Hiring the Right WordPress Consultant with Cody Landefeld [LIVEBLOG]

If you’re just tuning in, I am live here at WordCamp SD and the first session I’m liveblogging today will be with Cody Landefeld.

Stay tuned for some liveblogging action here.

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:21 am

Cody just offered a free website design by Zeek Interactive for the last person standing throughout the entire WordCamp .. [okay, he was just kidding ;) ]

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:22 am

Cody is giving some shoutouts to people from SoCal and other peeps outside of CA.

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:22 am

Asking “what is a WordPress consultant?”

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:23 am

Someone from the audience, “someone who makes money from WordPress” .. “a developer? a designer? what does it mean”

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:23 am

Cody’s answer, “someone that does awesome things with WordPress”

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:24 am

You want someone that understands WordPress from a wholestic view, not just a couple aspects.

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:25 am

“who here is someone that makes a living from WP?” … “who here is someone looking to hire someone to do WP development?”

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:26 am

from the audience, “WordPress consulting can be a narrow term .. looking around at various people, they bring a lot more than just WordPress and it’s important to keep that in mind”

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:26 am

Cody, Let’s look into the world wide web of WordPress

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:27 am

A few things we already know, WordPress powers 17% of the web

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:28 am

Another thing so great about WordPress, there is a huge community and a lot of developers devoting code to the core of WordPress. A number of them are here today, so make sure to give them a hug when you see them

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:29 am

Let’s start with some of the bad things that we deal with, with clients in WordPress consulting….

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:29 am

1) WordPress is free, so it’s cheap or easy to develop with

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:32 am

“Who here has had a website that they built and was awesome, then the client doesn’t touch it for 2 years?” *a bunch of hands go up*

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:32 am

“‘All themes are created equal?’ no way”

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:33 am

It’s a good idea having experience with a number of different themes and frameworks so you have the experience when you need to recommend something to a client

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:34 am

“What to look for in a WordPress consultant…”

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:34 am

Cody went totally 90s on the slides, cheesy slide background images….but I think they’re awesome ;)

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:35 am

1) Above all, add value to your project
2) Actual consultation, project planning, discovery, organization
3) Proof of experience working with WP
4) Advice regarding off-the-shelf WP themes
5) experience with different types of projects: ecommerce, mobile, applications, etc.

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:38 am

from the audience, “if you’re a beginner or growing consultant, be honest with your clients. honest with things you’re good at, what you’re not good at, and partner with someone/company when you do need help”

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:38 am

Cody, “some developers don’t touch ecommerce and it’s good to know what you’re good at or not good at”

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:39 am

from the audience, “Simply. Find something you’re good at, don’t try to be a jack of all trades”

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:40 am

from the audience, “when a client finds that you’re good at one thing, they may ask for more and you can grow from learning new skills”

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:41 am

Cody, “there’s nothing wrong with off-the-shelf themes…a lot of us like building new and custom themes, but off-the-shelf themes can be really good still. You can child theme off a framework.”

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:49 am

Cody, “good questions to ask a WordPress consultant:

* How long have you worked with WordPress?
* Does your term primarily work with WP?
* What is your speciality with WP? themes? WP? Both?

Are you a jack of all trades and a master of none?”

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:50 am

“As the client, you don’t need to be the expert, but good questions will help you gain confidence in the right fit”

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:50 am

If you’ve been in the WordPress community, you may know specific WP developers which specialize in something specific, like some developers are just plugin developers and it builds my confidence in sending projects their way because they are targeted and specific

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:51 am

“Consequences of *not* hiring a good WordPress consultant”

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:53 am

1) you are left to be the expert of web dev and projects, when they should be focused on being the expert
2) you miss deadlines and have less time for Reddit and cat videos [so the context is that

other things include when a client hires someone else and you check their website 6 months later and it’s still not up because the consultant they did hire was not the right consultant

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:53 am

“Pro tips for being a great client”

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:55 am

* Handing over a bunch o benjamins ;)

* plan and schedule project properly
* reference requirements in design – desktop, tablet, mobile, etc
* hire a killer designer, not a killer for a designer. [thank me later]
* identify a clear time table for your project, so your consultant places you in priority
* seek a collaborative approach with building your project

A client may want responsive but if it wasn’t planned for and the developer has to figure out what the client wants, it could run away because the developer is left to figure out what to do

Jonathan Dingman March 23, 20138:57 am

Jonathan: that’s a wrap, @Dremeda is up next in the next blog post with WordPress Security.