WordPress powers 43% of websites and is used by 63.8% as content management system. With these latest numbers, the platform remains a powerful open-source program for building a WordPress website. And you have to make the most out of it.
That is why choosing a WordPress development company is a crucial decision to make. Your website is a critical part of your online presence and can greatly impact the success of your business or organization. Your choice of development partner can either facilitate or hinder your ability to achieve your goals.
Here is a 7-step guide on how to choose a WordPress development company most fitting for your business needs.
Table of Contents
Assess Your Needs
Before you choose a WP development company to work with, take the time to brainstorm—review, evaluate and clarify your objectives for creating a website.
On the one hand, if your goal is brand promotion and having a resource hub for your intended consumers, then utilizing pre-built templates and WordPress themes will suffice.
On the other, if your web pages will be a place for selling products or services, hiring a WordPress developer is the more practical option.
These are what you can do during this stage of choosing a WordPress development company:
- Determine the project type you will implement.
- Gather adequate knowledge about the initiative.
- Outline a good strategy to execute.
- Visit multiple sites that are similar to what you have in mind.
- Discuss your company’s needs with your team.
Pro tip: Identify the functionalities and features you envision for your website. Decide whether you prefer a passive and traditional structure for your About page, contact details and blog articles or if you need a more interactive site to sell and form a community.
Prepare a Project Brief
Before choosing a WordPress development company, you should have an initial project brief in hand.
A project brief is a document detailing all the essential requirements for your developers in accordance with your website necessities.
A well-written project brief should cover:
- Project scope: A background of the initiative to help the development experts assess their capabilities to complete the tasks within a set timeframe. This will help them audit your project, advise and guide you through the site you visualize—whether it is feasible based on your present online assets.
- Consumer journey: This will help the development team conceptualize a map and structure to turn it into a website that drives traffic and encourages conversion.
- Design assets: If there is an existing website, then your aim is to enhance visitors’ experience. This part of the brief will ensure that your overall branding remains consistent after making improvements and updates on your current web pages.
- Brand messaging: This is vital for the web development specialists to understand what they are building or changing. The “why” behind your enterprise should be clear to them so that your site will be aligned with your mission and vision.
Pro tip: If you are looking to build an eCommerce site, you can include the payment gateways you want to offer on the project brief. This way, the developers can integrate these payment channels into the web pages and guarantee the security of customer data.
Review Developers' Portfolio and Case Studies
Seasoned professional WordPress development companies should have an online portfolio showcasing previous projects they have completed.
While these are not mandatory, written case studies about results of past development work are an excellent additional reference.
Deep dive into their credentials and note the points that meet what you are looking for in a website. Answer these questions when going through each listed firm’s documents:
- Do they have development work that matches your overall design?
- If so, is it easy to navigate?
- What are the features and functionalities you like most about the website?
- If any, are there attributes you wish to change?
Pro tip: Browse web development companies on reliable websites with trustworthy listings. If a company has neither a portfolio nor case studies to present, they may be new to the industry and may not have the experience suitable to fulfill your needs. Alternatively, you may ask for a test project to evaluate their capabilities.
Check Testimonials and Reviews
Aside from portfolios and case studies, these are critical when choosing a WordPress development company. For one, developers will not include a failed project in their portfolio. Neither will they turn an unsuccessful work for an unhappy client into a case study.
Pro tip: Verified reviews and testimonials weigh so much, especially if case studies and a portfolio are not available. That is why you should invest time to peruse through company reviews, client testimonials, and recommendations.
Do Thorough Interviews
Schedule interviews. It is through these sit-down conversations that you get the chance to hear what the agencies have to say about their aptitude and competencies as well as how they deliver their answers.
Here are the things to ask to guide you in navigating through your interviews:
- Company background
- Years of experience in CMS
- Number of websites built
- Development approach and process
- Experience with template customization and creating web pages from scratch
- Choice of hosting providers
- Knowledge in CSS
- Any SEO services included
- Complementary skills they can bring to the table
- Post-support services available
- Costs and salaries
- Timeframe before completion
- Plans to fortify site security
Pro tip: Pay attention to non-verbal communication signals, such as facial expressions, tone of voice and eye contact. Take notice of their reaction to your questions. Do they remain politely communicative during the interview?
Give Practical Tests
Choosing a WordPress development company is similar to purchasing a house or a car. They both require significant investment in terms of time and effort when considering your choices.
You have to gauge qualities accurately to find the best fit for your WordPress development demands.
To understand better and confirm their claims during the interview, test these necessary expertise and core attributes of your shortlisted WP development companies:
- Technical skills and experience: Technical skills are a good developer’s foundation. Before collaborating with one, make sure you take into account the diversity and range of an agency’s technical capabilities. They should be able to handle varying projects in different niches. And they should be updated with the most recent developments on the WordPress platform—its tools and the technological trends.
- Strategic and project comprehension: Focus on their approach to working on a project. An effective and successful WP development agency should have a precise understanding of a client’s initiative before proceeding to the website-creation phase. They will delve into your objectives, have the same vision of the site as you and present a clear route they are taking to approach the endeavor.
- Problem-solving competence and flexibility: Evaluate how developers handle and adapt to alterations and inevitable hiccups in a level-headed and professional manner. Present them with several scenarios to assess how quickly they can adjust and still find the best resolutions.
Pro tip: Your ideology and vision should match your agency’s before you can move forward. Besides the technical proficiencies and strategic expertise, you should be on the same page throughout the project. Your developers should value your preferred communication style to veer from conflicts and misunderstandings.
Record All Evaluation Results
Put everything in writing. Now that you are close to finalizing your choice of WordPress developers, you should have all assessment results recorded so you can discuss these with your team.
Remember that a WP development agency works with multiple clients at once. Not just your business. They may be working with a close competitor or a similar enterprise in a different niche. In these cases, you need to ensure that your business’s intellectual property and other sensitive data are fully protected.
Pro tip: A written legal agreement on information security and data protection should be laid out, signed and entirely understood by both parties.
Best Value Over Best Price: How To Choose a WordPress Development Company
When choosing a WordPress development company, consider the work and service quality without scrimping on your budget. You don’t want a regretful choice later that will put a dent in your expenses.
In website development, what is cheaper may turn out to be the more expensive option in the long run.
It may be that you were presented with an affordable quotation, only to find out later that there are exorbitant hidden charges.
You may also end up scouting for another WordPress development agency after realizing that the present is incapable of meeting your expectations. This means wasted time and effort, plus additional expenditure for another round of hiring process.
Therefore, while it may be tempting to opt for the cheapest option, it is often worth investing in a reputable and experienced company that can deliver high-quality results and provide reliable support. By following our seven-point guide, you can find a balance between cost and quality and make an informed decision that will benefit your business or organization in the long run.