WordPress powers almost 40% of the web.
And job seekers claiming to be WordPress experts are available a dime a dozen. There are almost 8,300 WordPress developers for hire on Glassdoor alone.
But actual experts who know more than just to drag and drop elements in the page editor? They are hard to come by.
And it gets even more complicated to hire a WordPress expert when you don’t know what exact skills they should possess.
But you don’t have to guess who is right anymore.
Here is a list of all the technical and non-technical skills you should look for in a WordPress expert.
The candidate that checks all the boxes is the one who deserves the joining letter from you.
WordPress is a drag-and-drop website builder and one of the easiest CMS platforms. It is promoted as a tool that helps non-techies build and manage websites.
But that doesn’t mean every Tom, Dick, and Harry can manage a WordPress website like a pro. The pros have the following technical skills on their resume:
In everyday usage, the what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) WordPress editor is enough. Using actual code isn’t required. But if you are onboarding experts they should be adept in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). Why? Because it forms the core structure of a WordPress website. HTML is also the principal language of web development. Its understanding is necessary for situations that require more than the bare basics.
The Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are another cornerstone of the CMS and web development. The CSS defines the visual appearance of your website. Backend WordPress editors can still go by without robust command over CSS. But front-end developers need to be an expert in the field.
Structured Query Language (SQL) is what connects the databases in web applications. Backend developers should be especially experienced in SQL.
PHP is the web development language used by WordPress. The knowledge of PHP allows developers to connect databases to the user interface. That’s what makes it extremely important.
True WordPress developers know more than just installing and activating a website. They should know about working with themes and plugins. It would be a plus if they are adept in developing bespoke solutions too. This is important if you need customized solutions for your website.
While using WordPress to develop a webpage, PSD might have to be converted to HTML. This would require Photoshop tools. Also, basic Photoshop skills ensure that your website will have appropriate media content.
Bootstrap is a framework that includes popular HTML components. It includes Accordions, Carousel, Breadcrumbs, Forms, Navigation Bar, and more. The framework lets WordPress developers copy and paste the code for these elements.
Bootstrap experience will help developers work swiftly and meet deadlines.
API Integration Skills
Only experienced developers can work with API. Want your website to have third-party integrations? API integration skills are a must-have.
Building a website is not enough. The developer you hire should also be able to troubleshoot errors and fix bugs.
Your website is an important asset to your business. And you are trusting your developer with the responsibility of handling such an important asset. So they should have at least some business know-how.
The following business skills are a must-have for those who claim to be WordPress experts.
Knowledge About your Business and Customers
WordPress is widely used as a commercial solution. So the tech talent you shortlist must have basic business acumen. It includes awareness about the latest trends in your niche. And a rough idea about how your business works.
Sales and Marketing Basics
WordPress websites are also used for eCommerce and online sales. Now, a WordPress developer is unlikely to be required to work on sales and marketing alone. But they need to know who the customers are, what their needs are, and how the business’ offering satiates those needs.
Search engine optimization
A building or designing a website alone is not enough. Expert WordPress developers should also know how to get your website on top of Google SERPs. That’s possible with apt SEO skills and experience. The platform offers several options and opportunities for search engine optimization. A good developer knows how to encash the SEO potential of WordPress.
More and more people are depending on their mobile phones to access the web. To be visible to audiences where they are looking, your site should be mobile responsive. And your developer should have sufficient mobile optimization know-how. Their experience should go beyond just using mobile responsive themes and plugins.
Online Security and Data Privacy
Businesses are often the targets of data thieves and cybercriminals. The WordPress developer you hire should be equipped with the skills needed to save your business website and data from security threats.
The Right Mindset
Even the most skilled professionals won’t meet the expectations of their employers without the right mindset.
The same stands true when you are looking for a WordPress expert. The ideal candidate would also have the following interpersonal skills to boast of:
Willingness to learn
WordPress is an ever-evolving platform. It has frequent updates and new plugins and themes are launched each day.
There have been 420 WordPress versions and 37 major releases. No expert can claim that they know everything. Given that there are about 100+ WordPress themes and 54,000+ WordPress plugins. That’s not humanly possible. But you need to look for an expert who is willing to learn something each day. Whether it is new WordPress versions or a previously unused theme or plugin, your WordPress developer should have the will to learn about it.
Without regular updates and learning, your expert’s skills will soon become obsolete.
WordPress websites don’t operate in a vacuum. And neither will your developer work all alone. Whether you are hiring someone to join your in-house team of developers or are onboarding freelancers, they need to have teamwork abilities.
Team working abilities include communicative efficiency, adherence to timelines, and respect for others’ views.
Unless a WordPress designer can work with a team of other experts they won’t be able to deliver results. This is all the more important when teams are becoming more scattered. And teams have to collaborate virtually.
WordPress is a powerful tool. But in the hands of those who don’t focus on their goals, the resource will go to waste. Make sure the expert you hire is focused on the job. It is the focus that translates into meeting deadlines and achieving goals.
Openness to Feedback
Multiple rounds of feedback and constructive criticism often irk employees. But for the position of a WordPress expert, you need a candidate who is open to feedback. And also acts on it.
This will make sure that your website is as per your needs and has no flaws and errors.
Knowing the limits
It might sound counterintuitive, but you don’t need a candidate who thinks they can do everything on their own. It is important to delegate duties. And it is also important to take the opinion of niche experts.
A WordPress developer who wishes to do everything on his own won’t involve other experts. This will result in a website that has a narrow outlook and scope. That’s not something you want. You would want your developer to know the limits of their capabilities. They should not shy away from getting advice and inputs from those who are better qualified.
Hiring A WordPress Expert
Now you know what qualities to look for in a WordPress expert. Start scouring through the applications, hold interviews and take technical tests.
The perfect WordPress expert for your needs is waiting to get hired.