Whether you are looking for someone who can fix all the issues on your site, seeking a person to build your WooCommerce virtual store, or looking for a professional WordPress developer to take your startup a few steps forward, it is desirable that you know how to manage and work with these developers.
Why? Because remote work with these developers and designers has become the standard in the online and universal world we live in. If “standard” is an exaggerated word, it can at least be said that remote work with these developers is a very popular way to perform tasks, and this approach has many advantages.
Given that this is the situation, it is crucial to know how to work with these WordPress developers for website owners, daring startup owners, and various business owners. Knowing how to work correctly with these developers will have a positive impact on your business.
So, let me educate you about the steps to take to be professionals in dealing with WordPress developers when you work with them on your site. But before that, in two sentences… What does it mean to be a WordPress developer?
What Does “WordPress Developer” Actually Mean?
This might sound like a trivial question at first glance: a WordPress developer is a professional who develops plugins and sites using WordPress as a content management system (CMS). But on second thought, it can be said that the role of a WordPress developer can vary per individual.
Beyond website and plugin development, a WordPress developer might include the following roles:
- Site planning – Working with the client to create a site map that describes in a broad perspective the content and features needed to serve the ultimate goal and the desires of the client and site visitors.
- Wireframing – Creating wireframes for each page to display the content and elements that need to appear on the page.
- Design – Creating a design for each of the pages according to the previous two paragraphs. (In practice, this is often done by an external person).
- Template development – Developing the site/template according to requirements and design.
- Installing WordPress and relevant plugins, interfacing with various Google tools, backups, maintenance, technical SEO (Technical SEO).
- Adding content (text and images to the site).
- Site testing and QA, launching the site, and even training the site owner.
- Ongoing site maintenance.
So, it can be understood that a “WordPress developer” is not just someone who develops the template but, in many cases, provides many additional services beyond the template development, according to their abilities (and will).
Let’s get back to the main topic of the post and discuss how to find a WordPress developer and how to work with one…
How to Improve the Process of Finding a WordPress Developer and How to Get the Best Developer for You?
Since I want you to have the most information about the process of searching and working with WordPress developers, I will divide the article into four main parts so that it better reflects the process of working on building a site or project in WordPress:
- Before you hire a WordPress developer.
- How to hire the best developer for your project.
- When the project starts.
- When the project is completed.
1. Before Hiring a WordPress Developer
When looking for a WordPress professional to help with your website, no matter how big the project or how many fixes you need, you’ll need to do some upfront work to ensure a successful project. Here are some points to pay attention to:
A. Ensure Language is not a Barrier
The first aspect to consider is language; make sure that a specific language does not become a barrier for you, and communication with the developer is smooth. For optimal project results, being able to communicate clearly and efficiently with the developer about the project needs and what you want to achieve is crucial.
Bottom line, communication and transparency are among the most important aspects of a project. The ability to communicate openly will help you ensure good results for your project. Shared language, of course, has its advantages in this regard.
B. Pay Attention to Time Zone
When looking for a WordPress developer, you may overlook the fact that the developer might be in a different time zone. It may sound trivial, but when talking to potential developers, you may find yourself frustrated if you don’t receive a response during your working hours. This situation likely occurs because the potential developer is either asleep or simply not available due to being in a different time zone.
There’s not much you can do about it other than trying to leverage the time zone differences as an advantage. For example, your project might require you and the developer to communicate during their working hours to achieve the goals. In this case, you’ll want to ensure that the developer is accessible during specific hours that you define.
However, many people prefer that the developer works during hours opposite to theirs so they can assign tasks at the end of their working day and wake up to a completed project or tasks the next day.
It’s not about different time zones being right or wrong; it’s about aligning expectations between you and the developer so that time zone and hour differences work to your advantage.
C. Stay Available to Start the Project ASAP
No matter where the potential developer is located or in which time zone, the ultimate goal is to advance your business needs and successfully complete the project. So, when looking for a WordPress developer, you’ll want to understand whether a specific developer is more suitable for working on the project.
A great way to find this out is to be available for questions from potential developers and respond quickly. You can save many of these questions if you provide clear instructions for the project or task (more on that later), but expect questions from potential developers even before the start of the project.
So, be ready to answer these questions promptly, as it is time that you invest towards the future completion of the project before you even start working with the chosen developer.
After considering all three aspects mentioned, it’s time to find a reliable and professional WordPress developer for your project.
2. How to Attract the Best Developers for Your Project
Clear Definition / Ready Guidelines are the Key to Achieving Desired Results. Clear guidelines can be the difference between a successful project and a not-so-successful one, and they also have a significant impact on developers’ willingness to join your project.
Creating a list of guidelines will not only expedite the process of finding a developer but will also lead you to a quicker endpoint with fewer back-and-forths of questions and answers between you and the developer, both before starting the work and during it. The process of creating guidelines will also help you better understand what you are looking for, making you prepared in advance for questions from the WordPress developer.
Here are some points on creating ready guidelines that will make developers eager to work with you:
- Rule #1 – Determine the budget for the project (and don’t be afraid to state it).
- Rule #2 – Define goals with clear and desirable outcomes.
- Rule #3 – Set a deadline and timelines.
- Rule #4 – Define success criteria.
- Rule #5 – Avoid statements that undermine the developer’s experience.
