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If you google “WordPress expert,” you’re going to get About 371,000 results. That’s a lot of results. And if you don’t know anything about WordPress, or know very little about it, there’s no way you’re going to be able to sift through those results and find a true expert. Especially since anyone can slap a label on themselves, do some slick marketing, and get you to fork over the cash.

This makes me angry and sad.

There really are WordPress experts out there who can help you with whatever you’re creating. In this post, I’m going to show you what you should be looking for so that you can hire the person or business that’s right for you.

Do they care about WordPress?

Before you look for anything else, find out if the person or business you’re wanting to hire cares about WordPress. Do they contribute to the project in any way, like writing WordPress code, writing and supporting themes or plugins, writing documentation for the Codex, and answering questions in the official WordPress forums? Are they involved with the community and interacting with it, giving and taking as an integral part of it? Are they writing tutorials so that others can learn? And are they honest enough to admit that they don’t know something about WordPress, but also expressing and demonstrating a willingness to learn more and increase their skill set? These qualities are foundational to any WordPress expert’s pedigree.

Now let’s get technical

Does the person or business claiming WordPress expertise have intimate familiarity with WordPress’s underlying and surrounding technologies: HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript and libraries such as JQuery among others, coding standards specific to WordPress, MySQL, Apache and other web servers like Nginx, and can they explain how all the pieces fit together in understandable language that is devoid of buzz words? If no, then they’re not WordPress experts.

Letting you Know when WordPress Might Not Fit

WordPress is great. It can do pretty much anything you want it to with the right amount of work. But it’s not always right for every project, and anyone who is an expert and works with it on a daily basis will be honest enough to tell you when it might not be the best fit for your project. They’ll also explain why, in language you can understand and that is empty of all the jargon. If they can’t do that, they’re not an expert.

What if I Still want to Build it with WordPress?

If your WordPress expert has explained to you why WordPress as it stands might not be a good fit for your project, and you still want to build it with WordPress, the next answer should never be “You can’t do that with WordPress.” This is different from “WordPress might not be the best fit.” You can build anything you want with WordPress and make it do whatever you want, given the right amount of work. That work may include theme customization, plugin customization, or completely custom plugins and a completely custom theme. It also might be outside your budget. Any WordPress expert should be able to explain all of this to you as it relates to your project. They should also be able to tell you whether or not they are the right fit for you or your project, and if they aren’t, refer you to someone who is.

Becoming a WordPress expert is hard work. It doesn’t happen overnight, and you don’t become a WordPress expert by reading one book, finding a page builder, and throwing together one or two sites. It requires eating, sleeping and breathing WordPress and being surrounded by the community. it requires constant learning. And the work never ends. Things change on a pretty frequent basis within the WordPress ecosystem, and any WordPress expert worth their salt has to be a part of that. So when you’re looking for a WordPress expert, don’t just go with the first one you find on Google claiming that title. Don’t just go with the cheapest, but don’t go with the most expensive either. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. Doing this initial work will save you in the long run and could be the start of a wonderful relationship between you and your expert.


Comments

  • Great information! I may hire someone down the line, and it can be discouraging when someone says you can’t do that when you know it can be done. I am encouraged to see that there are people out there who can fulfill the vision, given the right qualifications. Thanks!

    • Hi Annie,

      I believe it’s better to admit that you don’t know how to do something than it is to simply say “you can’t do that”. It also helps to have a network of people to refer a client to when they need something done you’re not capable of. The client gets their job fulfilled, and I look better for being honest about my skillset. Everybody wins.

      Thanks for stopping by,

      Amanda

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