workflow and who will be my POC?
Throughout the duration of the web design process, your primary point of contact (POC) will be your lifeline. You need to be sure that is someone who will listen to you and advocate for you to the design and development team if necessary.
Good project managers are proactive, clear communicators, and good listeners. They will be upfront about the project timeline, milestones, and deliverables and be available to answer your questions in a timely manner.
This is where working with a freelance WordPress developer may be a liability as they are often serving as project manager, designer, and developer of the entire project.
3. Will I be able to see the website as you are creating it?
We love home improvement shows on TV. Have you ever noticed how some of the designers kick the clients out until the project is complete and others allow the clients occasional look-ins to check on progress? This is usually up to designer discretion and a similar mindset applies to website design.
No creative enjoys being micromanaged. Frankly, too much looking over the shoulder can be downright destructive to the creative process. Be sure that you define your expectations and how involved your team would like to be before the work begins. If you want to be more hands-on than your design or development team prefers, you may need to find a better fit.
4. How many revisions are included in your quote and how do you manage scope creep?
This is one of the most important questions to ask a WordPress developer. Most website designers and developers understand that people often don’t know what they really want until they see the first draft. This is one of the benefits of wireframing a website so that you have a general idea of the layout and flow before investing a ton of hours in the design and development.
Depending on factors like scheduling, flexibility, and years of experience, some shops will let you have a set number of revisions before charging you for change requests.
5. Do you work by project or by the hour?
This is where your budget is very important. If the website design or development team you hire works by the hour, they may be more than happy to accept all of your scope creep and revision requests because you’re paying for them!
Teams who work by the project may be willing to accept some scope creep but will very likely cap it at a minimum in order to keep the project on schedule. Either way, know how the work is billed before agreeing to a contract.
6. Will my site be custom-built or will you use pre-made templates?
Anything from style and philosophy to budget and time could determine the answers to this question. Templatized sites are usually more affordable at a quick turnaround. On the other hand, today’s digital brands often require a more customized and hand-crafted approach to website development.
If you require a lot of custom work that a template can’t handle, you will want to know if your designer has the chops to build sites from scratch. Some of the cheaper shops can’t cut it or can figure it out and it will cost you! Be sure you and the person you hire to build a WordPress website both know what you’re getting into before you begin.
(Read More: Six Questions to Help You Evaluate Your Website)
7. How will SEO factor into the design process?
If you ask the designer or team about SEO and they do not have a clear-cut response — run. To be sure, there are several different aspects of SEO and some topics are hotly debated between web designers and content marketers.
At a minimum, your website should be built with all the latest SEO best practices in mind. This is a basic expectation in today’s web development world and if the team you are considering hiring isn’t up-to-speed, your website won’t be either.
8. Do you outsource any of your work?
We said before that you want to make sure the vendor you choose is the right fit for your brand. Imagine being in conversations with a freelance or small development company that you feel really understands you and your brand, but the final product completely misses the mark. It could be that some of the work was outsourced.
Outsourcing and white-labeling services isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but this is another reason why project management is so crucial. Typically a strong PM will be vetting and approving everything submitted by a WordPress consultant or another third party before passing any drafts to the client. The point we want to drive home is that it’s important to understand all the different hands that will touch the project to help you make an informed decision.
9. Who owns the site’s graphics/artwork once it’s completed?
This is an expectation you want to set before committing to a relationship with a WordPress web developer or designer. There are pros and cons on either side of the decision, but if it is important to you to have the original graphic files and artwork associated with your site, you will need specific clarity on that before signing any contract.
10. What was your favorite/least favorite project?
This is a really insightful question to get to the heart of the website design and development team’s style. If they say their least favorite project was designing a financial services infographic and you run a family-owned financial services firm, this designer may not be right for your project. While a goth designer may have the creative prowess to design meaningful and memorable graphics for a preschool, that unicorn is a diamond in the rough. You’re often better off selecting a designer who comes closer to your brand’s flavor and style.
We Design and Develop WordPress Websites, How Can We Help?
We hope these WordPress interview questions will help you find the perfect website design and development team match for your web design project. But we also hope that you will consider us for your next website project. As you know, web design is our specialty. Send us a message and let’s schedule a time to talk. We would love to answer all of these questions for you and discover if we are the right fit for you.