JANUARY 21, 2019

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How We Hire WordPress Developers: Tips from Coding Ninjas

Written by: Andrey Zagorodniy

WordPress developers for hire: web development done right

 

What is WordPress

 

WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world. In its turn, a CMS is a set of software solutions allowing you to create, publish, and manage digital content. Simply put, WordPress is your to-go solution when you need a web page but don’t want to code it from scratch.

 

WordPress currently powers approximately 32% of all the websites on the Internet. It is based on the open source code, which means that it is:

 

  • free to use
  • constantly supported and updated by developers and the community
  • fully customizable

 

WordPress uses PHP code and MySQL database management system, so a user willing to set up and adjust a custom WordPress solution may need appropriate knowledge and skills. At the same time, adding, modifying, and moderating content on a WordPress-based web page is easy, and can be done even by novice users due to clear interface and overall simplicity.

 

A full list of possibilities provided by this CMS would probably require a separate article, so here are just some things people use WordPress to create:

 

  • Blogs and personal websites
  • Full-scale eCommerce platforms. Thanks to the WooCommerce plugin, you can create and run an online store. We’ve covered WooCommerce and its closest competitor, Shopify, in an earlier article here:  comparison of WooCommerce vs. Shopify.
  • Online auctions and coupon websites  
  • All kinds of polls, surveys, and Q&A websites
  • Podcasts, wikis, education websites, and so on
  • Online portfolios. Of course, you can use in-build functions many freelance platforms provide, but having a personal website with your projects always looks more professional and solidly
  • Forums, chat rooms, and other online communities

 

In a nutshell, the capabilities of WordPress cover the majority of needs individual and corporate users might possibly have.

Now, it is essential to get one thing straight: there are WordPress.com and WordPress.org. When talking about the free WordPress CMS, most people usually mean the latter, which is a self-hosted open source program solution. The former, in its turn, is a paid service powered by WordPress. It is easy to use even by the complete beginners but lacks flexibility and functionality of the .org version. But, if you are not a tech-savvy person, you might want to hire dedicated WordPress developers for the job.

 

What makes WordPress so popular

 

 

  • WordPress-powered sites can be made crisp and stylish with the help of countless themes. A theme is a set of graphical images, layouts, and typographic compositions creating a wholesome graphical interface. There are both free and paid themes available for WordPress users, and even if you don’t find the one you like, you can create your own. Some of the great examples of exactly how big projects on WordPress can get are TechCrunch, MTV News, BBC America, and even the official website of Sweden – all created using WordPress!

 

  • The functionality of a WordPress-based website can be extended almost infinitely due to a huge number of plugins. A plugin is a software adding a set of functions to the core features. Here are some examples of what you can do with plugins:

    – Integrate and use a wide selection of tools for better search engine optimization.
    – Create contact forms, as well as fields for emails, phones, addresses, and so on
    – Present the visual content on your website in the form of galleries, slides, or videos
    – Integration with social media and popular multimedia platforms such as YouTube
    – Turn your website into a real online store with the WooCommerce (or any other similar eCommerce) plugin
    – Make use of all kinds of website stats, analytics, advertising programs, and so on
    – Add payment systems such as PayPal to your website

    And much, much more. In fact, anything you got used seeing and experiencing on modern websites can be done with the help of WordPress plugins. And even if not, since WordPress is open source, you can always add the functionality you need by creating a custom plugin (well, you will most likely need a WordPress developer for that).

    Many plugins for WordPress are free, so technically you can create a full-scale website without spending a single dime.

 

  • WordPress is extremely easy to use. Even if you have never used it for content management before, you will figure out how to draft, edit, and post content within a couple of hours. Although knowing code can broaden your publishing possibilities, you can add media, or create posts and pages being a complete newbie in programming languages, HTML, and stuff like that. All the changes can be implemented live, which means that even after you have posted content, you can modify it.
  • Administering your website and its contributors (editors, writers, designers, programmers) with WordPress is equally easy.

 

  • WordPress fully complies with the industry standards set by the W3C (the World Wide Web Consortium, which is the chief organization defining and supervising standards for the Internet). It means that the websites you create with WordPress will always be compatible with modern browsers, new web technologies, etc.

 

Why hire WordPress developers?

 

 

“Why not just hire a PHP coder?” you might ask.

 

The fact that a person is a programmer good at PHP does not automatically mean that he or she is essentially a WordPress developer. Working with WordPress requires a specific set of skills, experience, and mindset.

