Developing a website can be compared to solving a jigsaw puzzle. Sometimes the picture looks fine, but when viewed closely, some pieces are not in the right places. A website may function properly for some time, but when a change or any update is made, the site fails to work efficiently. Avoiding the developers who will build a website like this can be achieved by asking the right questions before hiring a WordPress developer.
If you are planning to hire a dedicated WordPress developer who can create a simple yet professional-looking site for the success of your online business, you need to know what you're getting. From maintenance fees post-development to proper site testing, here are a few important questions that you should ask a developer prior to making any decision:
What files and data do you need to provide the developer?
Being a business owner, you should provide sufficient data to the contracted developer to ensure that your project goes smoothly from the very beginning to finish. Besides files and data, keep the following points in mind while making a deal:
- Read, understand, acknowledge and approve all the terms & conditions
- Submit upfront payment form in order to start the work
- Provide website assets, including image files, content, logo files, etc.
- Give your existing domain, web host & CMS login information
- Provide existing usernames and URLs of your social media account
- Account login details for analytics & webmaster tools
- Answer the essential questions related to online marketing strategy
You can reduce unnecessary delays in work by providing all of this information in advance.
Will this be created on an existing theme, or a new theme?
This can be a technical question, and you might not know the correct answer. But still, you should have a clear picture about why your website is being built on a particular theme.
In fact, there are three ways to develop a dynamic website through WordPress:
- Use an existing theme as it is
- Design a custom WordPress theme/template from scratch
- Customize an existing theme
There are some pros and cons related to each method of developing a website.
Use an existing theme as it is
- Inexpensive (most of themes cost from $15 to $75 )
- Exclusively built for people with less technical knowledge
- Easy to set up
- Reliance on developer for every small update and support
- Extraneous code
- Other company may be using exactly similar theme
Customize an existing theme
- Less design work required
- Quick Turn Around Time
- Unnecessary code
- If coding is not done properly, it may break design & functionality
- You have to rely on multiple programmers for support & updates
Build a custom WordPress theme from scratch
- Especially designed to match your business objectives
- Light code base, if created correctly
- Flexibility for customization
- Longer time for web development
- More expensive as compared to above two methods
Will the site be mobile friendly?
There are generally 2 ways to make a website mobile friendly:
- Make it responsive
- Build specifically for Smartphone users
Make sure your developer agrees to provide you a website that works perfectly across all devices, browsers, and platforms.
Will any plugins be installed on the site?
Although WordPress is a search engine friendly platform, any WordPress-powered site still requires implementation of search engine optimization practices for excellent results. The contracted developer must have know-how of the best techniques to optimize WordPress. The developer should be competent enough to take care of essential aspects related to your site like creating clean permalinks and no canonicalization problems with primary domain.
How will the WordPress-based site remain secure?
Being a popular and open-source platform, WordPress is vulnerable to hacking issues. However, it can be protected if your developer takes proper preventive measures like meticulously coding the site to prevent hackers’ entrances, helps keep your site updated, and uses and recommends preemptive tools for security purposes.
Will an additional site backup be kept?
Although it is not necessary, we recommend that your WordPress web solution comes with a backup solution. Anything can happen to your website at anytime and you may never know it in advance. Or sometimes, you may have to restore the site’s old version. Therefore, you must have a backed-up version as it will save lots of time and money. You should ask your developer for assistance in making a backup of your website.
What is the developer's portfolio and estimated time to complete?
Going through the portfolio of the company you're considering for WordPress development will help you know what sorts of projects they have accomplished in the past. It gives you a brief idea about their level of expertise and number of satisfied clients. Do not forget to ask the estimated time for the delivery of project.
Will you provide guidance on use of WordPress?
If you are new to WordPress technology, you may ask your contracted developer to help you update your blog posts and confirm before hiring whether there will be an extra charge for this.
Will the site be tested before it goes live?
Testing the website is essential to ensure that things are working the way they should. It is recommended to ask the developer to test your site precisely to make sure that it is compatible with all the latest versions of popular browsers. You should ask your programmer about the testing aspects covered and processes used.
Is site maintenance included, and what is the cost for maintenance?
Though website development is a one-time process, maintaining the site to make it look stunning and function optimally is a real challenge. Make sure that your developer promises to provide maintenance of your website after the development work is completed. This may incur additional fees, so make this clear before arriving at a decision.
Which web standards are followed?
Remember that every online user does not utilize the same operating system or web browser. Your site should be Developed by following web standards that enable it to render uniformly on all major browsers. It also allows your website to grow with the technology. Make sure that your developer uses neat code and advanced technologies such as XHTML, CSS, and ECMA.
To make your WordPress web development an effective and successful project, which meets your business objectives, ensure that you ask the appropriate questions while finding the right developer. The aforementioned questions will help you choose a good developer and will also ensure great hiring experience.