As a wordpress trainer/consultant, I tried my best to console a potential client as she cried in frustration because of the money and time she wasted on a outsourced wordpress project gone bad. Essentially, she had come up with a killer idea, decided to host it on a wordpress platform, and wound up going to 3 different overseas developers, and reached the end of her rope.
She had spent thousands of dollars on overseas wordpress programmers and still didn’t have a finished product.
Week after week she had to fight to get the smallest changes done, while effectively paying for items that seemed to never become complete. There was always one more thing, or an additional charge in order to get things done. When I looked over her project, it was worse than I thought. The first thing that popped out to me as a red flag was that the project was running on wordpress 3.5 – the latest version at the time was version 3.9.1. I told her that she should immediately make the developer update her site to 3.9.1 in order to maintain security and upward compatibility.
She said the response she got was “The site was secure so upgrading was not necessary”
Needless to say, we proceeded with a plan to get her away from this toxic situation and terrible wordpress developer.
Why is a WordPress Consultant Necessary in such Situations?
No matter what you may think about outsourcing a project to a foreign country, outsourcing has become a way to get coding done cheaply. With such glamorous claims of cheaply written software, many people are turning to this as a way to get wordpress websites and projects completed.
What can possibly go wrong?
In a nutshell, alot. While this is not necessarily limited to overseas projects, persons who outsource wordpress projects are at risk of paying more in the long run if they do not hire a wordpress trainer or consultant to help them plan and/or manage their project. Here are some reasons why:
Do you know how to communicate your wordpress site design and wordpress customizations to the developer?
Many times people go to developers with a high level idea of what they want. The problem is that there are many ways to attack a particular project. It is not necessarily in the developers best interest (outsourced or otherwise), to provide you with the quickest, or most optimal solution. A wordpress consultant can let you know whether or not your project is best suited for wordpress and translate your requirements into “developer speak” so that they will have clearly defined marching orders. This keeps you from having the developer go all the way around the bush to get your project finished. If you already have a good requirements document, they can proof it to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
Does the developer have the skillset you need?
A wordpress consultant can help you vet potential developers because they know the overall skillset that is needed for the job that you want done. If you need customized plugins, a multisite solution, or so on, a consultant can help you to get the right person for the job. They can even jump on a skype interview with you to help you get the right person.
Timeline for wordpress project completion anyone?
This was the main problem for the client above, “How do I know how long changes should take?” An unscrupulous developer can tell you it takes two weeks to create a custom post type when a wordpress consultant can let you know the real deal. Additionally they can tell you which plugins or themes you might be able to leverage in order to save you development cost, (which is the reason many people choose wordpress in the first place.)
A WordPress Consultant can help you plan for the future.
If you have future plans for your site a wp consultation can help you to have your project future ready. For instance, the above client’s developer would have been more than happy to leave her hanging with a website that ran on an outdated version of wordpress. This opened her up to security issues, non-upgradability, and denied her the benefit of very powerful wordpress editing features that have come out over the past year.
WordPress Consulting can also keep your developers using the best practices, such as the use of child themes, using custom post types and plugins where appropriate, proper use of hooks, and avoiding hard-coding of links. These practices protect you from having to pay even more later on because of sloppy code.
Essentially, a couple of hours of a consultants time, may save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in the end, and give you the site or application that you desire.
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