Anyone using WordPress to power their business should consider hiring a dedicated WordPress developer. If you’re looking to hire someone to fix your website, a WordPress web developer (or freelancer) makes the most sense. This is because they’ll be able to solve your theme, plugin and coding issues efficiently and quickly.
It’s widely known that WordPress is the most common website platform in existence. Remarkably, it powers over 34% of the world’s sites. This also means that finding and hiring a WordPress web developer is easier than ever due to its popularity.
Why hire a dedicated WordPress developer?
There are 5 key factors you should consider before making any hiring decisions. Whether you hire a general web developer, a WordPress expert, or an agency, they all have pros and cons. For small businesses, especially, it’s important to balance ongoing costs with the skill level of the resources being hired. It’s also important for business owners to retain a reasonable level of control over any website work. This is preferred over sending the project to an agency to “look after”.
Let’s explore the most significant considerations before you hire someone to fix your website:
Control over design and brand
Your brand’s unique selling point (USP) is something a dedicated WordPress web developer can (and should) understand completely. Business owners should take the time to discuss the medium-to-long term goals of the website with the web developer. Some business owners are marketing experts, while others are not. Using this knowledge and self-awareness during the hiring process can help narrow the field down before selecting the best person for the job.
The good news is that many WordPress freelancers wear multiple hats and can help grow a business in several ways. Those with years of experience can improve your brand presence, social media strategy and maximize your online sales funnels. You could also call upon them for theme development services and providing assistance to your website designer.
Ultimately the website belongs to the business. The owner should always have the final say and complete control over any designing and developing. The WordPress specialist simply helps with achieving your vision by offering sound advice, web design skills and technical oversight of the development process.
Security, stability and optimization
Proper website and online data security is essential. A specialist WordPress web developer will make sure all security updates are installed, ensuring the website is as secure as possible.
Many WP specialists offer a back-up service in the unlikely event a cyber attack occurs. This means that if your website gets defaced or deleted, it can be restored from the WordPress developer’s server. Recreating a site from backup is certainly a specialist task for a skilled developer.
With any luck, backup plans will never be used – it’s an insurance policy against cyber attacks. It also protects against unintended coding mistakes. A destroyed website has dire consequences, likely resulting in the business having to completely rebuild their online platform. This could take weeks or months and forego a large chunk of potential business. Knowing the keys to your online platform are in good hands is absolutely worth the peace of mind.
WordPress websites are incredibly customizable. This is achieved by installing useful WordPress themes and plugins. However, this requires constant monitoring and maintenance. Updates and software patches from theme and plugin creators are delivered almost every day. Knowing which updates are required, which aren’t, and which ones contain bugs fall under the remit of your web developer.
Having a WordPress freelancer in charge of your website means the right software updates are installed at the right time. Keeping a large and complicated website fully optimized is a significant amount of work. It’s not something that most business owners have the time or expertise to undertake.
WordPress developers provide website maintenance services as part of their engagement. It’s absolutely essential for keeping a website current, stable and error-free.
SEO and social media integration
A dedicated WordPress developer likely has a very good grasp of SEO. More specifically, how to tune your WordPress website so that it’s optimized towards search engine requirements.
There are specific SEO tools that are preferred by WordPress specialists. For example, the Yoast SEO plugin. These tools are designed to boost how often the website appears in Google search results (SERPs). SEO plugins are incredibly powerful. They can help a business be more visible online in a way that free website providers simply cannot match. Yoast, and tools like it, offer advice and metrics on how to improve the discoverability of each web page.
Most small business owners don’t know about these tools or aren’t trained on how to correctly utilize them. Hiring a freelance WordPress specialist allows the business owner to partner with a skilled individual who can produce results very quickly. A specialist can ensure that the business always receives a steady stream of customers coming directly from organic search traffic.
Similarly, having your social media channels correctly integrated into your site is another reason to hire a WordPress developer. Like SEO, WordPress can be equipped with a variety of plug-ins that help you promote blog posts, products and offers.
Sales and marketing content can automatically be shared across any number of social channels with the click of a button. This increases the likelihood of targeted content being seen by the right audience and (hopefully) drives online purchases. A specialist web developer can maximize that potential, allowing the business owner to focus on the day-to-day business operations.
One issue business owners can have with their website (whether it’s built using WordPress or another product) is complacency. It’s an easy trap to fall into once a small business website goes live. Often, it’s simply left untouched for weeks or months.
A business can benefit from having a WordPress specialist on the team because they’ll always be pushing for “what’s next”. This type of encouragement is great because it creates a culture of constant improvement. Namely, always seeking to improve the website’s user experience to drive sales and engagement. Pitching ideas and offering practical advice should be a trait you look for when hiring a WordPress web developer.
Building a valuable business relationship
Businesses interact with, and make use of, freelance WordPress developers in different ways. You may hire someone to fix your website on a temporary basis, to set up a new site, or to manage the website on a full time basis.
Whatever the case may be, it’s beneficial to both parties to build a great working relationship over time. The longer a business works with a particular web developer, the more familiar the developer will become with their client’s vision. This creates focus and will ultimately increase the quality and value of the strategies and ideas that are presented.
Loyalty can also be rewarding for both parties. Some developers may work with one company exclusively (especially when avoiding a conflict of interest). This can be very beneficial for a business. Not only will their online presence grow and improve over time, but the freelancer can present ideas for growing traffic and sales.