A WordPress developer is a web developer who works within WordPress to optimize the platform for a company or client.
WordPress developers should be adept at working with new WordPress products, plugins and themes. They must also be able to troubleshoot, redesign, and structure elements of the site, and be competent at computer programming.
Businesses using WordPress either as their main website, or as a microsite, may wish to hire a WordPress developer to ensure they’re equipped to deal with any issues that may arise, as well as make use of all of the features and plugins that can help their website stand out from the crowd and convert leads.
This article will give you a clearer idea of the skills, abilities and competencies you should be assessing when hiring a WordPress developer. It will also help you to streamline and improve your recruitment process so you hire the best prospective candidate for the role.
What should a WordPress developer be able to do?
A WordPress developer is primarily there to ensure the smooth running of a WordPress site. To do this, they should know WordPress inside out.
WordPress has been designed with ease of use in mind, but a WordPress developer can offer extra peace of mind to a client or business by providing support for the more technical aspects of building and maintaining a site.
This can include migrating an existing site onto WordPress, securing the site, backing up data, fixing any issues, doing advanced customizations and even sharing skills with less tech-savvy colleagues so they can make better use of the site’s functionalities.
A good WordPress developer should be able to create custom themes and plugins to help elevate a website, and ensure it’s different from that of its competitors.
They should also be able to demonstrate an understanding of Google Analytics, basic SEO principles and the best ways to optimize the site to increase traffic, conversions and/or leads.
Skills to look for in a WordPress developer
Every applicant in your hiring process will need to demonstrate a set of core skills to prove they have the experience and knowledge required to be a strong WordPress developer. We recommend assessing these particular skills to help you find strong candidates:
PHP Coding: WordPress developers must demonstrate knowledge and experience using PHP — the code in which WordPress is written. Without this skill, a candidate would be unable to meet the basic requirements of the role.
Confidence in using web analytic tools: most developers will need to show they understand how to use web analytic tools such as Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager. This skill will help them optimize the site to perform better.
Office Suite: as with most desk-based roles, confidence in using the Office suite would be really beneficial. Day-to-day tasks using Office may include sending emails and scheduling meetings in Outlook, sharing performance results in PowerPoint, or tracking data in Excel.
Problem solving: good web developers are problem solvers by nature. They’ll be able to keep calm under pressure, and use their innate logic to work through challenges to offer sensible solutions.
Error checking: a keen eye for detail is a really beneficial skill for any WordPress web developer. Assessing error checking skills can help you to determine which candidates have the ability to spot small errors before they become large ones.
Useful abilities for a WordPress developer
Abilities can be harder to spot on a CV, but they form a really important part of the full picture of each candidate. Through tests and insightful interview questions, we’d try to tease out which candidates have the following abilities, which are indicative of a good WordPress developer:
Problem sensitivity and solving: problem sensitivity is all about the early detection of things that may arise into issues, and problem-solving is all about using logic to mitigate or totally solve a challenge. Good WordPress developers will be able to do both.
Deductive reasoning: deductive reasoning is all about applying general rules to specific scenarios to form a sensible conclusion — a useful skill for developers.
Communication: both listening and sharing are important parts of this role. The ideal candidate would therefore be able to demonstrate a strong communication style.
Teamwork: the work developers do is often integral to the work of a wider team or business, so it’s important your WordPress developer can demonstrate that they’re a team player.
Oral expression: being able to clearly and succinctly express often quite complex terminology or ideas can be challenging. But it’s really important that your WordPress developer can do this for the benefit of the wider business.
Which soft skills tests could I use to hire a WordPress developer?
Soft skills are often overlooked in the hiring process, but they can be a really valuable indicator of how well someone will fit into a team. When looking for a WordPress developer, test for the following soft skills:
Communication skills: communication skills are key, particularly for roles like a WordPress developer, where an individual will be required to listen to instructions, and share technical information with a wide range of people with varying levels of understanding.
Problem solving: problem solving is a really important skill for any developer. This test can help you assess how calm a candidate is under pressure, and how adept they are at using logic to solve various challenges.
Interpersonal skills: interpersonal skills help people to communicate, work effectively as part of a team, and share information in a way that’s clear. This is a skill that would be really valuable for a WordPress developer, who would be expected to work alongside lots of different people to build and optimize a site.
Which technical or aptitude tests could I use to hire a WordPress developer?
Aptitude tests can help you ensure someone has the core understanding and skills needed to excel in a role. The best aptitude or technical tests you could use to hire a WordPress developer are:
Logical reasoning: logical reasoning tests assess how well someone can use innate logic to solve complex challenges. This test can be a really good indicator of the strength of candidates you have; those who excel are likely to make strong WordPress developers.
PHP coding: PHP knowledge is essential for those looking to work with WordPress. This test will assess how competent each candidate is by simulating PHP coding challenges and asking prospective developers to respond under a tight time limit.
Numerical reasoning: a numerical reasoning test can be a really beneficial assessment to help strengthen your recruitment process. Developers need to be able to work with data and will often use basic mathematical principles in their day-to-day work.
Our recommended test battery for a WordPress developer
For the ultimate WordPress developer test battery, use the following tests:
PHP coding: PHP coding is the most essential skill for a WordPress developer. Ensure prospective candidates have what it takes with a tailored test.
Problem solving: problem solving skills are vital for any developer. This test will put candidates to the test and help you find a developer who can stay calm under pressure and navigate complex challenges.
Communication skills: ensure your new developer has the skills to listen and relay information to stakeholders and colleagues with a communication skills test.
And for information on a test designed specifically for hiring WordPress developers, head here.