WordPress is, without a doubt, a robust CMS platform that can host a wide variety of sites. The fact that 43% of websites use WordPress is a testament to its superiority.
If you own a WordPress site, should you hire a WordPress developer or can you do it yourself?
It entirely depends on the scale of your site and what you want it to do.
Every business has a different goal in mind when they launch a site.
If you want a site with a simple home page and nothing else, then probably you don’t need a developer.
But most businesses have requirements that rise above a single-page site.
Why hire a WordPress developer?
WordPress has thousands of free themes. They are more or less pre-built sites.
If you add an editor such as Elementor and Divi, you get access to a lot more.
Is employing a WordPress developer actually necessary?
The short answer is yes.
There is far more to a website than buttons, icons, and columns. A freelance WordPress developer would be able to provide lots of features that you won’t have time or the ability to include.
Tasks of a WordPress developer
A developer means someone who can develop or build something. It is crucial to understand this fact.
A WordPress developer does not download a theme, add a few web pages and hand the site to you.
Most businesses need a website that is dynamic. A static site is one where the information never changes. On the other hand, the information displayed on a dynamic site changes with time.
A theme needs to be adopted for use as a dynamic page. If necessary, several lines of extra code have to be written and tested.
There is another aspect. You might like a theme but prefer to add a few features from another.
You might want the front page to have a feature such as lazy load and infinite scroll.
These bespoke changes are the task of a web developer.
An API or Application Programming Interface is a function that allows a website (or an app) to connect to an external service.
The best example for a layperson is the Uber app, which uses Google mapping technology.
Most sites need payment APIs using which the checkout page connects to the server of a bank or service such as Visa and MasterCard.
API integration is a complex task and requires an understanding of PHP, Python, and databases, such as MySQL. Only a full stack WordPress developer can offer such services.
In theory, you can add a payment gateway or some other API, but the service would not work properly. Do you want customers to get stuck at the Payments Page while buying your products? Of course not.
WordPress indeed has an astonishing library of themes and templates.
It is also true that many businesses require something different and none of the templates on offer are good enough.
Maybe you have seen a perfect Squarespace site for portfolio and want to use the same but with WordPress CMS.
WordPress developers offer template development from the ground up.
It is impossible to do this by yourself (unless you have a degree in HTML and CSS). Even if you know how to do it, you have to spare at least a couple hundred hours to build, test, and publish a brand new template design.
It is far easier to hire the best WordPress developers and tap into their skills.
Why do people avoid Wix and Weebly and flock to WordPress?
Some of the sites hosted on Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace are stunning. The loading is smooth, and the site works well.
Most users migrate because Wix and Weebly do not have a plugin-rich ecosystem like WordPress.
Take the example of Yoast. It is an SEO plugin but available only for WordPress.
Yoast helps your site rank better. Quite a bit of what it does is automated and Yoast helps with finding keywords, content readability, meta descriptions, and title tags.
There is nothing remotely like it for Wix or Squarespace.
Migration from Wix to WordPress (or from Weebly and Squarespace) needs a developer.
Sometimes migration can happen with a transfer tool, but most such attempts result in a garbled version of the site.
A developer can download parts of the site through an XML file and upload the same to the WordPress platform. Of course, changes are still required, but it is not impossible.
Some web developers are very skilled with the web designing part. Thus, hiring one with an eye as visual expertise can help boost the attractiveness of your website, and refine the website.
Web design for startups plays a major role in bringing in more leads and consequently deriving more traffic to your online enterprise.
So, a web developer who is capable of incorporating materialistic design trends like geometric shapes and graphics can definitely fetch more depth and realism to the site.
The expertise and skills of a WordPress developer can bring unique images, better data visualization, minimalistic yet trendy designs, conversational UI, high-performance, and whatnot.
OfCourse one can’t shove next generation web development trends to the website without any experience or professional assistance.
Ecommerce is booming. More than 93.5% of global users have purchased online at least once.
You need a skilled WordPress developer for building a good ecommerce site. They have many distinctive features such as product page, cart, order tracking, checkout, and payments page.
In addition, they have a robust CRM and email functionality.
Most of these sites are linked to the backend operations of a physical retail store.
From thousands of high-resolution images to AI chatbots, ecommerce sites are different in every way.
WooCommerce is an open-source shopping platform plugin for WordPress. It works well and has about a quarter of the market share.
But it is not easy to configure on one’s own.
This is the most crucial aspect.
When you own a website, you are responsible for a data breach.
With malicious activity on the rise and thousands of websites around the world being targeted daily, there is no scope for DIY measures.
For example, the default login page is /wp-login.php or wp-admin/
It has to be changed to something such as www.myownsite/wp-admin-login-page or something similar.
Other than this, you have to set up a log file whereby all the activities can be observed. A log file stores data if someone tries to guess the password.
A WordPress developer can sort out this tangle of security measures into a set of best practices for you and your employees to follow.
In addition, every page has to be SSL enabled and the data it sends has to be encrypted. Otherwise, Google does not rank a site high enough.
A site may function great when there are 50 product pages, but not so well when 500 more are added. There may be a slow loading speed when hundreds try to log in at the same time.
In other words, a site that worked well when it had a small scope might crash when it becomes bigger. This is because it lacked scalability.
Scalability has to be accounted for in the site architecture. The best WordPress developers excel at providing a back end and front end that works well when the site becomes popular.
After all, the last thing you want is the site to be brought down by its own popularity.
Wrapping it all up
There are myriad reasons to hire a WordPress developer. The most obvious one is that the best drag-and-drop builders also require some practice. You can’t unpack Elementor and create a website without a steep learning curve.
Do you have the hundred or so hours you need to hunt through books and videos on web development? Most probably not.
Hire a WordPress developer and let him handle your requirements. It will save you precious resources and your site would be up and running in no time at all.