7 Questions To Ask When Looking For The Best WordPress Development Agency
Now that you have decided to get on the online bandwagon, you obviously want the best for your business.
At this point, you must be having some crazy ideas about what your website should look like and what kind of features it should boast that will help you stay ahead of the competition.
Well, it’s only the beginning of a great journey, and a lot of adventures await ahead.
While it’s exciting to plan and think about your online business venture, what actually jumpstarts your journey is when you sit down with the development agency of your choice and start talking about real business.
But there’s a catch here. How do you actually choose a development agency to accompany your great online journey?
Do you just do a Google search and contact the first company that shows up on the first page?
I know that’s exactly how we buy most of our stuff, but it’s really not the best way to go when you are about to shell thousands of dollars on something that will mark your identity online.
A great journey needs to be well prepared. So…
Where Do You Begin Your Search For The Best Development Agency?
Here is how you can narrow down the development agencies you would like to interview.
Ask around for references
Nothing can be better than a reference from someone you know who has worked with a development agency in the past. Ask your colleagues, marketing team, or the people in your business circle.
Get a recommendation from technology vendors or partners in the wider ecosystem.
If you have bought a hosting account, for example, you can ask the company if they have any recommendations. Many technology vendors have partnerships with development and design companies and can lead you in the right direction.
For example, Codup has partnerships with Pantheon and Liquid Web – two of the leading managed WordPress hosting solutions.
Google is obviously your best friend. But apart from that, a really interesting way is to just contact the marketing head of the websites you admire in the wild and ask them where they got their website made. It’s the old fashioned way, but you’ll be surprised at the jewels you’ll discover with this technique.
Now that you’ve narrowed down your search, it’s interview time!
Here are some questions you should ask when looking for the best WordPress Development Agency.
1. What level of expertise do you have?
WordPress started out as a blogging platform, but it soon became the development platform for almost every kind of website you can imagine, thanks to its versatility and flexibility.
But the problem is everyone is a WordPress developer these days. But not all are developers in their true sense. Most are the kind of developers who know how to get a website up and running on WordPress by using themes and plugins and very little custom code.
There is nothing wrong with that, but if your site needs more functionality than what is built-in, those developers will either refuse or will get outside help to fulfill your requirements.
Before you hire an agency, make sure they have more expertise than just knowing how to navigate the WordPress dashboard and using premium themes and plugins to get things done.
Ask them if they have made any contributions to the WordPress community – either by contributing to the core WordPress software or by developing some open-source plugins or themes.
Also, ask if they have built any custom themes and plugins for previous clients.
This will give you a good idea of the kind of expertise they have.
With a high level of expertise, Codup’s team of developers can take any kind of project – simple or complex. We have developed more than 10 plugins for WordPress and a handful of custom themes for our clients.
To keep costs down, we use off-the-shelf themes and plugins when suitable, but if a need arises, we dive into the code and deliver bespoke solutions too.
2. Do you specialize in WordPress alone?
We have seen two different kinds of WordPress development agencies. One is the kind that specializes only in WordPress development. These are usually small teams of around 10-20 members with varying skills, and they don’t do anything other than WordPress development.
And then there are others that offer WordPress development as part of their broader range of services.
There is nothing wrong with either of them, but again it’s good to know what level of experience and expertise they have with WordPress. A small team claiming to specialize in WordPress can have a very low level of expertise, while a large team doing lots of other things may have a knack of everything related to WordPress.
Codup is a 50+ member team, and we have experience with a wide range of development platforms and frameworks. PHP, the language of WordPress, however, lie at the core of our expertise. And when it comes to experience with WordPress itself, we have successfully delivered 1000s of projects ranging from simple sites built with off-the-shelf products to bespoke solutions with utterly complex requirements.
3. Do you have a portfolio?
This seems like a no-brainer – you would obviously want to see a portfolio before hiring a WordPress development agency!
But there are a few things you should keep in mind when looking at their portfolio.
For one, ask them to show you projects that are relevant to your industry. That way, you’ll get an idea of what kind of experience they have working with similar companies.
Second, ask them what kind of work they did on each project. Did they do the design? What type of work was involved – custom theme, plugins, API integrations? Knowing this will give you an idea beyond the face value of the portfolio project and will give you confidence when hiring them.
4. What experience do you have related to my industry?
A very important thing to consider is whether the development agency has previous experience working with other companies in your industry. And how much experience do they have exactly?
If you want an eCommerce site, for example, you would want to hire a firm that has deep expertise in the eCommerce industry. Working with them would give you an added benefit of having expert advice and insights related to your industry.
At Codup, we have focused our expertise on only four domains – eCommerce (B2B and B2C), hospitality, customer service solutions, and business process automation. This has given us the kind of deep expertise needed to deliver solutions that really matter.
5. Do you do both design and development?
Design and development are two important parts of the process. But you’ll rarely find companies that are proficient in both.
Some companies are more design-oriented and creative-led. They tackle all design challenges, including UI design and UX design in-house, but outsource development work to their white label partners.
Other development companies have core expertise in programming and would either ask you to provide the design specifications or will get the design made by their partner agencies.
What you can do is either hire two companies for design and development separately, or you can discuss it with your development agency about how they do stuff and decide what will be best for you.
You can also get the design done in-house by your team to get the cost down and hire a development agency only for development work.
6. What services do you offer?
A lot of people overlook this important piece of information when hiring a development agency. They assume that development would include everything related to it, and so, they don’t pay attention to the exact services offered by the firm.
Read more: Hire Laravel Developer
The truth is, development is just an umbrella term that covers a lot of things that are really not possible for a single agency to have expertise in.
Hence, it’s important to know that your agency offers the services you might be interested in.
Codup’s WordPress specific skills include theme development, custom plugins, API integrations, migrations, WooCommerce development, performance optimization, form workflows, and more.
7. How can your clients contact you?
You don’t know how important this is until you start working with a development agency that is simply inaccessible and impossible to reach out to.
Time zones and language barriers play a huge role in communication. The agency might have all the support channels – email address, phone number, and live chat – but if they are not available in your time zone, it becomes a big pain to deal with.
If you’re off-shoring, make sure there is at least a small window where your working hours meet those of your agency’s so you would know exactly at what time you can contact them.
At Codup, though, it’s different. We just make it easy for you to work with us!
Want to mark your identity online? Codup can help.