As a company founder and a WordPress developer, I have a unique perspective on how to bring business and technology together. In a business context, using WordPress can help to minimize technical investment while driving profitability. Hiring a dedicated WordPress developer is key this.
So, how do you strike this balance? Typically, by having hiring a great WordPress developer who can keep your business website up and running at all times.
For small businesses, especially, you really don’t need an entire IT department driving costs back into your business.
First, I’ll share my views on why I think WordPress is the platform of choice for any business. Then, I’ll walk you through the ins-and-outs of hiring a dedicated WordPress developer.
Table of contents
- Reasons why businesses should use WordPress (and hire a developer)
- Why hire a dedicated WordPress developer?
- What to look for in a WordPress expert?
Reasons why businesses should use WordPress (and hire a developer)
WordPress is the most common website platform in existence. Remarkably, according to Kinsta, it powers over 40% of the world’s sites.
What’s more, this popularity also means that finding and hiring a dedicated WordPress web developer is very easy.
Here are my pro tips for why all businesses, large and small, should consider using WordPress for their online projects.
Whether it’s the company’s primary money-maker, marketing campaign site, or something else, having WP as the core platform has many benefits.
Control over marketing 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 their medium-to-long term goals with the developer.
Undoubtedly, some business owners are more marketing-focussed than others. If you can, leverage this during the hiring process to help narrow down the field of web developer candidates.
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 even build your online sales funnels.
Nevertheless, the website belongs to the business. To that end, the owner should always have the final say and complete control over the strategic direction. The WordPress specialist simply helps by offering sound advice, web design skills and technical oversight to achieve the broader vision.
Security, stability and optimization
Proper website and data security is essential. A skilled WordPress web developer can protect your website from attacks and breaches by ensuring all security updates are installed.
Many WP specialists offer a back-up service in the unlikely event of a cyber attack. This means a website can be restored relatively quickly in the event its defaced or deleted. Recreating a site from backup is certainly a specialist task.
With luck, backup plans will never be used. But, they’re the best insurance policy against unforeseen circumstances. It protects against unintended coding mistakes, website crashes and extended downtime.
A busted website can have dire consequences. Worst case, resulting in the business having to completely rebuild their platform. This could take weeks or months and forego a large chunk of potential revenue.
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. The good news is that having a WordPress freelancer in charge of your website is all that you need.
WordPress developers may also provide website maintenance services as part of their engagement. This is essential for keeping a website current, stable and error-free.
SEO and social media integration
A dedicated WordPress developer likely has a good grasp of SEO. More specifically, they’ll know how to tune your WordPress website towards specific target keywords. Experience with SEO is great interview angle, by the way.
Several popular SEO tools exist for WordPress. For example, the Yoast SEO plugin can improve the appearance of your website in Google search results pages (SERPs). Yoast, and similar tools, even offer advice and metrics on how to improve the wording on each web page.
Most small business owners aren’t aware of these tools, or don’t have the time to figure them out. That’s why hiring a freelance WordPress specialist can yield great results in a short amount of time. The goal here is to drive a steady stream of customers directly from search engines.
Similarly, integrating your social media channels into your site is another task for a WordPress developer. This paves the way for you to promote blog posts, products and offers.
In addition, your sales and marketing content can be shared automatically across your social channels. This increases the likelihood of your content being seen by the right audience and (hopefully) purchasers. A specialist web developer can maximize that potential, allowing the business owner to focus on day-to-day business operations.
Unfortunately, websites are often left untouched and unmaintained for weeks or months. It’s an easy trap to fall into once a business website goes live.
A business can benefit from having a WordPress specialist on the team because they’ll always be pushing for “what’s next”. This kind of drive is great because it creates a culture of constant improvement. Namely, always seeking to improve the website’s user experience, drive sales and increase engagement.
An ability to pitching ideas and offer 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 an as-needed basis, or to manage larger improvement projects on a longer-term basis.
Either case, it’s beneficial to both parties to build a strong working relationship over time. The longer a business works with a particular web developer, the more familiar they’ll be with their client’s vision. This will ultimately improve the relevance of any strategies and ideas they come up with.
Next, I’m going to explore hiring in more detail.
Why hire a dedicated WordPress developer?
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.
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”.
Here are five reasons why you should consider hiring a WordPress freelancer.
