WordPress is the most popular CMS with a market share of 65.2%. Its flexibility and robustness make it the go-to solution for any business need. You can choose from a wide array of themes and plugins to build a functional website easily. But unless your site performs in the digital market, it will fail to drive profit.
A website needs to offer a superb user experience to rank on the SERPs. It must be well-designed, load super fast, and be strongly internally linked. That’s where WordPress developers help. They leverage their expertise to create user-friendly and optimized sites that compete online.
In this article, we discuss five skills that you must look for in a WordPress developer. These will help you entrust your website development to a professional who is up to date with the CMS best practices.
1. Well-Versed in Programming Languages
Hence, you must assess the expertise of a WordPress developer for each of them. Though it is not essential to be a pro at every programming language, developers must have sufficient knowledge to successfully tackle new updates and modifications to existing website features.
2. Competency in Build Tools
Build tools automate tasks like compiling, linking, and packaging the code into an executable form. This saves developers from the ordeal of performing lengthy tasks that are both repetitive and time-consuming. Further, build tools boost developers’ productivity by helping them efficiently manage:
- The process of downloading and managing dependencies.
- The execution of commands, based on dependencies.
- The parallel running of commands to improve execution time.
- Continuous Integration (CI).
A deep understanding of build tools is crucial to create high-performing WordPress websites in no time. While it is impossible to be an expert at every tool in the market, look out for a developer who is competent at CodeKit, Gulp, Grunt, and Roots.
3. Experience with Custom-Made Blocks
The Gutenberg editor popularized custom-made blocks in 2018. These are web page elements like paragraphs, headings, and media that divide them into smaller chunks. Blocks have their own formatting options that make the entire editing process flexible and manageable.
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Developers can modify blocks’ sizes, colors, and positions to exert control over the entire page, not just its content. The knowledge of custom-made blocks enables WordPress developers to design websites for the best user experience.
Hence, be sure to check upfront if your potential hire has experience with the Gutenberg editor. Otherwise, you may end up with a website that does not rank on the SERPs.
4. Expertise in Version Control
Version control systems (VCS) are tools to track and manage software codes. These allow developers to monitor the changes made to a project’s source code by others. By deploying them, developers can watch out for wrong modifications in the source code and keep it safe from damage.
All they have to do is compare the earlier versions and roll back the wrong edits. There is no time wasted on going through and carefully reverting the code. Hence, version control software helps developers work both faster and smarter.
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If you want to reduce development time and ensure successful deployments, consider a WordPress developer expert in version control tools like Git. It is a distributed VCS that is free and open source. Working with a developer adept at version control software, you will have:
- Access to the full change history of every file on the project.
- Option to connect the change to bug tracking software such as Jira.
- Facility to verify that the changes are not in conflict with each other.
5. Proficiency in Command Line Tools
Command line tools like WP-CLI allow WordPress developers to add/remove users, posts, and categories from a console. Without logging into WordPress or using an FTP client, they can insert test data, search/replace it in the database, and troubleshoot performance issues.
They have to simply type the code in the command line. The end result for developers is a streamlined and efficient workflow.
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WP-CLI is an open-source project that’s well-documented and full of sample usage cases. Though originally intended for Linux’s command line, it is now available for most operating systems, including Windows and macOS. However, one prerequisite is that your web host should support WP-CLI.
A WordPress developer proficient in command line tools can bring down your project’s development time by a notable amount. Hence, check this skill before availing of their WordPress development services. Two specific benefits that you can expect are:
- Automation of time-consuming and repetitive tasks.
- Greater control over the project execution.
The key to success in the online marketplace is a well-built website. It will not perform in the SERPs without the best build tools, editor, version control software, and command line tools for WordPress.
Hence, you need to find a developer who is competent at both coding and the latest technology in the industry. Remember the above skills when hiring a WordPress developer and give your business dreams sturdy wings!