Many teams now rely on WordPress developers to customize and optimize their WordPress websites and to provide technical support if anything goes wrong. A skilled WordPress developer can take a WordPress website to the next level, differentiating it from a sea of sites using the same templates and SEO strategies.
But where do you find talented WordPress developers? And how can you adequately test their skills and character before they take up the role?
In this post, we show you how to find and hire a great WordPress developer; from where to find prospects to what to look for on a resume and ask in an interview. Let’s go.
How to hire a WordPress developer
There are a number of benefits to having an in-house WordPress developer, including:
- The ability customize your site in any way that you want without relying on pre-existing themes
- A sharp understanding of user experience and how to help visitors get where they need to go on your site
- The ability to provide ongoing technical support so you don't have to wait if something major goes wrong with your site
Now you know their value, how do you go about hiring one? Keep it simple with a 5-step process that assesses each candidate on both their soft skills and technical acumen.
- Carefully assess their resume
- Test soft skills and practical skills with an asynchronous video interview
- Test candidates’ cultural and technical skills with skills assessments
- Ask the right questions in an interview
- Make an enticing job offer
Want to see how to put the above plan into action? Keep reading.
What should I look for when hiring a WordPress developer?
First things first, what should you look for when hiring a WordPress developer? When looking for the ideal applicant, there are several things you need to look out for. From technical experience on their resume to how they handle a series of skills tests, here’s what you need to be mindful of during your search.
What to look for on a resume and application
When hiring a WordPress developer, you may be curious about what to look for on a resume and application.
Each candidate should be able to back up any assertions of technical skills with work experience and project experience that showcase their results, as well as relevant education and qualifications.
Next up, make sure your applicant has the necessary soft skills to manage projects and work well with the rest of your team. Look for evidence of them working well with teams and managing projects with confidence. Good examples to look for may include:
- times they’ve resolved conflicts,
- details of successful team-based projects, and
- discussions of how they’ve approached managing others in the past.
You can assess how well a candidate works with others by the time they’ve spent in past roles or how long they’ve worked for individual clients, as well as in each candidate’s references.
To further guarantee each candidate has the technical skills and personality strengths you need, be sure to undertake a series of skills tests before you hire (more on that below).
What to look for in an asynchronous video interview
There are many benefits to using one-way video interviews over phone interviews to start the hiring process. Phone interviews are typically time consuming and expensive. One-way video interviews also give you a strong idea of someone’s character and communication skills through their presentation and body language. This can help you ensure they will work well with the rest of your team. As a first step in the hiring process, you can use one-way video software to help quickly narrow a large pool of prospective candidates.
As asynchronous video interviews typically kick-start communication in the hiring process, use them to ask some basic questions about the role and a candidate’s fit. Informative questions may include:
- Why do you feel you’re a good fit for this position?
- What attracted you to working with our company?
- What technical skills can you bring to the table?
- Explain how your education and qualifications will serve you well in this role
The interview questions to ask when interviewing a WordPress developer
After narrowing down your candidates to a select few, it’s time to explore each candidate’s suitability in more depth.
To test a potential hire’s technical skills, ask them a series of questions that dive deeper into what they claim they can do. Asking a range of open questions will help you to gain insights into their approach and attitude to different technical scenarios. Here are some questions you may like to ask:
- What is your experience of writing WordPress code?
- Which WordPress plugins do you most frequently use?
- What is a custom theme?
- What is your experience of creating new themes in WordPress?
- How do you typically optimize websites for SEO?
- What are your preferred communication methods?
Why you need to test a WordPress developer’s skills before you make your hiring decision
Whether you go for a freelancer or an employee, it’s paramount that you test the skills of a WordPress developer before you hire them. Many people embellish their resumes and bluff about their skills and capabilities. Hiring tests can help uncover if they really have the aptitude and technical skills they need to do the job.
Here are some of the best skills tests for testing a WordPress developer’s skills:
- CSS. The CSS developer test tests candidates’ knowledge and skills in CSS concepts and techniques.
- WordPress developer. Assesses candidates’ knowledge in the infrastructure of WordPress, as well as coding skills for the platform.
- PHP (coding): intermediate-level algorithms. This PHP test evaluates candidates' coding skills with a short coding assignment.
- SQL (coding): intermediate-level querying. This SQL coding test evaluates candidates' skills in creating a query on a database with medium complexity.
- PHP (coding): entry-level algorithms. This PHP test assesses a candidate's ability to program a small algorithm and tests their basic programming skills.