1) You don’t have time
Put simply, hiring a freelance WordPress maintenance expert is faster and cheaper than doing it yourself. As a business owner, spending hours maintaining your website probably isn’t worth it.
Sure, you could do some research and start tinkering around with your site, but why divert your attention away from your customers and running your business? Typically, learning the ins-and-outs of WordPress maintenance can take a number of years to master. Even then, the product is always evolving and it’s imperative to stay up-to-date on new features.
Consider a scenario where your website suddenly goes haywire and your customers are left in the dark. Where would you begin? Would you panic? Could you fix your site in less than 10 minutes?
With the right technologist on board, you won’t need to gamble with the success of your business. You should feel confident that your website is in good hands. It’s like asking your accountant to look after your taxes. It just makes sense to rely on someone who knows what they’re doing.
2) It’s a lot of work
You may be thinking that managing a WordPress website is pretty straight-forward. There’s certainly some truth to that because the platform was designed to be largely point-and-click for the general public.
However, the list of maintenance tasks can be very long. The risk of getting that wrong is that your website could end up falling apart and even becoming a target for hackers.
These are just a few things on the maintenance list:
- Fixing issues with WordPress themes and plugins as they arise
- Performing routine software updates (e.g. WordPress itself, plugins, themes, etc.)
- Making website speed optimizations, such as Core Web Vitals
- Making regular backups
- Protecting against hackers and viruses with security monitoring
- Uptime monitoring
- Improving your SEO
- The list goes on!
Could you do all of this on top of running your business?
Plan ahead and get in touch with an expert who knows what they’re doing and can share their knowledge along the way.
3) Your website needs to be rock-solid
Your website is arguably one of the most important assets for your business. It’s the singular representation of your brand.
As with any company, there are core qualities that customers look for when deciding whether to make a purchase. The company should be approachable, accessible, easy to work with, trustworthy and reliable.
By extension, these are the signals that customers look for your website. It must be visible on search engines, work well on desktop and mobile devices, be easy to use, have fast loading times and contain useful information on every page. This is why WordPress is chosen by web developers more than any other CMS.
4) A expert can improve your business
A website expert should be your primary contact when it comes to updating, maintaining and fixing your site.
Just like a lawyer or accountant, they are your go-to person who can provide expert knowledge, advice and suggestions. They’ll figure out all the clever ways that technology can be used to improve your online business.
In addition, they should be able to execute those ideas without needing to hire anyone else.
The best thing about having a WordPress maintenance service expert on hand is that they probably have a lot of experience working with other businesses in different industries. This is invaluable because they’ll have fresh perspectives on how to grow your online business that you may not have considered.
5) WordPress is specialist skill set
We all know that hiring experts will increase the chances of a business’ success. Finding a website management expert is no exception.
There’s an important distinction to be made here. Searching for “WordPress maintenance services” on Google usually brings up a list of companies to choose from.
Digging a little deeper, those companies may be quite large. This could have implications for the level of service you receive. For instance, your support requests might end up in a general mailbox waiting for an unknown representative to take a look.
Here at Decodist, you’ll be working with a dedicated person who will learn the ins-and-outs of your business and provide more personal service.
What to look for in a WordPress expert?
Are you thinking about hiring a dedicated WordPress developer? Here are some qualities to look:
Ongoing Support – they should have the ability to offer a flexible WordPress maintenance plan on a monthly basis. Being “flexible” means that the website support plan should be tailored to the needs of your business. This is something that large web maintenance firms have difficulty accommodating, but here at Decodist it’s part of the service.
Expertise – they should have a strong technical knowledge and broad experience helping businesses like yours. If you only want to hire one person, make sure they have expertise in a range of areas such as web development, SEO, graphic design, digital advertising and consulting. That way, you’re getting more bang for your buck.
Industry Experience – if your business has specialist needs, such as a Law Firm SEO, having someone with experience working in that space goes a long way. The learning curve has already been overcome and they can hit the ground running.
Communication – hiring someone with a great personality and temperament with will give you greater confidence. They should generally make your life easier by performing any WordPress maintenance service tasks that are necessary.
Flexibility – finding an expert who has the ability to work remotely and accept your emails at any hour of the day is crucial. This is especially true if your business operates in multiple time zones. Furthermore, that person should be able to quickly resolve issues as they arise. Typically, a 24-48 hour turnaround is the target for non-emergency WordPress support service requests.