 

Respectively, you need to search not just for any developer, but for one who has mastered this CMS.

 

Typical tasks WordPress developers work on

 

  • Converting HTML templates into WordPress themes
  • Establishing the website’s architecture
  • Creating and implementing new features and functionality for a website
  • A website’s speed and caching optimization
  • Writing extensions for WooCommerce
  • Testing, support, and troubleshooting

 

Sometimes the ability to simply do the routine job is not enough. Emergencies of all sorts, unpredicted project changes, weird bugs, and crashes – working with code may be full of surprises.

 

So, a WordPress developer must be able to explore any non-standard situation and find a solution to it, based on their deep knowledge of WordPress core architecture and logic. Here is how our developer, Alex, used it to solve an untypical problem he faced when working for Coding Ninjas:

 

“About a year ago we’ve been using a paid plugin that was bugged. It caused the whole fragments of text to disappear from emails. We contacted the plugin’s support service several times, and they ran multiple tests, but never managed to reproduce the bug to fix it. So, I had to go through the plugin’s code piece by piece myself. Checking the code one step at a time, I found regularity in the conditions under which the bug occurred, and eventually fixed it.”

 

When you should hire WordPress developers

 

  • Your website utilizes a bunch of plugins, and they conflict with each other
  • Someone told you that you need to set up a custom theme, but have no idea what it means
  • You want your website to have widgets
  • You just want to have a page in the Internet, simple as that.

 

Where to find WordPress developers

 

 

Along with a bunch of classic freelance platforms such as Freelancer or Upwork, there is also a variety of services specializing in matching clients with highly qualified WordPress developers. If you are puzzling yourself with where to hire WordPress developers, you might want to give them a try.

 

Coding Ninjas

 

Coding Ninjas is a relatively new player on the market. Nevertheless, it has already proved itself to be a trustworthy freelance platform collaborating only with the best developers. It is a platform for vetted freelance specialists. It means that just like in Toptal, each candidate applying to work with Coding Ninjas undergoes a series of tests and vetting procedures aimed at determining their proficiency and evaluating whether they are comfortable to work with. This is probably the best place to find WordPress developers.

 

Toptal

 

One of the segment leaders, Toptal is not your average marketplace where you hire freelancers. The company receives thousands of applications from independent contractors all over the world. Then each contractor is tested for their professional skills, the ability to meet the deadlines, to work with the client, and so on. Only after this a freelancer is hired and can be assigned to jobs submitted by Toptal’s customers. Overall, this is a good alternative to Coding Ninjas for enterprise clients.

 

WPCurve.com

 

A nice solution for those who just need quick fixes and tweaks to their WordPress powered website. For a $69 monthly subscription, you get access to a team of professional developers who can promptly provide you with 24/7 support for all the small jobs and fixes.

 

Stack Overflow Jobs

 

Generally speaking, Stack Overflow is a wiki for developers. Users ask questions related to computer programming, and other users reply to them. The participants can upvote and downvote questions, earn “reputation” points and “badges” for their contribution, edit the answers of other users (if having enough reputation for it), and so on. In other words, Stack Overflow is the place to go to, when you have a question related to programming. Stack Overflow Jobs serve as a job board, on which you can review and apply to vacancies posted by companies.

 

WordPress Jobs

 

The official WordPress job board, it does what you would expect it to do: users can review vacancies posted by companies, and apply to them. It is extremely simplistic, but many WordPress developers use it, so you might want to check it out as well.

 

Overall, there are numerous industry-based job boards and other similar resources, so you do not need a textbook like, “WordPress Developers for Hire and Where to Find Them” to recruit one.

 

Hiring Process

 

Skills a WordPress Developer must possess

 

 

  • PHP
  • MySQL
  • HTML
  • JS
  • jQuery
  • GIT
  • Understanding the WordPress code architecture
  • Knowing and understanding the main principles of OOP (object-oriented programming)
  • Understanding namespaces
  • Being familiar with the main principles of REST APIs, how it works, and be able to use the respective documentation
  • Knowing what taxonomy, post types, filters, and actions are and how they work
  • Understanding the architecture of the WordPress plugins and themes; being able to work with child themes.

 

What you should pay attention to

 

When thinking on how to find WordPress developers, keep in mind there are two major methods of solving WordPress related tasks. The first one implies using ready-made decisions, namely implementing plugins. The second approach involves creating hard-code solutions: altering the code of a program or website instead of complementing it with extensions.   