- PHP (coding): object-oriented programming. This PHP coding test evaluates a candidate's object-oriented programming skills, as well as their ability to use PHP specific functions
- Critical thinking. This critical thinking test evaluates candidates’ ability to apply critical thinking skills to solve problems.
To access the above tests and find more suggestions for the role click here.
Where do I find WordPress developers? Freelancers vs employees
When considering where to find a WordPress developer, first weigh up the benefits of whether to go for a freelance WordPress developer or an employee. There are pros and cons to both options.
Pros of hiring a freelance developer
- Freelance developers are often cheaper than employee hires.
- You save on healthcare costs and employee benefits.
- Freelance developers can bring an outside perspective and expertise.
Cons of hiring a freelance developer
- Freelance developers have other clients and projects to manage, so they may not always be on call when you need them.
- Freelance developers are more likely to jump ship if they don’t like the project or gel with you and your team.
- Freelancers don’t add to company culture to the same extent and are often more removed from the team.
Pros of hiring a developer as a member of your team
- They are typically in it for the long run and are knowledgeable about and committed to the goals of your company.
- You have their full attention so you can get instant feedback or advice on any technical issues.
- Fewer security risks, as you don’t have an outsider accessing your systems and data. 60% of companies see contractors as the weakest link within the organization in terms of security.
- Employees often have stronger relationships with teams from other departments. This ensures that any issues are resolved quickly and insights can be easily shared among different teams.
Cons of hiring a developer as a member of your team
- Just as employees are more committed to you, you must legally be more committed to your employees. It’s much harder to cut lose a bad hire than it is to let go of a freelancer who is a bad fit.
- If you require someone to come into the office then talent in your area may be difficult to find.
- Hires are often more expensive than freelancers. Think sick pay, holiday pay, health insurance, and tax demands.
Where do I find WordPress developers? Go-to resources for finding top talent
Aside from posting your job description to your company website and each of the most popular job websites, such as Indeed, there are also some specific sites you can use to source the very best talent.
Here’s where to go when looking for a WordPress developer:
Codeable is one of the most popular outsourcing platforms for WordPress. The Codeable team ensures that only the top freelance developers make the cut, as they pre-screen and vet each developer who applies.
LinkedIn is full of skilled developers looking for work. Aside from posting about the role ‘officially’ on LinkedIn, you can also use the platform to search for well-known WordPress developers and find a freelancer or prospective employee hire that resonates with you and has the skills for the role.
You can also post to your LinkedIn account to ask for recommendations. As people will typically only recommend a hire who reflects well on them, there is an added assurance in asking for recommendations from your wider network.
Post your job to the WPhired job board to attract top freelancers and prospective employees with specialist skills in WordPress development. Many employers use the platform to reach a wide network of freelancers who have the technical skills they need. Remote job roles are frequently posted and help hiring managers reach an international network of suitably-qualified candidates.
How much does it cost to hire a WordPress developer?
What is the average hourly rate or an annual salary of a freelance developer or employee? According to Arc, the median annual salary for software developers is $112,921. In comparison, most freelancer developers charge between $60-$100 per hour.
Besides the annual salary or hourly rate of both employees and freelancers, be sure to factor in the money you need to spend on training and onboarding a new WordPress developer. An employee is typically more costly in this area, as you need to train them to fit in with your company culture and onboard them to your way of working on projects. In comparison, a freelancer will bring their own processes and typically require less oversight and expense in this area.
Tips for making a job offer to secure a candidate
Found an amazing WordPress developer? It’s time to secure them for the role.
Offer the position as soon as you find the person for the job
Don’t wait too long to make your offer. In-demand candidates may have more than one offer, so be sure to contact a candidate as soon as you’ve concluded they will be an asset to your team.
Offer a competitive rate to secure the best candidate
Offer a competitive wage or hourly fee, on the higher end of average hourly rates, to make the role seem as attractive as possible. In addition, be open to negotiating on the price to secure a great candidate.
Talk benefits—why should they work with you?
Emphasize the benefits of the role. What does an employee or freelancer benefit from by working for or with you? Free gym membership? Shares in the company? Birthday presents each year? A cracking Christmas party? Highlight all the reasons they should go for a position with your company.
Find the best WordPress developer for your company
WordPress developers bring a host of benefits to a company, like ongoing technical support and advanced insights into the user experience and technical SEO issues.
Use an in-depth series of steps in the hiring process, from one-way videos to skills assessments, to gain a sense of someone’s technical skills, communication style, and soft skills. A thorough approach to hiring a WordPress developer is ideal to see if they’re a good fit for the team before you hire—saving you from hiring regrets further down the line.