Not all WordPress websites are created equal.
Some web designers may be good at design but technically, they can be very poor.
This leaves you will a vulnerable website that is buggy and hard to maintain.
Unfortunately, it is these designers that can give WordPress a bad name.
I know, I regularly fix WordPress problems caused by a bad WordPress setup.
In the long run, my clients have suffered stress from a website that is hard to maintain. They have had to pay extra to fix problems and buy licenses they hadn’t been told they needed. Some have even opted for a rebuild because the mess was too much for them!
All this can be avoided by ensuring you add a few ‘quality’ requirements to your website proposal.
6 quality requirements to give to your web designer to ensure a higher quality WordPress website build
- Image requirements.
- All images to be correctly sized and compressed.
- PNG images to be used only where transparent backgrounds are needed.
- You can go one step further and ask for images to be WebP where possible.
- All unused images to be removed from the server. This is to make sure they clean up after installing a theme with pre loaded content.
- Speed requirements.
- All pages to load under 3 seconds on desktop and under 5 seconds on mobile. If a fast loading website is important to you, state what you will accept. This should add extra cost to your project because speed optimisation can take extra skill – depending on how your website is being built. At the least, you designer should know how to add a caching plugin and test your site speed.
- Plugin requirements.
- All plugins to come from a reputable source, to be compatible with the latest version of WordPress, to be actively supported (have been updated in the last 6 months).
- All licences to be in the name of my business. This is a big one. Some designers will not provide licences and try to sell you maintenance plans to keep your website plugins updated. Bear in mind, licences cost extra but if you are maintaining your own website you absolutely must have your own licence or you can’t get plugin updates.
- Theme requirements. Please – make sure your theme doesn’t come from Envato. Why? The designers like to bundle plugins into the theme and they don’t provide licences. So, you have to wait for the designer to release updates which can mean you getting a plugin update months after the plugin has been updated.
- Ensure a child theme is installed
- Ensure the theme doesn’t rely on any other plugins to work. (One theme I had to fix needed 10 plugins to work!)
- Security requirements. At the very least you should ask for the following security features to be enabled on your website. This can be set up with a free plugin so if you are on a tight budget it definitely doesn’t have to be left off the list.
- Security scanning so be enabled
- Brute force protection to be enabled
- Back up requirements. Again, a free plugin (updraft) will cover this for you.
- The website is to be backed up daily to an independant storage (e.g Google Drive).
Anyone can say they build WordPress websites but not everyone can build them to a high standard.
I include a lot of high features in my web builds as standard. I even include analytics!
If you are planning a new website, will you use these extra requirements to get a better website?