Should I Hire a WordPress Designer, Developer, or Programmer?


Is it time to beef up your WordPress website with some advanced features and functionality? Or, are you more in the mood to develop a brand new website based on WordPress, but with a custom tailored design? This is when most people would hire a WordPress developer, but that might not be the best choice. The difference can be like hiring an architect to remodel your house, when what you really need is a contractor. Let’s take a look at the different types of people who work on WordPress sites, and you can decide which one best fits your needs. (Hint: the answer is easier than you might think it is.)

Which should I hire? Hire a WordPress Designer?

This might seem like a difficult decision, but you’ll soon see that it’s typically a relatively straightforward decision. The tricky part, which we’ll cover in the last half of this post, will be finding a good candidate to bring on board for your project.

When To Hire The WordPress Developer

This is, in essence, a WordPress architect. The WordPress developer has built or helped build many WP websites. He or she suggests and comes up with ideas, helps to implement and set up solutions, and works to integrate and modify existing sites.

Developers seldom take on custom programming jobs, so if you run a hair salon and want to add a booking functionality to your existing site, the WordPress developer will look for a premium booking plugin to install into your site. They’ll configure it for you, get it up and running, but they won’t program it from scratch.

That’s not to say they’ll never do any coding; sometimes, they do perform coding and design work. Other times, they let someone else do it for them, if they can’t find a plugin or template that fits the needs of the client. A good WordPress developer should know when it’s time to outsource the work.

Think of your WordPress developer as an architect, looking at the big picture and how to best meet any given goals. That might mean custom programming, or it might mean using ready-made premium plugins and code. The best WP developers know which is the right course of action.

When To Hire WordPress Programmers?

A general programmer with some experience with WordPress: that’s a WP programmer, in a nutshell. If a developer is an architect, the WordPress programmer is like a brick-layer. If you’re really advanced in WP yourself, you might work directly with a programmer to instruct him or her on what lines of code to write, but you’ll usually encounter this type of person by way of your WordPress developer.

In fact, it’s usually smarter to hire a developer first, and then let the developer decide whether or not a programmer needs to come on board. In quite a few projects, it will actually be better and less expensive to make use of existing plugins and themes, rather than reinventing the wheel.

hire a wordpress designer

When To Hire A WordPress designer

A designer with some knowledge of turning a concept into an actual WordPress theme that you can install, a WordPress designer is a good fit if you just want to refresh the user experience of your website without changing the functionality. Bottom line, most hire a WordPress designer for tasks they aren’t capable of completing so be careful.

How can I find the best developer?

So, now you should know that you really need to hire a WP developer for most jobs, and let him or her decide who else to bring into the mix. The next question is how to find a good one. There are plenty of ways to vet developers by quality, price, and availability, but this myriad of choices makes it hard to know where to get started.

Freelancer sites and job boards

There are hundreds of different freelance sites on the Internet, most of which have piles upon piles of “WordPress developers.” The problem is one of filtering out the wheat from the chaff, the good from the bad. Quite frankly, the overwhelming number of choices usually ends up being a hassle instead of a benefit. If you absolutely must use a freelancer marketplace, avoid the generalized ones like Elance, Freelancer, and Guru. Instead, look at WordPress-specialized freelancer markets.

  • Smashing Jobs is one of the best known web development magazines, and has a great audience for finding WordPress developers. It ain’t cheap, but it’ll do a good job for you.
  • The official WordPress job board is easy to use, and you will be able to readily find someone who can complete your project for you.
  • A platform that specializes in WordPress developers, WP Hired features every kind of job related to WordPress, including development and design.

Ask for recommendations and references

If you have a friend who has hired out a lot of WordPress work, ask them for recommendations. If not, browse around the web and find sites you like, then use the code footers to find out who developed the website for them. If it’s not a competitor’s site, you might even contact them directly and ask them who did their WordPress development for them.

Development agencies

You can also look into web design agencies that specialize in WordPress. This is more expensive, but it’s the most straightforward path to take. Just make sure you look closely at their portfolios, and choose an agency that will do the best job for you. Anabolic Technology is different, though. We offer the same services for half the cost of the more expensive design agencies. Not only that, we have a proven and tested 6 step process in building high quality websites and an easy to use project management system.


Hopefully, this article has helped you determine that A) You really need to hire a WordPress developer (or just a designer, if all you need is a cosmetic refresh), and B) Freelance job sites and recommendations aren’t very effective at finding a great WP developer. Of course, if you want the best in the business, the bottom line is that you should hire Anabolic Technology to do the work for you. We provide a full range of services, and we offer them at half the cost of most of our competition.

About Richie Contartesi

Richie Contartesi is an online enthusiast with experience building a revenue generating online presence for businesses yielding a maximum return on their time and investment.

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