How to Find a Great Web Developer for Your Membership Site or Online Business

How To Find A Great Web Developer FT

If you’re using WordPress for your membership site or online business then there are lots you can do to improve your website without touching a line of code.

Thanks to the almost countless amount of themes and plugins available for WordPress, you can make your website look and function in nearly any way that you like, simply by uploading a few files.

However, sometimes your requirements can’t be met with an off-the-shelf solution for WordPress. When that situation arises, one option is to hire a web developer to help you create the perfect platform for your membership site or online business.

As WordPress and its plugins and themes are very flexible, even if you’ve already installed a plugin like MemberPress to add membership functionality to your site, or activated a theme you bought online, you can still hire a web developer to adjust those products to meet your needs.

If that sounds like something that could benefit your project, this guide will show you how to find a great web developer for your membership site or online business.

How to Find a Great Web Developer

As we're about to see, there’s much more to finding a great web developer than simply contacting people with certain skills or experience.

By following the advice in this guide, you should be able to find the person who’s right for your project and is able to deliver exactly what you need.

So let's get started with our first piece of advice for finding the right web developer for your membership site or another type of online business.

Be Clear On Your Objectives

One common way for a web development project to falter, or even fail, is a lack of clarity on what you're trying to achieve.

If your objectives are vague, then it will not only be hard to find the right person to carry out the required development work but you probably won’t be happy with the end results.

However, if you can clearly define your goals, such as adding a specific new feature to your membership site, or updating the design of your site to work more efficiently with smartphones, for example, you’ll be able to ensure that you hire someone with the necessary skills and experience.

Not only that but having a clear outline of your requirements means that the web developer you hire will also know exactly what they need to do.

Without clearly defined goals, you increase your chances of hiring someone who’s unable to complete the project. You’re also less likely to end up with what you want, and the developer won’t be able to work independently, as they won’t have a clear idea of your vision for the project.

Decide on a Hiring Format

Once you’ve planned out the project in detail, you can start thinking about hiring a developer.

One point to consider is whether you’d like to hire someone on a one-time basis, or as part of an ongoing arrangement.

If you feel like your membership site or online business requires you to have a web developer on hand at all times should something go wrong with your website, or should some urgent improvements need implementing, then you must check the long-term availability of any developers you consider.

This doesn’t mean you need to hire the developer to become a full-time member of staff.

You could instead hire them for a set number of hours a month. Alternatively, you could just check to make sure they're planning to work as a freelance developer for the foreseeable future.

On the other hand, if you just need someone to add a minor new feature to your membership site or redesign a small part of your theme, then you might not be so concerned about the ability to work together on a long term basis.

As we’ll see soon, there are lots of options for hiring web developers for your membership site, so you really can come to almost any working arrangement.

However, again, you will need to be clear on what you want before you start talking to potential hires to avoid issues arising down the road.

Things to Consider Before Hiring a Web Developer

Now that you know who you’re looking for and what type of contract or hiring arrangement your project requires, it’s time to start looking for a suitable web developer for your membership site or online business.

Once you start looking, you’ll probably soon realize that there’s a large number of web developers out there who would like to work on your project, with some of them more suitable than others.

So to help you filter the potential candidates, here are some things considerations that can help you find the right person.

Local or Remote Hire

Depending on your preferences, you might want to work with someone local, who you can meet up with in person. You might instead be happy hiring someone based outside of your local area or even in another country, who will work remotely on your project.

Neither option is better than the other, but they do have their pros and cons. For example, if working with a local developer is important to you, then you might find your options are limited, depending on where you live.

However, if you’re happy to work with anyone from anywhere, you’ll find there are more candidates available to you. Not only that, but depending on where you live, you might find it more affordable to hire someone from a country with lower wages.

The places where you can find web developers that we’ll soon cover in this guide will simplify the process of hiring and working with people from around the world.

Work with an Individual or an Agency

Another hiring decision to make is whether you want to hire an individual directly or go through a web development agency. You might have no preference, but, again, there are pros and cons to each approach.

Working with an individual might be more cost-effective, as they may charge lower rates due to reduced overhead compared to running an agency. Also, if you choose to hire an individual web developer, you would be in contact with them directly, reducing the chain of communication, and hopefully making it easier to get your message across.

On the other hand, while working through an agency might be more expensive, you'll have more resources at your disposal. For example, if the original developer assigned to your project becomes unavailable, the agency should be able to hand the project over to another member of their team.

Furthermore, agencies often have a member of staff whose role is liaising with clients and then communicating the client’s requirements to the development team. While this does increase the chain of command, it can be beneficial, as some independent developers might not be the best communicators.

A middle option, should you just want to have a few small development tasks completed on your website, would be to sign up to a WordPress website maintenance service. For a monthly fee, you’ll be able to request small jobs be carried out by their teams of developers.

Ask for References and Check Portfolios

Once you start making contact with developers or agencies, it’s vital that you ask for references and check the previous work that’s been completed.

While written testimonials are helpful, being able to contact past clients yourself can be invaluable when it comes to vetting potential candidates.

When looking at the previous projects candidates have completed, make sure the work is relevant to your project. Try not to be impressed by projects that aren’t related to yours, no matter how good they look.

Interviews Good; Paid Tests Better

As mentioned earlier, some individual developers might not be the best communicators, but they could still be great people to work with. So while you should interview any potential candidates, either via Skype or email, don’t make a final decision based solely on your interactions.

In many cases, hiring the developer to complete a small task will give you the best idea as to whether they’re right for your project. Avoid the temptation to ask them to complete the task for free, as many of the best and most in-demand developers will refuse to do this, and you could, therefore, be missing out on the ideal candidate.

Where to Find a Great Web Developer for Your Membership Site

With all the above taken into consideration, it’s time to start looking for a developer for your membership site or online business. Here are some places you can find them:

  • Codeable – Get in touch with WordPress developers who have been vetted by Codeable. This is a great option for launching or starting a project on your membership site.
  • MemberFix – subscribe to a plan that will give you a set number of hours of access to a team of expert membership site developers. This is a great option to keep your membership site well maintained.
  • Upwork – You can either write a job description and wait for applications, or contact developers directly.
  • Freelancer – This site works in the same way as Upwork but with a smaller pool of workers.
  • Craigslist –  This site can be a great resource for finding local developers.
  • WordPress Jobs – This is a great place to post job adverts when looking for a WordPress developer.

Of course, there are many more places to look, but the above should provide you with lots of candidates to consider.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you now have enough information to decide who you’d like to hire, and you're ready to go about finding the right person for the job.

Whether you want to hire someone to build a new membership site from scratch or improve the functionality of your existing online business website, there’s sure to be countless developers out there who can help.

What sort of developer are you looking for? Please let us know in the comments below.

Categories: Advice
About Joe Fylan

Joe uses WordPress to create websites of all types and loves sharing his experiences of using this software with other users. If you need a steady stream of great content for your website, or you want the latest WordPress news and reviews check out his writing services and WordPress blog.

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