14 Key Questions To Ask When Searching For Ongoing WordPress Development Services
If your business is growing, then congratulations! You’re definitely doing one thing (or a lot of things) right. But a growing business brings forth a surge of new website visitors, and this generally means that you need a dependable development team by your side.
Now, you might be stuck in one of two situations:
- You either know your way around WordPress, but you need somebody who has more technical expertise than you have, or
- You don’t know much about WordPress, and your website is unstable, difficult to maintain, and crashing at the slightest change you make.
Neither of these situations is optimal. This is why you need a team of developers who can help you:
- Implement your marketing experiments.
- Add new features to your website.
- Develop it.
- Maintain it.
But with so many firms around, how do you know which team of developers is the right one for you?
To get the answer you need, here are 14 questions that you can ask when searching for ongoing WordPress development services.
1. Can they provide a strategic master plan for your website?
Are they jumping straight into coding? Or are they trying to understand your business and your long-term goals better?
If your developers don’t provide a strategic master plan, it’s quite likely that they aren’t planning on offering a durable solution to your website problems.
2. Are they offering development only or a multidisciplinary team of resources?
In most cases, having just the developer isn’t enough. This is why you should look for a team that has at least:
- One developer to code the tasks.
- A tester.
- One business analyst to translate your business requirements into a language that developers understand.
- A customer success manager to manage everything for you and ensure deadlines and budgets are met.
3. Do they have a professional web tester?
Every developed feature should be tested on Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge + Android and iOS devices to ensure great performance.
4. How many case studies do they have on their website?
Do the case studies look legitimate? Do they have testimonials? Are the people who left the testimonials on LinkedIn?
If you’d like to go the extra step, you can look up these people on LinkedIn and ask them directly about their experience with the company with which you want to partner.
5. How many completed projects do they have?
Having a large and successful project history is a sign of a reliable agency or freelancer.
6. How many similar projects to yours do they have in their portfolio?
This will show you just how well-equipped the agency is to handle your project.
7. How many reviews do they have?
You should always check the reviews they got from past clients. I recommend checking Clutch, Codeable, Google Business, DesignRush and GoodFirms.
8. Can you interview their clients?
This seems like a hassle, but you can get direct information regarding:
- How they perform business.
- The quality of their service.
9. Do they have a written process that you can check?
For example, do you know how they will work on your project?
How are you going to communicate?
How often will they give you updates?
These are all things that you should know beforehand.
10. Can you do a small project with them to test them out?
When running a trial project, you should first ask for a quote. This quote should include:
- A detailed itemized list of features.
- A “scope of work” that would reflect what you’ve asked.
After your project is done, take a look at the big picture — was the project delivered on time and within budget? Also, did you get regular updates and meetings? Once you have your answers, take in the small details, like the alignment of the buttons, images, etc.
Lastly, hire a third party to review their code. Yes, this means spending more money. But seeing that this is the very first project, it’s best practice to have another expert take a look at the work and see if everything is working as it should.
11. Are they coming on time to the meetings?
In business, timeliness is vital. If your partner won’t even show up to your meetings on time, how do you know they will complete the project on time?
12. Are their emails clear and well-structured?
More importantly, are they answering all of your questions clearly? Your chosen team should make sure you have a clear understanding of what’s happening with your website.
13. Are they open to having their code audited by a third party?
I recommend you tell them upfront that you are going to hire a third party and audit their code to ensure:
- The quality.
- The stability.
- That it respects the WordPress coding standards.
14. Is the staff paid per project or paid fixed salaries?
I find that a full-time staff with fixed income is more dependable because they are always there whenever you need them. Contractors who are paid per project might get busy with another project midway through.
Bonus tip: How detailed is their quote?
The line items in the quote proposal you receive have to be as granular as possible. I recommend quotes where a line item (for a feature) doesn’t go above $1000. If you see estimates for features that cost more than $1000, it usually means they don’t understand that feature because they didn’t spend time fleshing it out into smaller pieces. You have a catch-all quote that will most likely translate to nasty surprises down the road.
Searching for a WordPress development team is no walk in the park, but these questions can help you out. Once you have your list of answers, you can decide if the agency you’re speaking to is the one you need. Also, check our complete guide on how to hire the best WordPress maintenance agency for your business.
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