WordPress Development Company: How to Choose One for Your Projects

WordPress Development Company: How to Choose One for Your Projects

Trying to choose a WordPress development company for your project but unsure where to start?

Whether you’re building a complete WordPress website or you need help with a specific custom plugin or theme, you can find tons of great WordPress development companies to help make your dreams become a reality.

But how do you choose the right company for your situation?

In this post, I’m going to share some tips and tactics that you can apply in order to choose the best WordPress development agency for your specific needs. Then, once I go through those tips, I’ll share some of our recommendations for the best development companies, based on some real hard data.

The only thing that I’ll assume you have at least some idea about is the type of project that you want to implement. If you don’t, that’s step #1 – think about your needs and the goals for your project, as having that knowledge is essential to picking the right development company for your situation.

Once you have your project in mind, these nine tips will help you choose the right WordPress development company for your project…

Let’s dig in!

? Tips to choose a WordPress development company

These tips are not in any particular order, though I tried to start with some broader tips at the beginning. Here’s what you’ll be reading about:

⭐ Bonus: 10+ best WordPress development companies on the market

1. Look for relevant expertise

If you have a general project, such as a business brochure website, you might not need any expertise besides general experience with WordPress development.

However, if your project is narrower in focus, you’ll probably want to find a WordPress development company that has experience in your project’s area.

For example, if you’re building a membership site, you might want to look for a WordPress development company that has specific expertise in creating membership sites.

While any quality development company should be able to figure out how to create a membership website, companies with specific expertise might have deeper insights that can help ensure you get the smaller details right from day one.

Obviously, as you go more “niche,” you’ll have fewer options. But if you do some digging, you might be surprised by how “niched down” you can go when choosing a development company.

For example, Uncanny Owl focuses specifically on helping people develop courses powered by one specific LMS plugin, LearnDash. Because of that expertise, they can help you with customized dashboards, unique gamification tactics, and so on. If you are building an online course, that’s the niche-specific knowledge that you want to look for.

2. Check out the company’s portfolio

A company’s portfolio is a great way to get a feel for the type of projects that they can deliver.

Most WordPress development companies make it easy to browse their past work. Sometimes this might be a link to the live website, while, in other cases, it might be a page on the development company’s website that includes screenshots and details of the project.

Some development companies prefer the latter approach because it lets them present the project as they delivered it. On a live site, clients might make their own changes that cause negative effects, which puts the development company in a bad light even if they didn’t deliver the project that way.

Additionally, some development companies provide information on their thoughts and development processes while working on the project, which can be beneficial as it gives you some behind-the-scenes insights. You might see these called “case studies” instead of a portfolio.

An example of a WordPress development company portfolio

Whether it’s links to live websites or screenshots and case studies, the important thing is that you have some type of portfolio where you can see what their work looks like.

3. …but don’t look just at the portfolio

While the portfolio is certainly an important element in how to choose a WordPress development company (that’s why it was the previous point!), it shouldn’t be the only thing you look at.

First, it’s important to understand how that portfolio site came to be and who was responsible for various parts of the portfolio site.

For example, maybe you find the general layout okay, but you absolutely love the copywriting and imagery on the portfolio site. Well, if the copywriting and photography were done by a third-party provider, that’s not really a point in the development company’s favor (unless you know that those same companies will be handling your site).

So, when you’re thinking about all of those cool sites in the company’s portfolio, it’s important to ask questions such as how the site was developed and which parts of the site the development company was responsible for.

It’s totally fine for a development company to outsource tasks such as design or copywriting to third parties – you’ll just want to understand these details going in as they might affect your decision.

You also shouldn’t focus on just the design of the portfolio websites. Having a beautiful website is great, but not if it gets in the way of functionality. Go beyond design and also consider the nitty-gritty questions such as…

  • Is the site optimized for SEO?
  • Is the site optimized for conversions?
  • What is the user experience like on desktop and mobile?

4. Understand the company’s approach

Once you’ve begun zero’ing in on some potential development companies, you’ll want to start digging into the company’s approach.

Basically – how does the company approach working on a client project?

Is the company there to help in brainstorming first ideas? Or do they expect you to come with an almost-finished concept that the company can just implement for you?

If you have no idea where to get started, you’ll probably prefer the first approach. But if you already have an exact idea of what you want and you just need someone to make your vision a reality, you’ll probably prefer the second approach.

You might be able to find this information on the company’s website. If not, you might need to chat with sales a little to get a better feel for how the company approaches its projects.

