WordPress is a double-edged sword. When it comes to getting business websites up and running, there are few tools more powerful, which is why the platform powers 43 percent of websites on the Internet.
That said, if you have a WordPress website, you know this much is true: the learning curve is perpetual. As a business owner, once you move past those first few heady weeks of having your website up, you’re already wondering what’s next. How do I get the website to take my business to the next level? And you may not have the skills.
Most times, a template simply won’t cut it and you need new customizations, like eCommerce, built from scratch. You’ll also need some advice on how to develop your website and integrate it into your overall business goals. That’s where a WordPress consultant comes in.
What’s a WordPress Consultant and What Do They Do?
WordPress consultants have years of experience building websites with the platform’s software. They know code and have a good handle on marketing, business development and strategy.
They have a comprehensive grasp of WordPress’s overall capabilities and potential, not just a few aspects of it. This makes them the best people to advise on what your website needs and the direction it should take.
They are not freelancers who specialise in only one or two aspects like website performance or WordPress themes and won’t be able to integrate long-range business planning in their service. It’s important to note the difference.
When Should You Bring in a Consultant?
There are a few signs that will let you know you may need some help regarding your WordPress site.
- The site is underperforming and you don’t know what to do about it
- You need upgrades but don’t have the coding or programming skills to do them yourself
- Your site has been hacked
- The initial setup was difficult and the thought of further work on it makes you apprehensive
- You don’t have the time to do it yourself
If any of this sounds like you, you should hire a WordPress developer.
Choosing The Right WordPress Expert for You
You’re used to balancing various demands for your business, on the budget, on your time and energy. Selecting the right person for this job is no different.
You’ll need to strike the balance between your ambitions for your website, your needs, and what you can afford.
In between those three considerations, you’ll find the person you need. It also won’t hurt to ask yourself a few questions.
Where Do I Find Someone?
Start your search with websites that you like. Do they have a creator listed? You can contact that person. You can also go by word of mouth and hire the consultants used by people you know and trust.
Then there are the talent sites. You can find freelancers on websites like Toptal and Upwork. You can also tap the WordPress community. The consultants you’d want to hire are highly visible and active here.
How Do I Make My Initial Assessment?
Think of the selection process as interviewing for a position you’re trying to fill in your business. You wouldn’t hire someone without being thorough and making sure they’re a good fit.
The same approach should be taken with bringing a consultant on board. Ask them to describe their consulting process to you. They should be able to explain this in terms that you understand.
Find out why they want to work with your business. Listen to the response, as it will show whether they really care about your needs or if you’re just another payday.
While talking with them assess how you feel about this person. Do you think you can work well with them?
This is how you narrow down your starting list of choices. Once you have about 3-5 viable contenders, you’re ready to move on to the next steps.
How Much Experience Do They Have?
Keep in mind that consultants with the most experience are also the most expensive. What does your website need? Does the task require hiring the most experienced person? Or, would a less experienced, less costly consultant work?
Ask the consultant if they’ve completed projects like yours and if you can, get samples of their work. Find out what former clients have to say about them. Search for reviews of their service. See if they are active online, whether they have a blog of their own, or regularly guest post or contribute to discussions on WordPress topics. Do people trust their opinions?
Taken together, these should give you an idea of their experience level.
How Qualified Are They?
Before someone gets into WordPress consulting, they usually have some experience with WordPress development, usually with a company.
Find out if they have a specialty consultancy area, like email marketing, backend and website performance, and social media, or if they are a jack of all trades. Does this specialty match what you need?
Find out if they have WordPress certification in addition to the other skills listed above. Can they do responsive website design? Do they have the business and marketing skills and qualifications that show they can help you take your website to the next level?
If you’ve answered yes to the above, you’re getting closer to selecting your consultant.
Do They Provide Support After The Initial Project?
Selecting a consultant is only half the battle. The rest lies in what gets done after the work is completed on your site.
Does your consulting package include support? Is this support ongoing? Are you able to get in touch with them when you need them?
After The Project
Assess whether you are satisfied with the quality of the project and the way that it is delivered. This will be important in determining whether you’ll want to work with the consultant again.
Your WordPress site will always need to be maintained and upgraded and the sooner you establish and solidify your relationship with a consultant, the better for your business.
WP Support Specialists is a one-stop-shop for all things WordPress. Unlike many consultants, we are a full service WordPress agency that can provide all of the following:
- Support and Maintenance
- Malware removal and protection
- Managed Hosting
- WordPress Migration
- WordPress custom plugins
Because we have practical expertise on all of these areas and support clients across the globe, we can provide you with the best advice possible.
Got a problem or a project you wish to discuss? Hop over to our contact form and start a conversation.