I'm looking for an experienced WordPress developer to help address some issues with my site.
The backstory: Last year, I hired developers to build a WordPress site and migrate content from the custom Ruby CMS that powers my site, which averages around 30,000 visitors per day. The developers did a poor job on the WordPress site, setting up an unstable platform on a dedicated server, building in custom caching and functions that cause a number of other issues, and choosing some plugins that consume unreasonable amounts of system resources. The company closed shop before completing the project. I've since migrated the site to a Word Press-specialist host (WP Engine) but there are some conflicts that cause WP admin issues, including intermittent trouble with saving posts (this appears to be due to a conflict between WP Engine's caching system and a plugin called ACF Pro). The front end performance is OK, but some back-end things that are normally simple in WordPress -- like editing menus and widgets -- are difficult to manage due to the previous developer's plugin choices and design.
The need: I need an experienced developer to work through various issues so the site is compatible with WP Engine and functions well for front-end and back-end users, employs best practices with WordPress so core updates are as painless as possible, and eliminates or replaces problematic plugins while maintaining the site's features and functionalities. WP Engine offers staging and production environments so the developer can test within that specific environment. I plan to stay with WP Engine. I have another WordPress site hosted with them that averages 70,000 daily pageviews without issue under the same plan.
Some idiosyncrasies with the site:
+ The site currently uses a multilingual plugin called WPML that generates subdomains across various languages but adds unnecessary complexity, like the issues with menus and widgets being difficult to manage. I believe it would be better to switch from the single site WordPress setup with WPML to a multisite WordPress setup without WPML. But I'm can be persuaded the keep WPML with a sound argument.
+ For posts, we've added some custom fields for data (e.g. GPS coordinates, translator, checkboxes). These are largely handled by ACF Pro, but that plugin is apparently incompatible with WP Engine or at least our site on WP Engine (seems to be an ajax issue)
+ We have custom feeds that incorporate GPS coordinates and other variables entered via the post custom fields. These function fine in the current set up.
+ We have some redirects to handle legacy, pre-WordPress content urls. These function without issue in the current set up.
If this project goes well, we have some additional improvements we'd like to make to the site. That would be a separate project.
I would hope to have the initial project completed within a month of signing our agreement. Given the popularity of the site, we must avoid service disruption or data loss.
Some questions for a prospective developer:
- Have you troubleshot / worked on non-standard WordPress installations before?
- Have you worked with WP Engine before?
- Are you a sole operator or are you part of a team? If a team, would there be more than one person working on this project?