Writing a Job Description to Find a Great WordPress Developer

Writing a Job Description to Find a Great WordPress Developer

So you want to hire a WordPress developer—how can you attract a top developer to build your WordPress-powered site? Writing a clear and concise job description explaining who and what you need is an important first step in getting your project off the ground—and this post is here to help.

The key to writing a great WordPress job description is knowing as much as possible about what you want out of your site. This will help you find the WordPress developer who can handle your specific requirements, whether those stick more to simple integrations and out-of-the-box themes or get more complex with custom PHP code, advanced custom fields, or a tailored theme. While WordPress can be a pretty turn-key content management system (CMS), depending on your needs it can also be notoriously complex to build and build well.

In this article we’ll do a quick overview of the WordPress CMS and provide you with a general framework for writing a job description to help you find the right developer for your needs.

What does a WordPress developer do?

Using a mix of CSS, Sass, HTML, JavaScript, and PHP (and sometimes a framework like Genesis), a WordPress developer takes a basic WordPress install and builds onto that foundation to create whatever you need from your site. At the heart of the WordPress platform is its easy-to-use administrative dashboard, the portal where you, the client, can update and maintain your site’s content.

Functionality can be also added with widgets, themes, plugins, and API integrations. But often, clients need more from their sites—more complex interactivity, filtering, etc.

As with any profession, it helps to have a framework for what you should expect to see in the typical WordPress developer’s skillset:

  • Web fundamentals like PHP, HTML, JavaScript, and CSS
  • CSS preprocessors like Sass or LESS
  • Graphic and responsive design skills
  • MySQL database programming (the WordPress default database)
  • JavaScript and JS-based build tools like Grunt
  • A Git repository like GitHub or GitLab
  • Libraries like jQuery for additional interactivity
  • A WordPress framework like Genesis
  • Experience with plugins
  • API integrations like Zapier, Twilio, etc.

Defining your WordPress project

Whether you need a simple landing or a powerful, multi-site install, it’s important to find a WordPress developer who is well-suited for your project. Hire an overqualified developer for a simple site that requires no CSS or PHP code and you might go over budget; hire a developer who can’t handle more difficult functionality and you might end up with a site that doesn’t meet your needs, or requires too many security-compromising plugins that leave you vulnerable and with a clunky backend. A skilled WordPress developer knows just how to fine-tune the platform to be easy-to-use, secure, scalable.

A clearly defined project lets you write a clear and concise job post, which can help you attract the right web developer to your project. The first step to defining your project is to figure out what you need from your WordPress site. The more you can provide up front, the less likely you are to run into roadblocks and go over time and budget.

Start with a rough list of the pages, any specific functionality you need, how many people will need access to the site, what content you want to be able to update, and the complexity of your data needs, if applicable. Providing a very general idea of what functionality you need will allow a developer to suggest possible solutions, whether those are plugins, APIs, or custom coding. Be prepared for the developer to come back with plenty of questions about functionality before things get kicked off.

Also, think into the future of your site. Even though you may not have the budget or time to accomplish a specific idea now, include it now because it could affect how the developer builds the site in terms of scalability. This could prevent you having to rethink the build of your site down the line should you want to add in new features.

Then, consider design—have you picked out a theme? Do you need a site that reflects strict brand standards with a from-scratch design? Do you need responsive design? What about related tasks of SEO, etc.? This can give you some direction on the level of experience (junior, intermediate, or senior) you should look for in a potential developer.

Writing a WordPress project description

Now that you’ve clearly defined your project, it’s time to write that project description. The way you write a description will determine the quality of developer that you’ll attract. It’s important to be concise yet detailed enough so developers interested in your project can submit proposals with fairly accurate cost and time estimates.

The first step of any project description is to write a title that grabs the attention of the developer you’re trying to reach. The title should mention the type of site you’re building and the category of your business.

The main body of your project description should provide a rough overview of your project. Describe what you’re trying to accomplish with your site, listing the specific skills, languages, frameworks, and other technologies you are looking for. This is a good place to attach wireframes, mockups, creative briefs—any documentation that can communicate your vision to potential applicants. You may also want to mention an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) if one is required.

The final part of a good project description is to touch upon your desired development schedule and deliverables—any designs, documentation, or testing that’s required.

Sample project description

Below is a sample of how a project description may look. Keep in mind that many people use the term “job description,” but a full job description is only needed for employees. When engaging a freelancer as an independent contractor, you typically just need a statement of work, job post, or any other document that describes the work to be done.

Title: WordPress Developer and Designer for a Multisite Restaurant Install – 3 Sites
Description: We’re looking for an intermediate WordPress developer to help build three websites for our three restaurants on the same install so each dashboard can be accessed from the same admin site. We need the ability to frequently update our menus, events calendars, and would like the ability to display our Instagram feed prominently in the design. We’d like to use the same cloned theme across all three sites with shared global elements and adjustments to logos, color schemes, and content for each. We’ll also need hosting set up and are looking for excellent performance so are open to suggestions about providers.

The right developer will have experience in the following:

Experience integrating Single Platform (or similar) custom menus
Graphic design, photo editing, and theme editing
Previous work with restaurant industry preferred

Project Scope & Deliverables:

Our launch deadline is 6 months (mm/dd/yyyy). We will need the following three deliverables:

Deliverable #1 by (date)
Deliverable #2 by (date)
Deliverable #3 by (date)

About Us:
We are Four Amigos Restaurant Group, owners of X, Y, and Z restaurants in the Springfield area.

To ensure you’ve read the entirety of this message, please include the name of your favorite song alongside your portfolio in your reply.

*Note all company names and dates, were created solely for the use of this example.

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