When I started on this technology adventure over 16 years ago it was clear that clients didn’t know the questions they needed to ask those they were trusting with their online program. Back in the day you had “Web Designers” who barely knew how to effectively use their FrontPage software let alone all the other variables and coding skills that were necessary to ensuring they had their client’s backs covered.
Fast forward to now and I see the same thing happening. WordPress Consultants are popping up everywhere you turn — many because they were able to easily create their own WordPress site, therefore, they decided to be a “consultant.” In reality these well intentioned folks just know a tad bit more than their potential customers therefore sounding like experts. The fallout from these experiences contact me every day.
Then there are the real experts who are too busy, too arrogant, too wrapped up in their own little world that they are also not doing right by those who have entrusted them with the design, development and support of their online program. Surprisingly I get frustrated potential clients contact me after feeling “jilted” by these individuals on a regular basis. What a shame… This gives us all a black eye.
As in the beginning the onus is on the client to determine who really knows their stuff and who will be there when they need them. This is called due diligence and now with every penny counting more than ever, it is more important than ever for clients to carefully jury those they plan on hiring.
While there is a certain amount of blind trust that goes into hiring any consultant, because you cannot verify every single word or claim on their Web site, you can ask the following handful of questions to minimize any surprises down the road.
5 Questions to Ask Your Potential WordPress Consultant
- How long have you worked with WordPress?
The longer the better. WordPress has been evolving like crazy for the last several years and you want to look for someone whose been along for that ride. This helps with theme functionality, code or plugin conflict resolution and so much more. Look at the Consultant’s site and judge accordingly. You can double-check their longevity by doing a WhoIs search at any domain registrar for their domain name to see when they registered it. This can be a clue that can help put the length of experience into perspective.
- Can I review your Terms of Service?
This document should be online and available to potential new clients for review when asked for. It should spell out everything you need to know about time frames, payments and processes so you know exactly what you are getting and what to expect. Any questions after your review need to be answered to your satisfaction — or move on.
- What type of business and SEO support will you offer during the development process?
There are WordPress Developers and WordPress Consultants. Two different types of service are offered by the two. Those who help create your custom site design while in “tell-and-do” mode without offering tips, coaching and guidance on issues that can determine your site’s usability and effectiveness are developers — not consultants. You need to understand this important distinction so that you can set your expectations accordingly.
- What level of personalized WordPress training will you provide?
Will your WordPress Consultant take the time to guide you on how to best use your new site’s features and functionality? If this level of support is important to you, don’t settle until you find the individual that meets your needs.
- How do you handle post-launch support when WordPress, themes and plugins update?
WordPress is constantly being upgraded and tweaked both for functionality, ease of use and security reasons. What happens when WordPress, themes or plugins update? Do they update the custom theme they created for you proactively when a WordPress update necessitates they do so? Are there fees involved? You need to seek out a WordPress Consultant who can guide you on what needs to be considered when updates occur so your site remains up-to-date and functional.
E-mail the WordPress Consultant you are taking under consideration about the above and see how they respond. Do they respond promptly, professionally and with detail or in a day or two with a generic response? This initial inquiry in of itself will be very telling on what you can expect moving forward.
By taking the time to carefully review a potential WordPress Consultant’s Web site combined with asking the questions above, you can ensure you know what you are getting for your hard earned dollars.
At your service,