 

Each of these methods is used depending on the situation. For example, if you are working on a commercial extension that will be used by thousands of people, local hard-code decision unique to a particular problem may not be appropriate.

Conversely, it may better to write a custom piece of code for a specific problem: writing a new plugin or extension, implementing some kind of radical changes, and so on.

 

Skilled WordPress developers are able to apply both methods, using their knowledge of the WordPress logic and architecture.

 

Coding Ninjas method for selecting candidates

 

There is probably no best way to find WordPress developers. Every recruiting method is effective under certain circumstances. Still, we’ve developed a procedure that, as we believe, makes for a great hiring algorithm.

 

General check

 

It is always a good idea to check a candidate’s background. No, we don’t mean you need to research their dark past. Instead, check on:

 

  • Who the candidate used to work for
  • What the candidate’s former employers think about their work
  • What their portfolio looks like
  • Their manner of communication. Most likely, you will be texting at first. Still, you can already learn a lot about a person during this stage. For example, you can make certain conclusions by how promptly the candidate responds to your messages, how detailed their answers are, or how literate their written English is.

 

Proficiency test

 

 

The best way to check how well a developer knows their job is to give them a test task. Here at Coding Ninjas, we believe that the test task should not be focused entirely on the candidate’s coding skills, but rather on their knowledge of WordPress, its logic, and capabilities.

 

For example, test tasks for back-end developers should include testing a developers knowledge of the core WordPress functionality. Front-end developers must know everything about layouts and integrating them into WordPress, creating new themes, and so on.

 

There are ways to test the candidate’s proficiency beforehand. Ask a candidate a link to their profiles on GitHub and Stack Overflow: these two are the most popular resources among coders.

 

By reviewing their portfolios you will be able to understand what they specialize in, what they can or cannot do. If you are not good at coding yourself, you can always ask or hire a programmer who will help you. Besides, there are online tools such as W3C Markup Validation Service or W3Techs

 

English language skills

 

English has been the language for international professional communication for decades, and the situation is not likely to change in the near future. So, a developer must have solid skills in reading and writing in English. Otherwise, miscommunication can obstruct teamwork and project progression. Before letting our freelance WordPress developers work with clients, we make sure their language skills are appropriately high.  

 

Live interview

 

Professional skills are essential, but not paramount. People tend to learn more about each other in personal communication. During a live interview (most likely, via Slack or other similar programs) you will get a chance to check how the candidate speaks, behaves, and what impression they make.

 

If you do not feel like going through the whole hiring procedure, there is a shortcut: let Coding Ninjas do it for you!

 

Hire at Coding Ninjas

 

Hiring WordPress professionals is a responsible task, and if you are not familiar with the industry, its specifics, and the recruiting process itself, it can be quite bothersome.

 

You might think that hiring at popular freelance platforms solves the problem. Unfortunately, this is not so. The most common problems regarding such services include:

 

  • Scams and cheating. Despite numerous security measures, there is always a chance to run into a scammer.
  • Incompetence. There is always a chance that a contractor you meet on freelance platforms will have a poor qualification.
  • Randomness. There are many wonderful pros out there, but how can you be sure that you find the right one from the first attempt?
  • Insecurity. You will necessarily have to entrust valuable data on your project to the people you found online.
  • No guarantees. A freelancer can simply disappear right in the middle of work. You never know!

 

Our clients request WordPress developers for hundreds of man-hours a day, We know a thing or two about working with freelancers. Our developers spend on average 1600 hours a month working on WordPress tasks, and it’s just one reason to hire at Coding Ninjas. The short-list of our benefits looks like this:

 

  • The multi-stage vetting process that we have developed helps us to sift out incompetent and unreliable freelancers
  • You will have no problems communicating with a hired WordPress developers: all of our freelancers speak English well
  • We take care of the emergencies. If something happens to a freelancer assigned to your project, we find you another one ASAP
  • We can gather you a dream team of professional developers ready to work on your project, in no time
  • We provide live support to all of our customers. We will answer whatever questions you might have regarding your cooperation with a WordPress developer you hire at Coding Ninjas
  • If you need a project-related consultation, our freelancers will provide you with it.

 

Working with Coding Ninjas makes a world of difference when you seek to hire a WordPress expert. Give us a try and see for yourself!

 

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