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Choosing a WordPress Developer

After reading our post about the Benefits of a WordPress CMS, you’ve chosen to develop your new website with WordPress – excellent choice! WordPress is a robust and easy-to-use content management system, so you’re on the right track to creating an easy to update website!

That is… if you choose the right WordPress developer. 

If you choose the wrong developer, you could be faced with a poor performing site with issues on top of issues.

Here’s a list of questions that you can use to help with choosing a WordPress developer that really knows what they’re doing and help save you some headache!

  • What type of theme are they going to use?
  • What is their plugin policy?
  • What do they use for the administrative username and password?
  • Does their server offer managed WordPress hosting?
  • Have they had any issues in the past with WordPress sites being hacked?
  • How many WordPress sites have they done?

And now, here are the answers that you should be looking for!

  1. Theme: Ideally, they should be using a custom child theme based off a basic, custom parent theme that has the functions that they commonly use when developing sites. If they say they have a premium theme that they customize, ask if they’ll be creating a child theme. If they ask what you mean by that… run away, but first forward them this article from the WordPress Codex.
  2. Plugins: If they say that they use whatever plugins they find necessary – run away. A good WordPress developer should have the attitude that they should limit plugin usage to ones that are absolutely necessary and have a good track record (updated recently and has good reviews in the WordPress plugin directory). Poorly chosen plugins can increase the risk of your site being hacked… and the more plugins you have installed, that risk increases exponentially.
    Wordpress Meme
  3. Username: If the answer is ‘admin’ – run away! The number one used username is ‘admin’ and the number one used password is ‘password’. If these are the most commonly used usernames and passwords, what does that mean for your site? It’s not a matter of if it will be hacked, just when.
  4. Hosting: This isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, but servers that offer managed WordPress hosting or one-click installs of WordPress are more likely to be set up to defend WordPress sites against attacks. It’s as easy as that.
  5. Hacks: If they try to skirt this issue by saying they haven’t really had any issues or just have had issues once or twice and don’t say anything else – run away. A good WordPress developer will be aware of the possibilities of hacks and will be able to offer you exact examples of hacks they’ve seen, why they occurred and what was done to fix them. For example: we haven’t had any WordPress sites hacked on our servers, however we have seen sites that we’ve developed (hosted elsewhere) hacked and had the login form disabled. Their current hosts were able to locate the problem before it became an issue.
  6. Number of sites: More isn’t always better and not having many isn’t always a bad sign either. Ask for examples and take a look at them. If they visually look good, run them through the W3C Validator just to see if there are any blatant coding errors. Ideally, sites should have no errors but sometimes it happens. Any more than 20 errors: run away.

Hopefully these questions and answers have given you an idea of the importance of choosing the right WordPress developer! If you have any questions about your current WordPress site development, feel free to contact us and we’ll give you a honest, professional review of your project.  If you’re looking for a new WordPress developer – give us a call and ask us these questions.

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