Hiring a WordPress developer is a big decision. From weighing up the cost to evaluating their impact on your team, hiring the right WordPress developer can be an overwhelming process.

That said, when you do find the right match for your team — it’s always worth it! 

So, how can you ensure you get it right the first time? 

To help, the UnlimitedWP team is here with 5 essential interview questions to help you assess the skill level of your WordPress developer, and ensure they’re the perfect fit for your team.

Q 1: What’s Your Process for Creating Custom WordPress Themes from Scratch?

WordPress projects demand meticulous planning and a user-centric approach — something many WordPress developers will claim to be great at, but might not actually be able to deliver on. 

That is why digging a little deeper into your WordPress developer’s skills is vital. By assessing their process for creating custom WordPress themes, you can establish how well they align with not just your in-house operations, but also every client you serve.

When it comes to custom theme development, here are some signs that your developer’s approach is professional, efficient, and in line with your needs:

  • Comprehensive discovery phase: Your developer’s discovery process should involve gaining an early understanding of client requirements, user personas, and project objectives.
  • Wireframing and prototyping: A professional WordPress developer’s approach to custom projects should include clear documentation of site structure, layout, and initial design concepts before development begins.
  • Scalability considerations: The most talented WordPress developers will always be thinking ahead, incorporating features, and design elements that allow the theme to scale with your client’s evolving needs.
  • Mobile responsiveness: The perfect WordPress developer for your business will need to be in touch with modern technology, integrating responsive design principles across various devices.
  • Quality assurance protocols: Your WordPress developer should value quality as much as you do, which means thoroughly testing procedures, and resolving potential issues before the site launch.
  • Client collaboration: Professional WordPress developers will also be great project managers. Their skills will be used in handling client feedback, and collaborating throughout the theme development process.
  • Post-launch support: Your WordPress developer should also be open to offering support and updates post-launch to address any unforeseen issues or client requests.

Tip: Whether you opt for a freelance WordPress developer or make your new hire a permanent addition to your team, everyone will have a different way of working. That said, it’s still important that your new hire can effectively collaborate with your existing teams, and align their skills to match your company values and goals.

Q 2: How Do You Approach Plugin Development Projects?

Understanding your developer’s proficiency in creating custom WordPress plugins is not only a good gauge of their skills, but it’s also crucial for ensuring seamless integration, and minimizing the risk of errors. 

With a focus on compatibility, effective integration, and custom requirements, your web developer should be able to discuss their ability to avoid challenges in areas like:

  • Code efficiency: This involves writing clean, efficient code to optimize plugin performance.
  • Version compatibility: This ensures that custom plugins are compatible with different versions of WordPress to avoid potential conflicts.
  • Integration with third-party tools: This demonstrates experience in seamlessly integrating plugins with third-party tools, and exercising advanced problem-solving skills.
  • Performance optimization: This involves implementing plugins that enhance website performance without compromising on speed.
  • Security measures: This ensures developers are prioritizing the security of custom plugins to protect against vulnerabilities and potential threats.
  • User-friendly configuration: This lends itself to a more intuitive interface design for easy client management and configuration.
  • Regular updates and maintenance: This showcases a commitment to providing updates and ongoing maintenance for plugins to address emerging issues.

Q 3: Where Does WordPress Security Fall on Your List of Priorities?

In today’s increasingly ‘switched-on’ society, cybersecurity and data compliance are non-negotiable. Especially for digital agencies or businesses working with multiple clients, bad security practices can cause not only reputational damage, but also lead to legal action.

That is why assessing your developer’s commitment to data integrity and compliance is vital to protecting your business and clients.

To evaluate how well-versed they are in data security standards, we recommend investigating their approach to:

  • Risk mitigation strategies: Try to gain a deeper understanding of how proactive your WordPress developer is in terms of identifying and mitigating potential security risks. This should involve strong familiarity with industry standards like HIPAA, GDPR, and other relevant data protection regulations.
  • Encryption practices: Implementing strong encryption protocols for data transmission and storage is essential for safeguarding sensitive information. Your WordPress developer should know how to utilize secure communication channels, like HTTPS, to protect user data during interactions.
  • User authentication protocols: As a digital agency or fast-paced business owner, it’s essential important to ensure that robust strong user authentication processes are implemented to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information. Your WordPress developer should be able to discuss the value of two-factor authentication and other strategies aiming to cut down on security risks.
  • Monitoring and incident response: By asking a WordPress developer to describe their approach to continuous monitoring, you can gauge how seriously they take suspicious activity, and how proactive their incident response strategy is. Having a well-defined plan in place for handling security incidents can prevent long-term damage in the event of a data leak or hack.

Q 4: Which of the Latest WordPress Features Excite You the Most?

To ensure their work remains at a consistently high standard, dedicated WordPress developers will naturally keep themselves informed about the latest WordPress trends, and update their services accordingly.

Chat with potential WordPress developers about what WordPress features and additions they find most beneficial, and you’ll uncover where their passions lie, how client-focused their work can be, and how agile they are in terms of adapting to new technologies.

As part of this discussion, look out for:

  • Proactive learning: WordPress is always evolving, and the best WordPress developers will demonstrate a commitment to learning by attending WordPress webinars, conferences, or training sessions.
  • Adaptability to change: A developer who embraces change is more likely to quickly integrate new features, improving your site’s user experience and competitiveness.
  • Client-centric feature adoption: Prioritizing end-user satisfaction not only leads to higher retention rates, but also encourages engagement and creates additional revenue opportunities.
  • Ability to think ahead: A developer with a vision for the future helps your website stay relevant by incorporating features that stand the test of time and match user expectations.
  • Problem- solving skills: A creative use of new features and a track record of overcoming challenges can highlight a developer’s ability to efficiently provide solutions for your specific requirements.
  • WordPress community involvement: Active participation in the WordPress community reflects a commitment to best practices, ensuring your website meets industry standards and security measures.
  • Approach to inclusion and accessibility: Prioritizing inclusion, web accessibility, and usability features enhances the overall user experience, making your clients’ websites more professional, and appealing to a broader audience.

Tip: Before you hire WordPress developers for a specific project, be sure to outline the level of specialization your WordPress site might require. Permanent contract or freelance WordPress developers can have different niches, so always pinpoint what you’re looking for before hiring WordPress developers.

Q 5: How Do You Handle Client Feedback?

In web development, technical skills are crucial. But, pairing them with effective communication skills is equally important! Without good project management and communication skills, your projects will likely fall short of the mark. 

Some early signs that a WordPress developer can handle client feedback and adapt their services to align with client needs include:

  • Active listening: A developer who actively listens to client feedback demonstrates a commitment to understanding client expectations, and getting ahead of emerging issues.
  • Clear communication: Effective communication is key. A developer should be able to convey complex technical information in a clear and understandable way to clients.
  • Respect for timelines: A professional WordPress developer should always value project timelines, and adjust their strategies based on client feedback to meet deadlines.
  • Constructive feedback handling: Look for signs that the developer not only receives feedback gracefully, but also acts on it to deliver exceptional results.

Navigating the Future of WordPress Development

As you tackle the process of hiring a WordPress developer, these questions can help guide you in the right direction. But, if you’d like to take things one step further, and alleviate the pressure of finding the right match for your business, consider partnering with UnlimitedWP.

UnlimitedWP gives you instant access to over 100 WordPress experts. And, with over 5000 successfully completed WordPress projects, we know a thing or two about how to help you get the most from WordPress.

Experience how hassle-free WordPress projects feel with our white label WordPress development services.

Book a demo call today to find out more!