It’s never easy to hire a WordPress developer while hearing about countless reported scams. Still, let’s try to do it right with some hiring strategies and these platforms.
Your business hangs in the balance when you search for a WordPress developer.
And it’s especially risky when you are clueless about web development yourself. In that case, it becomes easy for someone to make a mess out of your business and still run away with the money.
What to look for when hiring a WordPress developer?
If you’re reading this, I’ll assume you’re a website owner looking to hire freelancers for short-term projects.
If so, the rules of the game are slightly different than hunting candidate(s) for a full-time day job. These are some tips based on my experience.
#1. Check the portfolio
This is a no-brainer, or at least it seems to be.
Every contract developer worth their salt has a commanding portfolio, which you should take note of.
But here comes a twist — the freelancing world also includes cheats who steal others’ portfolios, close the deal, and further outsource it to some developer!
I usually don’t consider this a significant problem, but folks like this don’t have any idea of WordPress or PHP development and end up ruining the project. They either run away with the money or deliver a sub-par plugin/theme that just sucks.
Next, we look for some survival strategies for the business owner when it comes to the jungle of freelancing.
#2. Cross-question the portfolio
Now that you have the portfolio, give it a deep look, and prepare a questionnaire.
But don’t be so obvious — you want to spring the questionnaire as a surprise in the next call or meeting! If they seem hesitant or talk in circles, you know it’s time to look somewhere else to hire your perfect WordPress developer.
Although the exact questions depend on the project, here are a few I can suggest:
- Do you follow the WordPress code guidelines? Why and why not? (It’s not a major concern even if the developer doesn’t follow them; that style of coding takes too much time. But it’s essential to judge whether the developer has even heard of the WordPress coding standards.)
- How much time did it take you to build this plugin? Can you walk me through the process?
- What are the common mistakes, according to you, that developers make when creating themes?
- What are the limitations of this theme when it comes to various screen sizes and browsers?
- What optimization have you taken care of in developing this theme/plugin?
- Which open-source plugins have you studied as a developer? Can you walk me through how they work? (It’s okay even if you don’t understand much here — the idea is to see how familiar that person is with their craft.)
If you think you’re not able to make sense of the answers, record them and post some on the WordPress forums — ask for the community advice on what they think about the developer!
Ask for some past records. Don’t expect to hear cheers from every client, as not all qualify as great employers themselves.
Still, a developer should have some credible evidence from the previous projects and the associated people.
And don’t settle with phone numbers, as some people have the game rigged far enough — insist on official email and make sure you write to them!
#4. Use an escrow system
Payments are where most of the project talks break down.
The developer doesn’t want to be robbed of a few days of effort, only for the client to disappear. And the client doesn’t want to lose time and money to someone who suddenly turned into a runaway.
It’s possible to overcome these concerns without having to resort to “You can trust me 100%” — use an escrow system like Upwork, Freelancer, etc. The escrow service holds your money until the work milestones have been achieved, and everything is documented for legal purposes.
#5. Venture outside WordPress (and PHP!)
This is optional, but it’s an excellent idea to know if a developer is enthusiastic about web technologies in general and is abreast with present-day tech stacks.
Knowing trending industry topics helps to handle the requirement in multiple approaches, and you never know what you are looking for or can be done better with a different stack like Nodejs, Ruby, etc.
#6. Talk to a few developers
Unless you know someone with their past work, it is always good to talk to a few developers about your requirements.
Gather all the feedback and see what sounds best for you. Don’t just stick to technical boundaries but also look for overall personality traits.
And don’t forget to trust your gut. 🧐
So now that you know some nitty-gritty, let’s look at some hiring platforms to put these skills to test and hire the perfect WordPress developer.
Codeable is a freelancer platform exclusive to WordPress development. You can check the developer directory and get a free estimate for your project.
Codeable has a pool of talented personnel for the smallest of tasks like fixing 404 errors to a custom theme/plugin development or web design.
