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Developer Digest

The Complete Guide on How to Hire a WordPress Developer

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Are you planning to hire a WordPress developer? Perhaps you have a business idea, need a website or want an expert programmer to help you create a custom theme and plugins for your WordPress website. Hiring an experienced WordPress programmer is the way forward.

But hiring the best WordPress developer is not as easy as it seems. Startup founders or CTOs must apply due diligence to hire the right fit. From writing your project details to considering the skills and experience of a WordPress developer, the task gets difficult for non-tech managers. 

This article makes it easy by providing a comprehensive guide on hiring the best WordPress developer to build and maintain your website. 

Key Points

  • A WordPress developer is an expert skilled in building websites with themes and plugins on the WordPress platform.
  • WordPress coders know languages like HTML, CSS, PHP and Javascript and can make a custom web application specifically for your business.
  • When hiring a WordPress expert, you should consider the skills and employ someone with basic WordPress editing skills, knowledge of PHP, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, SEO, theme and plugin development, etc.
  • The tips for hiring a WordPress programmer are to write out your project requirements, set your budget, choose a hiring model, interview the coders and write a contract. 

What Is a WordPress Developer?

A WordPress developer is a software programmer specialising in building websites with WordPress. This developer has a thorough knowledge of the WordPress platform and can use its basic code and infrastructure. A WordPress expert is responsible for building a website's back and front end and creating themes and plugins. 

What Is WordPress Development?

WordPress development is building the front and back end of a web application with WordPress. What is WordPress? WordPress is an open-source CMS or content management system that anyone can use to build a website. 

You can create different sites like blogs, e-commerce stores, business websites, forum sites, etc., with WordPress. The three major areas of WordPress development are:

  • WordPress core. This software consists of files that programmers can use to make a website.
  • Theme development. Programmers with design skills can build custom themes for businesses.
  • Plugin development. Coders can build a plugin to improve the functionalities of the WordPress website.

Types of WordPress Developers

There are three types of WordPress programmers. They are:

  • WordPress core developers. These experts work on the WordPress website's back and front ends. They often write code to improve the functionalities of the web application.
  • WordPress theme developers. These experts build custom WordPress themes for their clients. They use coding languages and design skills to be successful.
  • WordPress plugin developers. They create custom plugins for their clients, like pricing calculators, e-commerce stores, payment gateways, etc. 

Responsibilities of a WordPress Developer

While it is common knowledge that WordPress development doesn't need code, an expert developer must be familiar with programming languages and have design skills. Here are some of the roles of a WordPress developer:

  • Write code to customise the core WordPress file.
  • Testing and debugging the core WordPress software while fixing errors.
  • Developing WordPress themes and plugins for clients.
  • Work with stakeholders like web designers, SEOs, business owners or CTO to build their websites.
  • Update the WordPress website regularly. 

Why You Should Hire a WordPress Developer

There are many reasons to hire a WordPress developer to make your website; here are a few. 

You Will Get a Custom Made Website

A custom-made website is unique because it has features tailored to your business needs. While there are many WordPress themes and plugins on the platform, you can't completely alter their designs to suit your needs. You must hire a WordPress developer to create something for your business. 

Improve the User Experience of Your Site

If you want a web design that makes it easier for your online visitors to search, you can hire a WordPress programmer to build a custom site from scratch. It will increase your website's potential to convert visitors into leads and customers. 

Improve SEO

SEO is another reason to hire an expert developer to make your WordPress website. The expert will ensure that the backend of your site is properly optimised by enhancing the site architecture. Also, the programmer will increase your website loading time to create a better user experience. 

Custom Plugins 

A plugin is a software application that extends the features of a website built on the WordPress platform. You can hire a WordPress coder to build a custom plugin if you have an existing website and want to add more features to increase its functionalities. 

Assist in Creating Stats for Your Website 

WordPress developers can employ Google Analytics or any other alternatives to track the success of your website. Also, they can use the data provided by Analytics or other SEO tools to improve your site's performance.

What to Look for When Hiring a Custom WordPress Developer?

Finding a dedicated WordPress developer who suits your project requirements and budget can be stressful and time-consuming. However, there are ways to make the task easy for you if you are a startup founder or a non-tech manager with little knowledge of WordPress development. 

Consider the WordPress Developer Skills

Skills matter when employing a web developer to work on your website or application. When hiring, you should ensure the WordPress expert ticks all the requirements and skills needed to build your project. The developer needs a combination of technical, soft and business skills. Here are some skills needed for WordPress development. 

WordPress Design and Development 

A developer must be able to install WordPress and configure the system, including all the settings in the back end. Also, if your project doesn't need a custom theme and plugins, the programmer should be able to install a theme and plugins from the library. 

Aside from that, familiarity with WordPress page builders like Elementor or Divi will make it easy for the programmer to design and develop an aesthetically pleasing website for your business. 

