As your business grows, it gets tougher and tougher to juggle many responsibilities. There are a few aspects of work that many choose to outsource.
WordPress development is usually one of them.
But hiring a WordPress development company is a whole process in itself. So, if it’s your first time, here are a few pointers that you should keep in mind.
#1 The SECRET sauce to finding the right WordPress Development Company – Clarity
WordPress development work can differ wildly for different projects. It can range from simple tweaks to adding a custom feature to a complete overhaul.
The reasons businesses outsource are also different. Some need extra hands on deck while others are jumping into something completely new to them.
When you spend time identifying and outlining your needs, a picture of your ideal company starts to form.
Here are some questions that can help:
What are your desired outcomes?
Answers can include –
- A fast and SEO optimized website
- A custom functionality
- A fresh and updated look and feel
- Regular upkeep and maintenance of my website
Are you looking for expert help in a particular domain? ‘
‘A WordPress Expert’ is definitely good to have. But as we said, WordPress is broad. So, use your answers from the last question.
Fast website? – WordPress Expert can do that
Custom eCommerce feature? – You need a WordPress developer that specializes in eCommerce
Do you want a long-term association?
If you’re looking for a long term partner, they need to have the technical expertise to handle future projects as well. You want to avoid changing companies down the line.
Are you looking for someone to guide you through it all?
Some businesses have technical expertise inhouse and are looking to outsource the development. While others need consultants.
Are you looking for minimal involvement or a more hands-on approach?
Would you rather be talking to the developers yourself? Or you rather someone else handles everything from start to finish?
Once you’ve identified what you need you can use it as a blueprint to shortlist your top choices.
#2 Look beyond the portfolio & get an overall picture
Once you have your top candidates, spend some time on the vetting process. Their website will give you the highlights for sure, but it’s always good to dig deeper.
Instead of glancing through their profile, look at the projects they have done before. Read them in detail, especially the ones like yours. Remember, numbers don’t matter as much as the type of work.
Don’t limit yourself to the portfolio. See if they have a Github profile! Any WordPress core contributions? What do their testimonials and reviews say?
You can also ask for references and talk to the people who have worked with them before.
#3 What to take into account when guesstimating cost (and avoid overpaying)
Every person you ask about the average cost will tell you the same thing – it depends! But calculating a ballpark idea of how much this is going to cost you will help.
Here are major factors that affect your developer’s estimate:
- The features requested
- Existing website functionalities
- Existing content assets
- Requirements bespoke to your business
- Their billing rate
- Your available budget
Also, the approach matters. For example, working with a pre-built theme will cost less than building a custom theme.
Now, remember that no developer can give you an accurate estimate right off the bat. (Or at least, they shouldn’t) . The more details you provide, the more accurate the scope. So, proactive communication is key!
#4 Always account for unexpected and hidden costs
The estimate is just that, an estimate.
It is there to give you a full idea of the work your developer thinks your project requires. This doesn’t account for a few things:
- Your site having existing issues. Solving those can add a few billable hours.
- The project requiring work that is outside the agreed-upon deliverables
- Requirements changing as the project is in development.
There also might be other hidden costs:
- Consultation fee
- Fee for ‘discovery time’ to study your site check what needs doing.
- an exit fee if the project stops midway
Pro Tip: The less expensive service is not necessarily better
More experienced companies can have higher billing rates. But an inexperienced developer will take longer to finish your project. Leading to more billable hours. And if the work is not up to the mark, it will cost you more down the line.
It is always better to pay more upfront for quality work than pay to fix not-so-quality work later.
#6 Communicate better. Especially when your agency works in a different time zone
When outsourcing work, it is always important to stay in the loop
Even more so if you’re working with a WordPress development company overseas.
So, mutually decide on a clear set of guidelines about:
- The time and schedule of check-ins/updates
- How to communicate if doubts or questions arise?
- How soon is either expected to reply?
- What is your preferred method of communicating?
Make sure to keep all communications limited to one thing – emails or chats or project management tool. It makes it easier to keep track of conversations.
#7 White label development, NDAs, and SLAs
Are a few terms you should be familiar with.
Starting with a Service Level Agreement. It is the contract that defines the expected set of deliverables. The WordPress development company draws this up after you’re satisfied with the estimate & project scope. And you will need to sign this before work can start.
White label development is when the development company does not affiliate its brand with the work at all.
It’s like ghostwriting, but for WordPress websites, themes, or plugins.
The company that hires the development company can officially use their own branding.
Usually, a Non-disclosure agreement (or NDA) is involved here. It outlines the terms of the agreement about what is to be kept confidential.
Possible scenarios can include:
– You wish to develop a WordPress plugin. You outsource the development work. And then sell it with your company’s branding, visuals, and logos.
– You are a service-based company. But you lack technical expertise in handling some aspects of your client’s project. You can outsource only that part to a development company.
#7 SEO, Security, Support – and other questions to ask before you hire
Your website structure plays an important role in SEO. Any company you hire should follow SEO best practices when developing your website.
Security is another important aspect not to be overlooked. Understand what security practices they follow.
Lastly, support once the deliverables have been handed over. How long will this period be? If anything needs fixing, is that charged separately?
Have a clear idea about all of it before jumping in.
The Final Piece of Advice
Even if you think it’s not very relevant or too simple. Ask as many as needed to get a clear understanding of everything.
And if you hire the right WordPress development company, they’ll be happy to answer!
If you have any questions for us, or any points to add, please do leave them in the comments!
Until next time 🙂