According to a survey by Netcraft, over 400 million websites are using WordPress.
Given that it’s estimated there are over 1.3 billion total websites, that means WordPress accounts for about 20% of all self-hosted sites. With so many WordPress websites out there, it’s hard to get yours to stand out in the crowd.
Hiring a professional developer to do WordPress customizations for you is an excellent way to help your site shine brighter than your competitors. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about why you should get yourself a custom site and how to go about finding a designer that’s the best fit for you.
Why WordPress Customization Is Important
There are hundreds of free and premium WordPress themes to choose from in the marketplace. While almost all of these themes allow for customization, there’s only so much that can be done to make it unique.
A custom website design offers several benefits.
You’ll get the exact aesthetic and functionality that you want and need. If you’re running a digital and traditional marketing business, maybe you want one of your site pages to be specialized for video brochures. An expert designer can accommodate this.
Another great benefit is that a site designer can also remove all the excess options you don’t use on your site. By doing this, your page speed will increase. That’s a huge factor to take into consideration since page speed now affects your SEO ranking.
Another advantage of hiring a website designer is that you’ll be able to give input during the development process. If you run pay-per-click (PPC) ads on your site and want them positioned in exact locations, you’ll be able to let the developer know so they can incorporate that into the design.
All of this combines to help increase and drive traffic to your website. If you have a website with lush aesthetic, fast loading times, and is easy to navigate, then you’ll be far more likely to turn prospects into customers or to retain readers.
How to Find a Website Designer Right for You
Choosing a theme developer will take some research on your part. Designers are plentiful, but the skill level varies. Make sure you know what you’re getting before you invest time and money.
There are a few factors you should consider before you begin your search for a designer. You need to have a clear idea of what you want from your custom site.
Are you most interested in visual aesthetic? Is there a specific type of function you require for your website to have?
These questions are important because depending upon the answer, you may need a developer vs a designer. A developer can code your site and adjust functionality, but probably can’t design the theme. A designer can give you a beautiful theme with a gorgeous layout, but probably won’t be able to do any coding.
Once you have all that decided, move on to the interviewing process. Find out what their rates are, how much experience they have, an estimate for how long the job will take, and any other questions you can think up.
Remember, this is a working relationship. You want to make sure that communication is open and easy between you and the designer. If you don’t feel comfortable talking with the designer, then take it as a red flag and move on to the next prospect.
WordPress Customization: Manage the Design Project
Once you’ve hired a website designer, you’ll want to make sure you understand their development process. There are several milestones you can operate by to determine where the project is in the pipeline.
The first step will be finalizing what customizations you want made to your WordPress website. This is where you lay everything on the table and include every tiny detail you feel is important.
After that will come the development phase. The website designer will take your requests and begin working them into the design. The timetable for how long this process will take varies from designer to designer. However, they should be able to give you an estimate before they start.
Next will come the testing phase. You’ll likely be shown a preview of your website. Be sure to view it from both your desktop and a mobile device.
Viewing your website on a mobile device is especially important. Google has instated Mobile-First Indexing into its algorithm. What that means is that if the website loads slowly for mobile users, then Google will penalize your site by lowering its ranking.
Finally, if all goes well, you’ll approve the theme, and the designer will finish up any final touches. Then at long last, you’ll have a custom website up and ready for you to start using.
Expectations vs Reality
While you should hire a designer who will be able to deliver the results you want, remember they are human as well.
If you go in expecting to find someone who can build you a pretty website in a single day, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment and frustration. Quality takes time.
The timeframe for when your website is ready will depend upon a few variables, such as how complicated your requests are. The more features added to a site, the longer it takes to implement those.
Above all else, establish an open line of communication and remain consistent. This will help you to feel like you’re involved.
If you’re exchanging frequent emails with your designer, you’ll have less time to feel frustrated or impatient. Instead, you’ll know where the project is in its development and what specific feature is being worked on at the moment.
A Website to Impress
The look and functionality of a website are vital to pulling in views and keeping a person on your site pages. If the visuals are unappealing or the user experience is unfriendly and hard to navigate, you’ll risk losing customers or readers forever.
If you’re interested in WordPress customizations for your website, consider hiring Zelen Communications. We have over 20 years of experience thrilling our customers with quality work. We handle everything from improving your SEO to custom designing WordPress websites.
Contact us today to see how we can improve your website today.