Programming Languages

WordPress developers must know coding languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP as part of their technical skills. 

  • HTML. This is a markup language used to build the structure of a website. Knowing HTML is necessary as it makes it possible for a WordPress coder to build a custom theme from scratch in case you need one.
  • CSS. This language adds styles like colour, font, images of all sizes, etc., to a website. Knowledge of Cascading Style Sheets is necessary for a custom WordPress developer.
  • JavaScript. This is a front-end language used to add interactive features to a website. WordPress programmers must be familiar with JavaScript to build a custom site.
  • PHP. WordPress is built with PHP. With PHP, the developer can connect the front end to the back end and makes it easy for you to store your customers' data in the database.
  • SQL. This programming language is responsible for transmitting your data to the database. WordPress programmers must be familiar with MySQL. 

Responsive Design

Responsive web design is an approach in which the site's user interface adapts perfectly to the device's layout. A website with responsive design is accessible to users on all devices, easy to use and navigate, with no part of the content cut off. A custom WordPress developer must have responsive design skills to build a user-friendly website for your business. 

Database Management

Database management is collecting, protecting, organising and storing your customers' data securely on your website's back end. Common coding languages used in database management are SQL, OQL, SQL/XML, GraphQL, MySQL, etc. A WordPress expert must be skilled in using database management languages to store data in your web app's database. 

Custom Theme and Plugin Development

Custom WordPress themes have unique designs and features. Although there are lots of free and premium themes you can install, a custom theme will help your company or business to stand out with a unique look. WordPress developers must be able to use HTML, CSS, PHP and JavaScript to build custom themes and plugins for your business. 


WordPress makes it easy to do SEO because it has many plugins you can install and use to optimise your website. Knowing how to configure and use plugins like Yoast, All in One Seo, Rank Math, etc., is part of a WordPress developer's skills.

Testing and Debugging

A WordPress developer must be able to test your site to ensure that all the features work properly. Aside from that, the programmer must be able to debug the site and fix any errors to improve performance. 

Business Knowledge

Some business experience will help you build a WordPress website that makes your business money. 

  • Business logic. The programmer must know who your customers are, what they want and how to create something that appeals to them when building your site.
  • Sales and marketing. A WordPress developer must be able to integrate sales tools like email marketing plugins to help generate leads for your business. 

Soft Skills 

These non-technical skills describe how a programmer works and interacts with others. Examples are time management, communication skills, etc. 

  • Time management. A WordPress expert must be able to organise and plan tasks to finish before the deadline.
  • Communication skills. Communication facilities collaboration. You should hire a WordPress developer that understands your business language to make it easy to collaborate and get tasks done.

WordPress Developers Experience Level 

Another thing to look for when hiring a WordPress developer is experience level. Depending on your project's complexity, you can hire a junior, mid-level or senior WordPress programmer. 

  • Junior WordPress developer. This programmer has 1-3 years of development experience and can build a complete WordPress website. Aside from that, a junior WordPress developer may be proficient in one or two coding languages. Most junior programmers are good at using visual on-page builders like Elementor to build a website. Hiring a junior developer can be the best option if you have a less complex WordPress development project that doesn't require building custom themes and plugins.
  • Mid-level WordPress developer. This programmer has solid knowledge of coding languages like PHP, JavaScript, and MySQL and markup languages like HTML and CSS. Since mid-level WordPress developers have more than three years of experience, they can build a complete website with custom themes and plugins. If you want a custom WordPress website, you can hire a mid-level programmer who has done something similar to your project.
  • Senior WordPress developer. Programmers at this level have more than six years of experience building a market-ready WordPress website for their clients. Aside from that, senior WordPress developers are self-starters and can help you plan your project from start to finish. Their skills include HTML/CSS, React, PHP and MySQL, and they can build custom themes and plugins. Hiring a senior WordPress programmer is the best option if you have a complex project or want to hire a team lead. 

Choose a Hiring Model (Freelance vs In-house vs Outsourced Team)

Before hiring a WordPress developer, you must consider hiring options and choose the best. You can use three models: freelancers, in-house engineers or an outsourced team. 

Freelance WordPress Developers

A freelance WordPress programmer is a self-employed professional who contracts with various clients. This programmer builds websites for different businesses and sets requirements for each job, such as pay rate and hours. 

Small companies or startups often hire freelance programmers when they have a one-time web development project or are constrained by budget. The advantage of hiring freelance WordPress developers is that many of them exist. Also, they often charge a cheaper rate, meaning you will spend less than hiring an in-house WordPress developer. 

On the downside, freelancers are difficult to manage. Since they work with more than one client, they may not be able to finish your project before the deadline, and they can quit the job anytime. Hiring freelancers is not the best option if you have an ongoing project. 

In-house WordPress Developer

In-house WordPress developers work from your office and are easy to supervise. If you have an ongoing project, you can hire engineers permanently. Since they work from your office, they easily become familiar with your business and build a product that meets your customers' expectations. 

