If you’re about to hire a WordPress developer to build that fancy new website, you’re probably going to have to change your thinking completely.
You likely think of a website as just one more box to check off the marketing list, just a thing you’re expected to have.
You buy one. It goes up. You forget about it.
Honestly, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Your website is possibly one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal—and the versatility of WordPress means your website can pretty much do anything you can imagine.
I say possibly because I’ve seen countless website projects turn into personal art projects and completely miss their primary mission — to bring in leads, sell products, or support customers.
Before you spend a ton of money on a brand new website, you need to make darn sure that your investment is going to pay off.
Here’s your first issue to consider:
1. Your Website Is an Investment, Which Means It Should Work For You
If you’re not thinking of your website as an investment, one that should pay you a return, it’s time to change your thinking.
(In fact, I wrote a whole ebook about how to build a high ROI website, which you can download for free here.)
A website is a piece of your overall marketing strategy — a critical one. It’s a hub for all your other digital marketing efforts — but it’s also a powerful marketing tool on its own.
Websites need to complete tasks in order to be productive, whatever those tasks happen to be for you. Maybe you need it to generate leads. Maybe it needs to sell a product. Maybe it’s a hub for customer issues and questions.
Maybe it’s all three and then some.
Whatever your website is supposed to do, make sure it’s doing so in a way that supports your bottom line.
Otherwise, it might not be worth the investment.
(I promise we’ll get into WordPress specifics soon, just hang tight.)
Are we in consideration mode now? Good. Here’s issue number 2.
2. A Good WordPress Website Costs Money — And Yes, It’s Going to Be More Than $500
If you think a website should cost $500 or less, I have very bad news for you.
Maybe that’s what it will cost you in dollars spent if you do it all yourself. If you’re a marketing genius/tech genius/writing genius/design genius, you can probably pull this off.
Most people can’t.
Baseline websites, like our affordable website offering, begin in the thousands of dollars.
And that’s pretty basic y’all.
Websites come in all shapes and sizes, but for the big ones, you’re going to need many different specialists working together to create a single website.
Here’s how many people have to work on even the most basic website:
A marketer to make sure it’s going to speak to your target audience and push them to connect with you and become leads.
A designer to make sure it’s easy to use and navigate while also being aesthetically pleasing.
A writer to fill it with professionally-worded content that tells a story and leads readers to act.
A developer to make sure it can accomplish all the tasks you need it to accomplish.
It takes a village, you could say.
Which leads me to my next point.
3. Hiring a WordPress Developer Is Only Part of the Puzzle
Here’s a super quick description of how WordPress website design should go, in order.
Strategy > Content > Design > Development > UX Testing
Note how far down the flowchart development is.
You need a lot more than a developer. You need a marketer to help you come up with a strategy for the website, a strategy designed to accomplish the goals you have for your site.
Your content is based around that strategy — but you need a professional writer to create some of it, a professional photographer to create some of it, and possibly a professional videographer to create the rest of it.
You can provide these items yourself, but do you really want to go amateur hour on something this important (and expensive)?
Then, you need a designer to come up with the actual design of the website.
(We’ve actually written about this one before — you can read more about what to know before hiring a website designer here.)
Then the developer does their thing and builds your website, followed by some user testing (if you’ve got the time and the budget for testing—otherwise, consider a service like Peek.
Once you’ve paid this little village to build you a powerful marketing tool, you have to consider the future:
4. You Need Someone to Maintain, Update, and Create Content for Your WordPress Website
Have you ever visited a website, ready to look at products, only to realize they haven’t updated since 2009?
How much money were you willing to spend at that point?
How much did you trust that brand?
Websites aren’t set it and forget it. You’re going to need to update them regularly.
Do you have the time to do that? Are you even interested in learning how?
You’re probably going to have to pay someone to do that, too.
Even at the bare minimum, you’re still going to have to pay someone for hosting — there’s no getting away from ongoing costs.
And to really take full advantage of your website, to get the most out of tools like Google Analytics or social media review plugins, you need someone who’s familiar with WordPress to maintain your site.
Even then, your website is going to have a lot of trouble bringing in new leads without some sort of ongoing content strategy.
Which means you’re going to need a writer or a marketer to work with you long term.
It’s not a project — it’s a long-term investment.
That Being Said, You Can Still Pay Someone to Do All This for You
Depending on the size of your organization, it might make sense to hire someone to create and manage the website in house.
If you’re a startup or a small business, you might have a lot of extra time on your hands as you start your business — you may want to take this on yourself.
However, for most organizations, it makes more sense to hire an outside specialist.
Either way, doing as much work as you can on the front end sets you up for success. A website takes planning, no matter who makes it, and any outside company is going to have a lot of questions.
To get started, download our free ebook, 8 Steps to Planning a High ROI Website. It’ll walk you through the entire process of planning your website.
You’ll build out your brand, buyer personas, and even some of your content. This is a critical resource if you want to build your website yourself, but the info is beyond useful for any WordPress developer you might hire.
Click here to download it now.