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5 Key Questions to ask when looking for WordPress Web Design

Updated December 20, 2016
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Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, an SEO and Web Design company focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses, roofers and construction companies.

Doing WordPress web design is seriously an amazing job, because you help people take control of their digital marketing efforts, train them on how to wield their website effectively and show them how they can knock it out of the park.

The reason I love WordPress for this is because I know small businesses want to be able to edit content themselves, add new pages, and occasionally add-on a tool – which WordPress is perfect for because of the many hundreds of high-quality plugins that reputable developers have created for it.

That being said, not every WordPress web design company is the same. You want to ask the agency you’re vetting these key questions:

1. Are you going to use a purchased theme on my project? Why or why not?

There are situations where using a premium theme from a place like ThemeForest, makes perfect sense for a web design project, and I don’t look down on it all. However, there are absolutely times when this burden is unnecessary – they do increase load times generally because they are overly stocked with possible tools, half of which you’ll likely never use. So if you’re project is 10K or above, it’s unlikely your website should be using a ‘premium’ (or purchased) theme – not to say that’s never appropriate.

What’s the alternative? A custom, hand-coded theme made just for the purpose of your site. Perhaps based on a base theme that a developer uses to be nimble in their development practices, but without all of the intense options that are unnecessary for most projects but included in premium themes to appeal to people making the websites themselves. A valid point might be if you are attempting to do WordPress web design yourself, a premium theme might be the only option you’d have, short of spending 100’s hours learning to code.

2. How do you make sure the things I will need to edit on a regular basis are easy to edit for me?

The truth is – not every web developer thinks about this while making a website. You need to make sure your WordPress web design team is. By asking this question, you can start to lock them into making sure they create an editable backend for you and your team.

3. What are the key plugins that you’ll use on my project and why?

For example, a couple plugins I always use for my clients are Yoast SEO, Gravity forms – a super useful swiss army knife of forms, and Advanced Custom Fields Pro, which helps me quickly make editable fields for clients on the backend – while inserting what they edit directly into the websites templates. It’s slick.

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You’ll want to know what and why they are using these tools, because there should be an understanding that these types of add-ons it has, and why they are necessary.

4. Will you train me and one or two people on my team after you’re done with the website?

This is crucial! You don’t want to get done with your project and find out your on your own all of a sudden. Even though it might not be immediately after the project is done – you want to be prepared to make edits in the future. You want to own this vehicle for your digital marketing efforts.

5. How do you handle ongoing maintenance on the website, updates to WordPress core, and security?

Nail your WordPress web design team down to terms to work together in the future for little update projects, or perhaps a small monthly retainer to do upkeep, updates etc. Like I said, you don’t want to pay a WordPress web design team to do ongoing content edits, you’ll want to do that internally – but definitely for small design tweaks, tool add-ons or updates to WordPress core, theme and plugins.

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Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, an SEO and Web Design company focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses, roofers and construction companies.

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