According to wordpress.org, WordPress powers more than 43% of the web. This includes many well-known brands such as Sony Music, The New York Times, and The Walt Disney Company. This means there is a high demand for WordPress developers. In this article we’ll discuss what to look for in a WordPress developer and how to overcome the challenges when hiring for WordPress jobs.
The Importance of WordPress to an Organization
As a Content Management System (CMS), WordPress sits at the heart of your company’s marketing and communication strategy. WordPress allows you to present your brand and offerings to potential customers as well as be discovered by new prospects through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). You can keep visitors coming back to your WordPress website through regular content updates such as blogs. You can get important information to existing customers through FAQs, news updates, and support articles.
Having a WordPress Developer as part of your team is critical for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, you want to ensure the day-to-day content publishing goes smoothly and that your newly published pages are optimized for SEO. Moreover, you want someone with the technical expertise to write front-end code to maintain a dynamic and engaging experience for end users. There will also be more involved roll outs that update your look and feel when you want to do a major rebrand.
You may even want someone that can do custom plugin development to meet your specific requirements and elevate your brand. There will also be other tasks such as doing queries of the MySQL backend to retrieve customer data (or remove it as required by regulations such as the GDPR). Plus you’ll want someone doing the necessary maintenance to ensure your site is secure as well as manage any e-commerce or 3rd party API integrations.
What to Look for When Hiring WordPress Developers
A WordPress expert will need to have a combination of skills. They will need to be technical but also able to work with the team that’s creating your website content as well as stakeholders responsible for your branding and user experience.
Add to this technical knowledge the ability to work with databases and SQL (in particular MySQL) as well as knowledge of the PHP programming language on which WordPress is based. If you are hosting your own WordPress instance, your ideal candidate will have an understanding of WordPress security risks and vulnerabilities that need to be mitigated as well as experience working with open source projects in general.
On top of all that knowledge, you want someone with a working knowledge of graphic design programs such as Photoshop. You will want to ensure they have the ability to interface effectively with graphic design and UX specialists. This may require them to generate graphics or modify them to be suitable for delivery through the web.
You’ll also want candidates with experience with SEO. They need to have an understanding as to how to help your content team meet their goals of greater visibility on the wider web. In addition to some experience using tools such as Google Analytics and products like Semrush, ideally your candidate will have some knowledge of SEO specific WordPress plugins and strategies such as optimizing your Permalink structure or creating Sitemaps.
Challenges to Hiring WordPress Developers
Our 2022 tech hiring survey found that web development is one of the top 3 skills recruiters wish to hire for.
While it’s also the 2nd most popular skill developers are interested in learning (after AI), because of this level of demand, hiring managers still face difficulty scaling their tech team quickly.
It’s a candidate’s job market where working remotely is now mandatory to be attractive to candidates — 70% of developers want to work remotely according to our 2022 survey.
Hiring Remote as the Solution
There are many resources that specialize in helping find and hire WordPress developers. But there are a number of issues to keep in mind before you start the hiring process.
Full-time or Freelancer?
One of the first questions you need to settle on is whether or not you actually need a full time WordPress developer. Your needs may be such that a freelancer is perfectly suitable if you have limited updates to your own site beyond typical content management (that is you have no big rebranding projects in the offing) and you only need the regular maintenance that comes with security updates. Alternatively, you may want to scale up your WordPress team and augment it with freelancers when you have a critical deadline for a major site-wide update.
Freelancers are readily available through different freelancer oriented websites. Many skilled WordPress developers can be found on specialized freelance marketplaces like Upwork and Codeable. Some of these sites like Toptal provide rigorous screening to ensure you will get a quality candidate. There are even services like The White Label Agency that can scale the number of WordPress developers on your remote team on a month-to-month basis.
Even for full-time hires, services are available to help you with remote hiring such as Smart Working which helps source WordPress developers and handles the remote on-boarding. You can also, of course, rely on more traditional job boards such as Dice.
Domestic or More Distant?
In addition to the full-time or freelancer choice, you will also have to think about where you want to source your WordPress developer from. Remote working makes the world your oyster in that regard, but there are still some considerations to keep in mind.
It’s up to you to decide what’s most suitable for your organization’s communication and coordination needs. Resources within your timezone and native speakers can be valuable when you need a quick turn around. If you have remote resources you are working with elsewhere, it will make sense to at least limit the span of timezones you have to be aware of when scheduling meetings.
There are significant cost savings to hiring in lesser developed regions. It is commonly known that developers in Eastern Europe and the Balkans have strong technical backgrounds and speak excellent English. There may also be opportunities in areas of the world you may not have considered but nonetheless have suitable technical resources, such as Brazil or the Republic of Georgia.
How Much Does a WordPress Developer Cost?
Costs can vary significantly by region even within the United States. While nationwide the total pay for a WordPress developer is almost 72K per year, in San Francisco that number is 89K per year. The annual salary for a WordPress developer in Ireland, on the other hand, is roughly $23K.
The cost for freelancers can vary widely — on Upwork you have WordPress Developers charging as little as $15 an hour and up to $150 an hour, with the median being in the range of $45.
These wide ranges in cost can make the choice of hire quite difficult given the disparities in skill levels, both technical and communication — fortunately CodinGame can help.
More resources about remote hiring
CodinGame provides the resources you need for remote hiring from sourcing to onboarding.
Among these resources are our screening tools like our test wizard, gamified test sessions, and Code Playback that allow you to generate assessments of developers for their WordPress skills.
Additionally, CoderPad’s remote interviewing tool allows you to engage in live, online, collaborative coding interviews.
We also have numerous articles on the subject — check out our posts on:
- Proven Strategies to Hire a Remote Developer
- How to Screen Developers Remotely
- How to Interview Remote Developers
Once you’ve made your selection, read our guide on remote onboarding.