How To Choose The Best WordPress Developer For Your Project

August 3, 2023 by Emily Parker in Business, Web Development

In order to build a professional and successful WordPress website you’ll need the expertise of a skilled developer. However, there are many developers to choose from which can prove to be a daunting task. In this post, we will guide you through everything you need to consider when selecting a WordPress developer for your project.

When choosing a developer, it’s important to find someone who not only possesses the required technical proficiency you require but also understands your specific needs. Before starting your project it’s important to define your project requirements, assess the technical expertise needed, and review your expected budget and timeline for the project. Next, based on the experience level you are looking for, start reviewing developer portfolios and seek references and reviews. The tips below will help you make an informed decision that leads to a successful partnership. 

Define Your Project Requirements

Before you start your search for a WordPress developer, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of exactly what your project needs to be successful. Decide what the scope, goals, and objectives of your website are. Then, identify the specific features, functionalities, and design elements that you want to include on your site. By having a comprehensive project outline, you can effectively communicate your needs to potential developers and assess their capabilities accordingly. Specifying what you want will help ensure that you don't have to switch developers in the middle of a project because you didn't have something you needed.

Assess Technical Expertise

A competent WordPress developer should possess a strong technical skill set. Some technical skills to look for are: a solid understanding of WordPress core functionalities, plugin integration, theme development, and customization. Evaluate their proficiency in HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, and other related technologies. This can be done by having them complete a competency test or asking for samples of their previous work to assess the quality of their coding and design skills.

"Anyone can claim to be a WordPress developer. I just hired a guy who claimed to be a WP developer and had several good looking sites in his portfolio who was editing files directly in the parent theme (modifying functions.php, adding scripts to header.php files without enqueuing them, uploading images to the parent theme folder, etc.), and writing terrible CSS. He's no longer working for me. The only way to know if someone is a real WP developer is to test their skills." - Reddit

Review Their Portfolio, Experience, and References

It's crucial to review a developer's portfolio to determine their level of experience and the type of projects they have worked on in the past. Pay attention to the design aesthetics, user experience, and overall functionality of the websites they have developed. Ideally, the developer should have experience working on projects similar to yours, showcasing their ability to meet your specific requirements. Moreover, consider their experience with different themes, plugins, and frameworks.

Additionally, requesting references or reading reviews from previous clients is an effective way to gain insights into a developer's professionalism and work ethic. This will help you get a better feel of the person before you make a full commitment. You can also reach out to their references and ask about communication skills, meeting deadlines, responsiveness to feedback, and overall satisfaction with the end result.

Consider Communication And Collaboration

Effective communication and collaboration are vital for a successful development project. Look for developers who are responsive, proactive, and willing to listen to your ideas and concerns. They should be able to communicate technical concepts in a clear and understandable manner, making the development process more efficient. Assess their willingness to provide regular project updates and their ability to meet deadlines.

Man working on a computer

Consider Your Budget And Timelines

When selecting a WordPress developer, it's important to align their pricing and timelines with your project's budget and schedule. Request detailed proposals from potential developers, that will outline the estimated costs and timelines for your project. Compare these proposals, keeping in mind the developer's expertise and the value they offer for your investment. Remember, choosing the cheapest option may not always result in the best outcome, so prioritize quality and long-term value over cost. 

Suggestions For Professional And Vetted WordPress

Finding professional and vetted WordPress developers can be challenging, but there are several reliable sources where you can locate skilled developers for your project. Here are some recommended platforms and strategies to help you find the right WordPress developer:

  • Visit the official WordPress website and explore their "Job Board" section. This platform allows you to post job listings specifically targeting WordPress developers. You can review resumes, portfolios, and contact potential candidates directly.
  • Freelance Websites: Platforms such as Upwork, Freelancer, and Toptal provide access to a vast pool of freelance WordPress developers. These websites allow you to browse through profiles, review ratings and reviews, and communicate with developers to discuss your project requirements.
  • Word-of-Mouth Referrals: Reach out to your professional network or industry contacts for recommendations. If someone you trust has had a positive experience with a WordPress developer, they can provide valuable insights and refer you to a reliable professional.
  • LinkedIn: You can search for WordPress developers on LinkedIn. Look for professionals with a strong portfolio, recommendations, and relevant experience.
  • WordPress-specific Job Boards: Websites like WP Hired and Codeable focus specifically on WordPress-related jobs. These platforms often pre-screen developers, ensuring a higher level of expertise.
  • Online Communities: Participate in WordPress-focused online communities like Reddit's r/WordPress or dedicated Facebook groups. You can interact with developers there and get recommendations.
  • Web Development Agencies: Research web development agencies or companies that specialize in WordPress development. Look for agencies with good reviews and case studies that demonstrate their expertise.

To finalize, choosing the best WordPress developer for your project requires careful consideration of their technical expertise, experience, communication skills, and alignment with your project requirements. Take the time to evaluate their portfolios, seek references, and review their previous work. By doing so, you can ensure a successful partnership and a website that meets your expectations. Remember, investing in the right developer is a crucial step toward building a high-quality and effective WordPress website that stands out from the competition.

One way to help ensure that you are getting a quality WordPress developer is to hire a web development agency rather than an individual. An agency will have already vetted their developers and can stand behind their quality and skills. For more information, read this article we've written about whether you should choose a web design agency or a freelancer, and the pros and cons of each choice.