When engaging web designers or WordPress Developers, it is important to know that being a diverse & open source eco-system, there will be many types of providers who provide solutions to their end clients in various unique methodologies. It is important to know which type of web designer you are talking to so you will be able to make a better informed decision on engaging their services.
These folks are good in picking up premium themes and plugins from WordPress marketplaces and using them to provide as end solutions for their clients. Nothing wrong with this approach as long the process is transparent to everyone. At Thinking Notes, we began from this point too. It is ideal for this category of WordPress Configurators to have some competency in HTML and CSS so they will be able to ‘reverse engineer’ and tweak the themes accordingly to customize the appearance.
Pure Web Designers
To translate these into WordPress, some of them may not know the WordPress’s architecture well enough to make full use of the CMS’s features and they sometimes will work with more technical WordPress engineers to translate their designs into WordPress themes. This group of web designers usually put designs above everything else.
Technical WordPress Engineers
This group of technical specialists have totally understood the whole WordPress Hierarchy System and know actually where to put the code and how to use the Action & Filter Hooks to “correctly” customize WordPress in the “by-right” way.
Some of them may have already created their own WordPress Themes or Plugins. Some may prefer to work with WordPress Theme Frameworks like Genesis or Ultimatum to provide customized WordPress Solutions. Usually they are adept in PHP coding for backend logic processing and front-end java-scripting to create dynamic elements. They know how to customize and tweak plugin’s coding to customize certain functionalities.
They may not be as good in graphical designing as compared to the web designers. Combined, they are a lethal force that will develop a kick-ass WordPress website for you!
SEO / Digital Marketing Consultant
These folks may not understand anything in-depth about web designing or development. However, they do know a lot about marketing, advertisement and lead nurturing process. Their skills lie in strategy and writing catchy phrases to draw in attention.
Alone, they create websites that promote attention but may suffer in terms of branding and technical implementation depending on their skill level in other areas. Combined with Pure Web Designers and WordPress Engineers, they are the super SEO experts you need work together to grow your business through the digital arena.
There is a certain category of developers who are more hard-core in development and they specialize in languages such as PHP, Ruby, Python and NodeJS. They are more suitable to help you with developing a customized web application, rather than helping you to creating a website that is able to meet your strategic intentions.
These developers may choose not to dwell too much into WordPress, thus limiting their effectiveness in leveraging on what WordPress can do. If you compare technical development skills, they are most likely to be much more technical than WordPress Engineers. However if you need a customized application that extends the functionality of WordPress in an external web application platform, a combination of a hardcore developer and a WordPress Engineer will be perfect for the solution.
Depending on individuals’ preferences for learning and business strategies, there can be providers with a hybrid combination of the above mentioned skills. So take your time and find the correct provider. Remember, it is all about how the website can help you and the providers are there to fill in the gaps.
Sometimes it is better to take things slow than to make things wrong.