This platform is unique because you get a single pricing estimate and not some bidding system where freelancers undercut their peers to grab the opportunity.
Besides, you get a curated list of top five choices with whom you share a common workroom to pinpoint the developer of your needs.
Codeable works like an escrow system where you pay all the project fees upfront, which are subsequently paid to the WordPress developer when you mark the project complete.
If Codeable was a bit too much hand-holding, you might like WPhired. Simply put, it’s a WordPress exclusive job board where you list the requirements and select from the applicants.
WPhired also has a free submission plan, and you can move to the paid ones for active promotions through their social media channels and get the opening listed as featured.
Conclusively, this suits experienced employers for hiring WordPress developers who can handle everything independently.
Toptal sells itself as a top 3% freelance talent platform. Look at their vetting process, and you will understand why.
You can hustle through the developer profiles in advance before making the first move.
Subsequently, you pay a deposit for initiating a two-weeks risk-free trial, at the end of which you can either reject the candidate and ask for another or continue while paying for the successful trial.
Interestingly, you can request Toptal arrange to send your match to the geographical location of your choice for a specified period of time.
Lastly, Toptal can be the perfect place to hire a WordPress developer for the startups to the established tech giants.
Jobs.WordPress.net is a job board from the makers of WordPress themselves.
You can submit requirements for hiring WordPress developers with complete details, and the listing becomes live after careful moderation from volunteers.
This is again for the experts as there is no vetting process, and you alone are responsible for finding the best match.
Besides, everything else takes place between either party with no assistance or guarantees whatsoever.
It starts with you opening up about the job to developers, screening the top candidate to get it working, and the Gun.io team handles the rest.
Consequently, you get to focus on the core matters while the contracts, hours, and payments lie with the hiring platform.
All this assistance comes at the cost of 15% of the candidate’s first-year salary.
Dice promises artificial intelligence to screen out fake candidates, so you only get what you need. In essence, this is a job board to post your listing and get the candidates to pick from.
Notably, Dice is primarily functional in the USA. However, you can get remote candidates or explore relocation as per the discussions.
A single job listing remains active for 30 days and is promoted on Dice and its partner websites. Besides, you get discounts based on the number of published jobs.
Finally, this again falls in the expert territory without any moderation from the platform itself.
Stack Overflow is not a traditional job board or any talent sourcing website for hiring a WordPress developer. Regardless, it can help you represent your brand and do a ton of things, including post job ads seen by millions of people worldwide.
What makes this platform unique is the visibility you get by having your brand on one of the top 100 websites (as per Alexa rankings) in the world.
Besides, Stack Overflow is a developer home with 100 million+ monthly visits. So, you can rest assured of plenty of exposure to the right candidates.
Conclusively, Stack Overflow is for the overall branding, promotions, engagement, etc., and should be your pick if you’re in this for the long run.
Want truck loads of applicants to choose from. Try Remote OK. Your job listing reaches over 200k job seekers, more than 1800k remote workers, and 126 job boards. And you’re guaranteed at least 200 applications per open position.
A single job posting will set you back by at least USD 899, which remains active for the next 30 days. And this goes over USD 1000 per job post, depending on the reach and exposure you set for the listing. Though, you can get a job bundle for discounts.
Lastly, this is good if you want plenty of hiring choices and have the experience to manage a WordPress developer yourself.
This was our humble attempt to help you hire a WordPress developer. However, there is no set formula for a perfect hire, and it’s especially difficult for entry-level businessmen.
Still, you have some excellent 3rd-party vetting platforms that do the hard part for a small fee.
Besides, some more common avenues to try for the suitable candidate are Upwork, Freelancer, Guru, etc. Personally, I would search for someone from my geography and meet personally before handling someone with my website credentials to play with.
However, we all have heard organizations report success stories with remote employees.
On a side note, I can’t help but refer you to our gigantic WordPress article base that’ll give answers to most of your WordPress questions. Stay tuned.