Let’s expand on these project guidelines rules:
Rule #1 – Why do you need a budget? – If you’re looking for a WordPress developer, you cannot embark on the journey without a clear budget for your needs and requirements. Just as you set aside money for a potential plumbing issue at home, you need to allocate funds for your project.
If you don’t have a clue about how much the project might cost, you can invest some time and research. In case the project is highly complex, and you want precise settings (and an accurate budget), you can hire the services of a WordPress consultant or ask the developer for their estimate.
Rule #2 – Why do you need goals with clear outcomes? – When working with a developer, you want them to understand your needs as best as possible so that neither of you wastes time and resources. Clear goals with specific and detailed outcomes will make the process much more manageable, and it’s reasonable to assume it will end sooner.
The clearer the specification/design/project guidelines, the more precise the developer’s quote will be, saving time for both of you, and there will be less room for questions.
Rule #3 – Why do you need to set a deadline and timelines? – Setting timelines or a deadline for project completion forces you and the developer to be synchronized on when the project should end. One of the advantages you might be overlooking is that setting a timeframe allows the developer to set realistic expectations so that both of you can plan the timeline and resources at your disposal better.
Rule #4 – Why do you need success criteria? – Is there a way to objectively say when the project is completed? Yes, by defining at least one way to measure the success of the project objectively.
If you don’t have an idea about success criteria, simply put, it’s any measurable data by which the success (or failure) of the project is judged according to your primary goal (the client). Here are some examples:
- Increased business awareness and exposure.
- Generate 10% more traffic.
- Increase weekly subscriptions to the newsletter.
Rule #5 – Why should you treat the developer’s experience with respect? – Among all the aspects that project guidelines should include to make them more attractive and efficient, many people tend to forget this one:
You are currently talking to a professional developer who is likely to meet your business requirements regarding the website and you are not capable of doing so. Therefore, I highly recommend those hiring a WordPress developer never to use one of the following sentences in project guidelines:
- “It should be easy.”
- “It shouldn’t take much time.”
- “I know it should take X hours.”
- “I already have a price quote for this in X amount.”
- “I hope you know there are more projects and work ahead, so be economical in your price proposal.”
I know what you’re thinking, I’m the one who hired you, you just need to do what I say, I’m right, you’re wrong… (if you have other interesting and relevant sentences, write them in the comments!)
Remember that you are the ones who need help, not the other way around! So don’t let the same developer feel belittled or lacking experience in an area where, reasonably, you have very little knowledge. On the contrary, try to leverage the knowledge and experience of that WordPress developer for your project.
3. When the Project Takes Off
So, you’ve hired a talented developer, good for you! Now it’s time to dedicate yourselves and ensure that the project runs smoothly, saving time and making it ready for the developer to start working on the magic you’re paying for.
Therefore, you need to be prepared in advance and make sure that you have the following materials:
Prepare in Advance for a WordPress Developer
- Access to the admin interface of your WordPress site.
- FTP addresses and access.
- Access to GIT or the Version Control you are using.
- Access to the hosting company’s admin interface if necessary (cPanel, Plesk, etc.).
- Access to Google Search Console is required in most cases.
- Visual materials such as a logo, graphics, etc., if needed. (In most cases, the settings for these will come from the developer).
- Content and microcopy for landing pages or the homepage, product descriptions, etc., anything that can help.
- Any other tools or additional services that you need the developer to be familiar with or work with.
Once you have all the materials ready for sharing, be sure and relaxed that your project is presented in the most appropriate and efficient way for the WordPress expert you hired. This way, you won’t waste your time and the developer’s time, and you’ll also save quite a bit of money, based on experience!
Put on the Project Manager Hat
No matter what project you’re dealing with, you’ll have a very important role throughout the process and during the project. In specific terms, you’re the ones who will receive requests to provide all the necessary information, answer questions, and eliminate doubts that may arise during the project.
If you have never worked with external contractors, you may initially have concerns about this responsibility. To make it easier for you and to ensure that this experience is simpler and more enjoyable, I suggest sticking to the following guiding principles, and I promise you’ll improve every day:
- Use some tool to track your requests, what has been done, and what is still pending. Monday, Asana, and Trello are excellent tools for these purposes, but opening a Google Spreadsheet can also provide help.
- Proactively communicate with the developer by providing constructive feedback and criticism. Try to anticipate questions as the project progresses.
- Do everything to avoid misunderstandings – If you have examples, mockups, or specifications, share them with the developer and add your comments and notes.
- Be open to the developer’s suggestions as they know how to approach those tasks. At the same time, don’t agree immediately without considering everything the developer proposes. When any idea doesn’t seem right or suitable for you, ask the developer about the reasons behind the proposal or solution.
- Behave with respect, both of you are in the same boat led by the same northern star: your project.
4. When the Project is Completed
When the last task is completed and you’ve marked it as done, there’s only one thing left to do: ensure that all project requirements have been met and presented on the timelines you set together with the WordPress developer.
Keep in mind that many WordPress developers (myself included) do not pass the baton to the client before receiving payment, and you should adhere to this process. This is not uncommon in the work market and is meant to protect us developers from delays and issues in payment transfer. Although I haven’t encountered this situation yet and hope not to, I believe this is a legitimate request.
Either way, if you are satisfied with the result, make the payment and start celebrating… 🙂
Thanks to Codeable.