For example, 10up clearly states on their website that they can help with everything from basic strategy to design and engineering:

Full-service strategy

5. Think about the size of the team

You can find a lot of variety when it comes to the size of WordPress development companies.

On one end, you have WordPress freelancers who do everything solo, or maybe farm a few tasks out to subcontractors where needed.

On the other end, you have WordPress agencies such as 10up or Human Made. These are massive agencies that have their own suite of custom enhancements and work with big organizations such as Disney, Microsoft, BBC, and so on.

The size of the agency will affect who you’re working with and potentially how much attention you get.

At smaller agencies, you might work directly with the founder and core team members. At larger agencies, you’ll almost certainly work through an account manager.

There’s no right or wrong answer here, but you’ll want to understand exactly who you’ll be working with and how you feel about the relationship.

6. Consider the availability of the agency

The last thing you want is to spend thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on a WordPress project and not be able to get in contact with anyone.

So, before you make a decision, you’ll want to understand how you’ll be able to contact the agency and who you’ll talk to.

Can you only use email? Or can you quickly get people on the phone or video call when needed?

What’s more, who is your point of contact? Do you have a dedicated account manager?

Some of these answers will depend on your budget. For a low-budget project, you shouldn’t expect to be able to call up an account manager whenever you want. But for larger projects, you’ll want to be confident that the company’s availability matches your expectations.

7. Think about timelines

If your development work is time-sensitive, it’s important to consider the completion timeline of the agency that you choose.

Some busy agencies might book months in advance, which means you’d need to wait to get started. Other agencies might be able to start working right away.

For time-sensitive projects, you’ll obviously want to make sure everything can be finished on time.

And, as with any project, make sure you also build in some wiggle room, as timelines can always expand if there are unforeseen circumstances.

Remember that timeline shifts aren’t always the development company’s fault, either. If you’re responsible for supplying content but you take too long supplying that content, your timeline could be shifted back as a result of your actions. And that brings me to the next point…

8. Understand what you’re responsible for

Before finalizing the project, you’ll want to understand exactly what you’re responsible for and what the development company is responsible for.

Basically, what information will you need to provide to move the project forward?

If you’re responsible for supplying the content, that might mean you need to hire a copywriter. The same holds true for images – you might need a photographer to take quality product shots (for eCommerce stores) or headshots (for service provider sites).

If you are responsible for providing certain details, make sure that you can handle that and get it done on time to keep the project moving forward.

9. Focus on value, not just cost

When you’re choosing a WordPress development company, it’s easy to focus on cost as the most important factor. However, that can be a flawed way of choosing a company.

Don’t get me wrong – cost is certainly an important metric. In a perfect world, you could ignore cost and just choose the best company. But in the real world, you probably have a budget, so cost will play a role in your decision.

But I would challenge you to not focus on cost alone. Instead, think about the value that each company offers.

If Company A costs 1.5X more than Company B but will build a website that you think will perform 2X better, Company A might offer better value even though their cost is higher.

Of course, you probably won’t be able to make these calculations so cleanly – it’s hard to know whether one company’s website will be 2X “better” than another company’s website.

But the basic idea here is that even if a company costs a bit more, that extra cost might be worth the money if the value is better when it comes to the final product, the support, the timeline, the availability, and so on.

? Best WordPress development company: our picks for the top agencies

Now that you know how to pick the right WordPress development company, let’s talk about some of your top options.

You can find hundreds of WordPress development companies all around the world. To help you go straight to the best ones, we have a curated list of the 10+ best WordPress development companies, as rated by their clients.

Here’s a quick peek at the companies, but I encourage you to read that post for more details about each company:

You can use this list as a starting point and then expand your search if needed, such as finding a development company with expertise in a specific area.

? Hire the right WordPress development company today

Hiring a WordPress development company is a big decision – this is going to be your partner in creating your website, plugin(s), and/or theme.

In this post, I’ve shared nine tips to focus your search and help you choose a partner that will set you up for success.

And again, if you’re ready to get started, our curated list of the top WordPress agencies is a great place to begin.

Finally, we also have some other posts that might help you get started with your WordPress development project:

Do you still have any questions about how to choose a WordPress development company? Give us a shout in the comments!

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Keep reading the article at ThemeIsle Blog. The article was originally written by Colin on 2021-11-11 06:47:06.

The article was hand-picked and curated for you by the Editorial Team of WP Archives.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the product, We may receive an affiliate commission.

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