The downside of hiring in-house WordPress developers is that you must set up more office space and buy the resources they will use. Aside from that, the hiring process takes a lot of time and resources, and when you find one, you will pay, in addition to the basic salary, benefits, vacation, etc. 

Outsourced Team

When you outsource your WordPress development project, you hire another web development company to handle the task. There are three types of outsourcing – onshore, offshore and nearshore development. 

In onshore development, you outsource your WordPress project to a team of developers who work remotely from your country. Offshore development involves hiring a team from a country far from yours. 

Nearshore development involves hiring a remote team of WordPress developers from a country nearby. If you want to outsource your WordPress development project, nearshoring from a company like Deazy is the best option. 

You can get lots of experienced, pre-vetted WordPress developers that can handle your task. Aside from that, you can hire dedicated WordPress developers when you outsource your project to Deazy. 

How to Hire a WordPress Developer in 5 Steps

Hiring a WordPress developer is easy if you know what to look for. You should at least know what kind of website you want to build, determine the cost, choose a hiring model, consider the experience and interview the programmer. Let us walk you through what you should do to maximise your chances of hiring the right WordPress expert. 

List Your Business Needs

Although you won't be building your website yourself, you will want a clear idea of your business needs before you employ a WordPress programmer. This is easy if you know why you need a website. 

What problem do you want your web application to solve? Do you want an e-commerce website or a business site? Do you want additional features that require a custom theme and plugin development? Will you collect payment with your website? 

Knowing your business needs will make it easy for you to give the developers specific information. And the more specific information about the software product, the better the end result. Once you get a programmer, these are the first pieces of information you will give them. 

Set Your Budget

The cost of your WordPress development project depends on the complexity. If your business requires custom development, you should expect to pay more for the project. 

Your budget depends on:

  • Your project scope. This includes the number of pages (landing and product pages). Since most WordPress programmers charge per hour, the bigger your project, the more the expenses.
  • Your project's complexity. You should expect to pay more if your site requires custom features like plugins or themes. But if you need a simple WordPress website, it will cost less.
  • The developer's experience. You must hire an experienced WordPress developer if you need a complex project. Senior programmers charge more than mid-level or junior programmers, so the higher the experience, the higher the cost. 

Choose a Hiring Option 

You can choose between hiring freelance, in-house or an outsourced team. While the option you choose depends on your project needs, it is a good idea to outsource your project if you plan to scale without hiring in-house. 

Test and Interview the WordPress Developer

Interviewing the developer will help you assess the soft skills and determine if the programmer is the right fit for your company. After narrowing several developers to a few, you can explore their suitability in-depth. 

Test their technical skills by giving them a simple task to handle. If they can demonstrate all the skills they claim to have when handling the task, you can proceed to interview them. Here are some interview questions to ask a WordPress developer.

  • Do you have experience writing WordPress code?
  • Can you build a custom WordPress theme and plugins?
  • What programming language are you competent in coding?
  • Do you have experience building a market-ready WordPress website?
  • What challenges did you face in your last project, and how did you solve them?
  • How do you optimise a site for search engines?
  • What are your preferred means of communication?
  • How do you handle a difficult situation?

Write a Contract

Once you find the right WordPress developer, it is crucial to get everything in writing. The contract will ensure both parties know the project scope and payment terms. 

Your contract must address the project scope and timeline, the payment method, who owns the final software product, the confidentiality of your data and the terms of terminating the contract. If all parties are satisfied, you can hire the programmer. 


To hire a WordPress developer like a pro, even if you are a startup founder or a non-tech manager without technical knowledge, you have to:

  • Consider the skills,
  • Hire based on experience,
  • Choose the best hiring model. 

The five steps to choosing the right WordPress programmer are:

  1. List your business needs,
  2. Set your budget,
  3. Select a hiring option,
  4. Test and interview the programmer and,
  5. Seal the deal with a contract.

If you follow all these steps, you stand a 100% chance of employing a suitable WordPress programmer for your website development. 

Do you want to hire a WordPress developer the very easy way? You can outsource your project to a nearshore development company like Deazy. We have a team of dedicated WordPress developers that can help you build a go-to-market software product for your business. Feel free to contact us. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Should I Keep in Mind When Hiring a WordPress developer?

You should always consider your project requirements when hiring a programmer. This will make it easy for you to know the technical skills required to build your WordPress website. Also, it will make it easy to set a budget and hire based on experience level. 

How to Hire a good WordPress developer?

You can hire freelancers if you have a short-term project or employ in-house developers if you have a long-term project. Another way is to find dedicated developers from an outsourced team. 

Does a WordPress Developer Need Coding?

WordPress developers must be competent in coding languages like PHP, JavaScript, and MySQL and markup languages like HTML and CSS. They should be able to use frameworks like Bootstrap, React and Vue.