So you’ve got a WordPress site or you’re thinking of launching one. Great!
Now you just need a programmer to provide you with the WordPress development services you need to fix bugs, build new features, and keep your site running smoothly.
If you’ve ever tried to find the right developer to hire for your project, however, you know this can be easier said that done. Terms like: Front-end, back-end, PHP, SQL, React, JS, Vue, Python, Java, Ruby, Designer, and Developer all get thrown around and may leave your head spinning.
Then there are hiring platforms, job service boards, Craigslist, Agencies of all sizes, Freelancers, everything. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, read on! We’ll explain some key differences between services, and how to choose the one that fits your needs.
Step 1: Identify Your Needs
Not all WordPress sites are built the same. They can range from a one-page site with a few pieces of info, to a multi-million dollar dynamic eCommerce experience. Knowing which you have will help you identify the right team or developer for you.
Below, we’ve included a scale of website complexity (from ‘less complex’ on top to ‘more complex’ at the bottom) to help you identify where your site or project falls:
- Single page site, text or a few images
- Multi-page site
- Multi-page site, custom theme
- Multi-page site, custom theme, some dynamic content (maps, videos, animations)
- Multi-page site, custom theme, lots of dynamic content, custom functionality (something a developer built)
- eCommerce, or another complex system, lots of dynamic content, animations, tons of custom functionality, lots of concurrent visitors, API integrations (connections to external websites, payment gateways, text messaging systems, CRMs, etc)
Once you identify how complex your WordPress site is, you’ll have a better idea whether you should hire a less expensive freelancer, a more expensive freelancer, or a team or agency. The more complex your needs, the more you’ll want to pay for developers who will understand that complexity.
Freelancer vs. Agency:
If a few hours a month of occasional bug fixes is all you need, a freelancer should fit the bill.
If you’re expecting to need 100 hours per week of development time and have the budget for it, you’re looking for a small team.
If 1000 hours a week is more your speed, you need a sizable agency who can support you.
Often, your rough estimate of how much time you’ll need from a developer can help to identify the right match for you quickly.
You’ll find a great deal more developers who can solve your problem “sometime this week” than those who can address it today.
That said, some developers offer a rush service fee for times when you absolutely need something done right away.
Others are so booked up into the future that you’ll be scheduling appointments like a doctor’s office.
Another thing to consider is that your developer or team is going to be much more likely to fix things promptly for their best customers first. Spending a lot of money at the same place is often a good route to preferential treatment, as is always paying your bills on time.
Always make sure to include your timeline when explaining your project to developers, and expect to pay more if you’re in a hurry.
One-Stop Shop vs. Specialty:
Something to consider is whether you want to manage your project, hiring, and coordinating yourself, or if you want things handled for you.
With any project, the option to stand in as your own manager is always available as a way to defray costs. Understand, however, that you’re likely not going to be anywhere near as good at it as someone with experience. Still, there are advantages.
If you’ve already got one piece of a team for your project, such as a graphic designer or UI/UX designer, you might want to coordinate between them and the developer / team you hire.
If you’ve already got a server guy who manages your hosting, then feel free to coordinate between them and the team you hire.
If, on the other hand, you’re starting from scratch – you may want a team that can handle design, UI/UX, front-end development, back-end, and server stuff while coordinating it all.
Decide how dirty you’d like to get your hands, and then hire appropriately.
I size my teams based on your project needs. Reach out at http://danhennion.com/contact for my current availability.