When hiring a WordPress developer, there are a few things to consider:
In addition, 2 options come to mind when hiring a developer:
Who To Hire
So taking all of this into account, the first thing to ask yourself is, who should you hire: a freelancer or an agency?
First, let’s look at your budget.
If you have a limited budget, your only option might be to hire a freelancer. This is because agencies charge significantly more than a freelancer.
However, the positives of hiring an agency include 1) access to more resources, and 2) more specialized resources for specific things you need.
So for example, if you need a whole new website for your corporate brand, hiring a freelancer could be a big mistake. The old adage “jack of all trades master of none” comes to mind when thinking about all that goes into designing a new website: marketing needs, usability, graphics design, software development, and QA/testing. Expecting one guy can be a turnkey solution for all of this is a bit naive at best.
Meanwhile, if you’re a small business with a very tight budget just looking to get a website presence, and you’re really just looking for a brochure design (informational only and not interactive) and conduct most of your business in person or offline, going the freelancer route can be a good use of your budget.
And let’s keep another thing in mind: in most cases, hiring someone is better than nothing. A “good enough” website is always better than no website or a broken website, at least for most organizations.
Another consideration is, how quickly do you need the work? Some agencies create extra bureaucracy as they need to handle requests from multiple customers and prioritize resources based on needs. but for the most part, many agencies can guarantee a certain turnaround time and do a much better job at managing expectations.
Meanwhile, a freelancer might be booked for months which can make quick turnaround times sometimes impossible.
Many agencies also have a minimum project size. So if you have $200 to add a form to your site, many agencies may turn this down, or ask you to opt for a minimum project retainer or maintenance program to implement your change. Freelancers are often more flexible on this sort of task (if they’re not already booked and too busy).
If you’re just looking for graphics work, sometimes you can get by with hiring a graphics designer. Many graphics designers have wordpress experience, and if you have a website built using a modern wordpress theme like elementor or divi, you might be able to hire a graphics designer to design and swap out an image on your website.
On the other hand, the more complex the task, the more skill sets you’ll need.
Let’s say you’re adding a product selection wizard to your website. You’d need to understand the customer journey and make sure the wizard complements all the different scenarios a customer could entertain. Because of this, hiring an agency makes more sense, as your project will be staffed with domain experts on topics such as usability, user experience, graphics design, project management, software architecture, software design, quality assurance, and IT needs/support. Asking a freelancer to wear all of these hats and do them well is a really, really big ask!
And last but not least, you should ask yourself, “when I hire this individual, what is the desired outcome?” Is it more business through your website? Better handling of customer support issues?
Whatever the case, knowing the desired outcome can often help you figure out who you need to hire.
How To Hire
Once you’ve identified whether you want to go the agency route or freelancer route, you’ll need to know how to find the ideal agency or freelancer.
For agencies, there are numerous wordpress developer directories online, like clutch.co. Or many times you can just do a local google maps search for agencies in your area.
Or better yet, reach out to friends and colleagues. A quick post on LinkedIn might get you a referral for a great agency.
Same with freelancers, inquiring in your network might be a great way to find someone.
With freelancers, there are also other services you can use to find a developer, such as upwork.com or region-specific hiring sites like onlinejobs.ph (specifically for hiring in the Philippines).
Keep in mind that, when you hire offshore, you’ll likely need to figure out how to pay your developer. While paypal is the most common way of paying a freelancer, there are other options like wise.com and western union, which may offer better rates/terms.
Evaluating Your Prospect Before Hiring
Once you’ve chosen a few potential developers/agencies, the next thing is to brief them on what you need.
Usually a good developer or agency will want to get on a call, whether it’s a phone call or zoom. They’ll ask you questions around your specific need and generally provide you with an estimate before you start.
If they’re unwilling to provide an estimate or hop on a voice call, this is usually a red flag.
It’s also advisable to start with a limited scope. Give them a small project to test the waters. In fact, if you have multiple candidates and can afford it, maybe give the same project to each of them.
As they’re completing it, look at the following things:
Once you’ve hired your ideal candidate, the next step is to look to establish a long term relationship with your freelancer or agency. Many will ask for ongoing retainers for maintenance and support, which basically allow them to have some predictability in their revenue and a commitment from you.
For a long term relationship, this is an important factor. It keeps them motivated to support you and shows your dedication and loyalty to them.
At the same time, never hesitate to speak out if you need help or additional support, and always continue to evaluate the work they’ve done. You can always make a change if things start to go south.
Ready to Build?
If you’re ready to bring your website vision to life, click this link to get started. Whether you need a simple website or a complex solution with lots of features, we’ve got you covered. Let’s turn your ideas into a stunning reality!