WordPress remains an undefeated champion amongst popular content management systems (CMS).
The platform is powerful, user friendly, and effortless. This attracts most businesses to opt for WordPress as their preferred CMS.
In fact, currently, over 1.7 billion websites have been published online. WordPress powers a massive 35.2% share of all of these websites.
In the face of such steep competition, hiring a professional WordPress developer for your website is a critical business move. You need the professional to build, maintain and manage your website for consistent smooth performance.
5 Ways to conduct effective WordPress developer test
Identifying the need to hire a developer is the first step.
However, the industry is littered with professional WordPress developers with varying skill levels.
You will need to have a valid system in place to verify the skill sets and attitude before you can welcome the professional aboard your team.
If you are not a technical person yourself, it should not deter you from setting up a thorough assessment for your potential WordPress developer.
Here we have curated five resourceful tips to not only test the skill set but also the personality and aptitude of your developer.
Building a skill test this way will help to validate whether they are a good fit for your project.
Let’s check out the details.
1. Assess your own needs
Before you can begin to set a technical assessment for your developer, you have to understand what you need from the professional for your project.
WordPress is a massive platform with multiple aspects. The platform can power a basic blog and just as easily manage a corporate website with several active pages.
However, the role that developer plays for each of these projects will be vastly different.
For basic projects, the assessment need not be too intrusive and can just focus on aptitude, decision-making,and medium-level skills. You need the professional to help build, manage and upgrade the website whenever necessary.
However, for large-scale web projects, you might need an assessment of WordPress coding, PHP skills, plugin knowledge, and basic designing skills to ensure that the professional is the ideal resource for your website maintenance.
This step is necessary to set the tone for your entire assessment plan. Technically complicated website requirements will naturally demand more technically advanced skills from the developer.
You will need to set your assessment to check particularly for the skill sets that your project needs from your potential web developer.
2. Conduct a target market analysis
The scalability and technical complexity of your website will depend largely on the current market trends.
If your niche has many competitors with large, information-driven websites, you will need to level up to that to compete for your market share.
Simultaneously, if your target market is expecting particular features for websites in your niche, you will need to incorporate them in your website project as well. For instance, food delivery websites will have completely different features compared to healthcare service websites.
Conduct a thorough analysis of your target market before you draft a project brief outlining your priority requirements from your web project.
This analysis can be simplified if you use a premade target market analysis template instead of struggling with a manual process.
You can share the project brief with your potential developers at the onset of the interview to introduce them to your project.
You can then set an assessment focusing heavily on the WordPress skill sets that are necessary to handle your specific project requirements.
This will streamline the assessment process and at the end of the session, you will hire a professional who is already familiar with your project style, and prepared to handle it at its core.
3. Draft a project brief
Before you start interviewing potential candidates for your project, you need to have a workable project brief.
When you interview your developer, you should be able to relay the exact requirements of the project. The developer might also have queries regarding your project and you should be available with an answer on the spot.
An efficient project brief will include the following elements
- Scope of the project
Under this category introduce the background of your website development briefly and outline your project expectations in a short summary. The developer should be able to gauge your project needs and the available time frame from this information.
- Buyer’s interaction
This category will cover the entire journey you expect your buyer to make from clicking on to your website to finalizing a sale. This will also help conceptualize the information structure for your website.
- Design assets
This should outline design trends in the market, your brand colors, design elements that you currently have on the website, and the new assets you want to incorporate in the layout.
- Brand message
The perspective of your brand should be clear from this category. Why your website exists, what are your business goals, target audience, and business intent, all of these points will help the developer understand the project at a fundamental level. This can also help them ideate for the website structure in the future.
4. Assess skills for WordPress development
Hiring a professional web developer is not unlike buying a high-powered sports car. In both cases, the investment is considerably high.
In addition, you might have no clue about the mechanics of the vehicle but your decision to buy will hinge on the fictional test drive.
In the case of hiring professional web developers, the skill test is the metaphorical test drive.
Once you have shortlisted the candidates for your project, conduct a test to further gauge their technical expertise to handle your requirements.
You can do this in multiple ways. You can set up a formal interview to look at their current online portfolios and assess their technical skills based on past projects.
However, this does not guarantee great results. This is because you have no idea of knowing whether the developer handled the past projects independently or as a part of a group.
Also, if the past projects are significantly different from your current projects, you will not have a clear idea of the skill sets that are important for your particular project.
Instead, set a chunk of your project as part of an active test module. This will help introduce the developer to the project technicalities while testing their skill on a realistic platform.
If you do not have a technical background, it should not deter you from setting up a skill assessment for potential candidates. You can use expert assessment tests available in the market and customize them to your project requirements.
The test results are authentic and experts approved which makes it easier to come to a correct hiring decision.
5. Schedule a formal interview
Once you have completed the skill tests, you still need to schedule a formal interview. You can either conduct it onsite or on a video call.
However, face-to-face interviews are important because you cannot rule out nonverbal communication as part of your assessment.
In fact, a study has proved that over 93% of our everyday communication is non-verbal.
These incorporate facial expressions, tone of voice, and eye contact during conversations.
Pay close attention to these communication cues when you conduct your interview. Apart from this, you also should have a technical discussion with your developer.
A skilled developer will not only be a technical resource but can also be a sounding board for validating potential design ideas based on their development potential.
Design an interview to put your candidate at ease and include questions particularly about their domain. Whether you are hiring a WordPress developer, a core WordPress developer or a plugin WordPress developer, your interview should be accordingly motivated.
At the end of the session, you should have a better understanding of the candidate, their work approach, their principles, and their communication process.
It will also help you during the team induction process after you hire the developer.
WordPress is a dynamic platform, which is constantly being upgraded to keep up with the market development.
Businesses cannot forego this platform. Consequently, it is also a popular training with web developers.
It makes it easy to find candidates trained in WordPress development. However, hiring the best developer for your project needs significant time and attention.
You cannot depend on routine tests and 5-second interviews to assess a core team member.
Since your entire website sustainability is severely dependent on your developer’s communication and technical skills, you should prioritize these when you set the assessment for the hiring process.
On the bright side, at the end of the interview, you will have better synergy with your developer, which will affect your project development positively.