Tips for Hiring a WordPress Professional

By on WordPress

WordPress is an incredibly flexible Content Management System (CMS). Through the use of themes and plugins, you can build just about any type of website that you can dream up.

Still, even seasoned pros can hit roadblocks along the way. Sometimes, there’s a certain feature or function that is just beyond our reach. That’s when hiring on a WordPress professional to help out can be very beneficial.

Today, we’ll take a look at a few scenarios where having that extra helping hand makes sense. Plus, we’ll also provide some good traits to look for in an expert. Let’s get started!

When You’re Spinning Your Wheels

We’ll start with an obvious one. There are times when, regardless of what your end goal is, you find yourself struggling to get there.

And, while we’ll get into more detailed situations below, there are a couple of really broad themes here:

  1. Getting the job done the right way;
  2. Maintaining efficiency throughout the project;

If you are having difficulties with either of these tasks, then your project faces at least some level of risk. The biggest of which may be in wasting precious time trying to figure out an issue – especially when you have other things on your to-do list. Bringing another person into the mix can help kickstart progress and hopefully save you some stress.

A vehicle stuck in mud.

When You Need to Customize an Existing Plugin or Theme

WordPress plugins can do some truly amazing things. But one size does not fit all. There are so many niche use cases that even the most flexible of plugins can’t possibly cover each one. For instance, this is often the case with eCommerce, as every project has its own specific wants and needs.

When it comes to themes, well, they often promise quite a bit. However, customizing one to your exact specifications can quickly devolve into a mess. You can end up ripping things apart in order to put them back together in a way that works best for your project.

In either case, hiring on an expert will help you conquer the challenges of making it all work.

An engine.

When What You Need Doesn’t Exist (Yet)

There are occasions when existing plugins or themes just aren’t going to cut it. Maybe they get you 75% of the way to your goal, but that last 25% could present a steep obstacle. In a particularly difficult case, you may spend more time and/or money trying to refactor an existing solution as you would building from scratch.

Therefore, crafting a custom solution can be a better deal. It offers you the look and functionality you need and has been built to spec. In other words, you won’t have to settle for something that is less than what your project requires.

However, this can be a difficult route for a solo freelancer or small agency. Even if you are an experienced designer or coder, starting from scratch takes a lot of time and patience. Meanwhile, other areas may languish.

This is a time when recruiting help can take a great deal of pressure off of you.

A man drafting a blueprint.

Characteristics of a Top WordPress Pro

Now that you have some ideas on when to add another (albeit temporary) member to your team, it’s time to find the right person. But what should you look for in a potential candidate?

While each of us has our own strengths, weaknesses and specialties, there are a few common traits that stand out. And not all of them are technical. So, when looking to hire a WordPress professional, think about the following:

Knowledge of the “WordPress” Way

In development, there is always more than one way to get things done. But there are also best practices that should be followed. Any successful candidate should have a working knowledge of them.

Relevant Skills and Experience

Whatever you’re hiring this person to do, they should have experience relevant to the task. If, for example, you need help with WooCommerce, an ideal candidate should have worked with it before. Likewise, if you’re looking for someone to build you a custom Gutenberg editor block, they should probably have some prior knowledge of React.

While they may not have done the exact thing you need, you’ll want to be sure that they have a background that will allow them to figure it out.

Responsiveness and Reliability

This one isn’t WordPress-specific, but still vital. Whoever has the honor of working with you should be able to consistently make deadlines and communicate relatively quickly. Nobody is perfect in this area, but you want to see an effort being made. Nothing kills trust faster than an unreliable person.

A neon sign depicting a handshake.

The Benefits of a Pro

A complex project can put a lot of weight on your shoulders. Hiring the right person to help can make a world of difference. They can keep things moving forward, better ensuring that you can hit your targets.

Of course, the biggest roadblock is often a lack of budget. That’s why WordPress projects, especially large ones, should include some additional wiggle room in your proposal. Even a few hundred extra dollars will get you further along the path to a successful outcome, if not all the way there.

Ultimately, the outcome is what matters most. Sometimes you really can do it all by yourself. But it’s also nice to know that help is out there when you need it.