How To Work With A WordPress Developer As A Designer


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A question I get asked often is how do I work with a WordPress developer as a designer?

I think this is a great question especially when you are trying a new process.

I definitely want to make sure I cover some important questions that will apply in a lot of situations.

Of course, depending on the WordPress developer you are working with things may be different.

So I recommend meeting with your WordPress developer and ask them about their process.

The reason why I am addressing this question is that you may be considering outsourcing WordPress development in your business. Outsourcing is great because you are not handling the entire design process on your own when it comes to coding and adding in functionality. You can take on more clients and focus on what you enjoy the most.

Let’s jump on in!

1 | When Is the best time to bring on a WordPress developer?

The best time to bring on a WordPress developer is at the beginning. Preferably before you share the design mockups with the client. Why? You may have some elements in your design that may not be the best for user experience. For example, 4 different sliders or it may be a dramatic development cost that pushes outside of your clients budget.

The best time to bring on a WordPress developer is at the beginning. Tweet

No one likes getting their clients hopes up and then later coming back saying “sorry we are not able to do that.” So bring in your WordPress developer early in the process. Finish your mockups and then schedule a video call with your developer to go over the designs prior to sharing with the client so that adjustments can be made if needed.

2 | What are some questions your WordPress developer may want to know?

Your developer wants to know quite a few questions. We want to make your client experience as friendly as possible.

One question that is important is what is the goals of the website?

For example, is it all about reader engagement? If that’s the case then I would know that call to actions is highly important. There may be a case where we have to decide what is most important and nix a design element.

How will the client be using the site?

Will your client be the main the user? Will they be updating a lot of the content or is assigned to someone else? Knowing this information can help your WordPress developer build elements that won’t frustrate the client.

Is the design part of a redesign?

This is important to know so that your WordPress developer has a backstory of what to expect. Knowing what didn’t work and what the new plans are is very important. Also in the planning for development of potentially larger sites, this information will come in handy when determining the project cost.

3 | What does your developer need to know to determine price?

This varies but some simple questions your WordPress developer would need to know are:

  • How big is the site that is being developed? The number of pages, etc.
  • What special elements are going to be part of the site? Sliders, gallery’s, specialty content such as menu’s etc.
  • Will the site have a shop or be used to run courses?
  • How big is the shop?
  • How many courses are planned to be used?
  • When it comes to plugins will they need to be customized?
  • When do you need the site to launch?

These are just some of the questions that would be useful in knowing to give a better estimate of costs and time.

4 | When it comes to mockups, what is important to know?

When it comes to mockups remember that your developer is looking at a static image. Which means it will be hard to tell what elements are supposed to do unless stated otherwise.

Size

Make sure your mockups are consistent with the size of the website page. This will help go a long way when planning out content on a page. Ensure your mockups maintain a consistent container size (for example website widths of 1200px, etc).

Interaction

As a WordPress developer, I want to know what happens when someone hovers over a button. Inputs information into a form. Will the colors change or will an underline need to be added? What elements are going to be fixed on the page, etc? In your mockups, you can indicate a change by changing the color of the element and adding a pointer. On sliders use arrows to indication motion.

When it comes to mobile design, what looks great on a desktop may not be the best of mobile. Take that into consideration when designing as well.

Where is the content coming from?

In WordPress, we know that blog posts can be pulled from posts. But what about unique elements that are not blog posts? As a WordPress developer, I need to know if that content is going to be pulled in dynamically or if it’s going to need to be added by the user or if it’s coming from another source. Maybe the content is coming from a widget if so I would need to know more information. I would also need to know if a custom field needs to be added to help the user add content.

What happens with content that expands beyond the character limit?

On your mockup’s you might have designed titles with 4 words. What is going to happen when the titles are longer or the content expands beyond the character limit? Not accounting for this will change the design which could be outside what the client expectations of what is to occur.

Image Dimensions

Image sizing is important, knowing the size of an image and whether it should be dynamic or not is important. For example, maybe on a blog post, you want the images to all to be a standard size. That would be important to know so that it can be coded into the theme or do you want it to adjust dynamically.

Consistency

Your H1, H2, p, tags should all be consistent. A helpful tip is to create a page with just the sites style guidelines that include what the button sizes should be (such as what a small, medium or large button should look like). What all the heading fonts and sizes should be along with colors on hover state, etc.

5 | How should the client be billed?

This will vary depending on the parties involved. I prefer the designer sets their own cost and I set my own cost separately. Then the designer takes those two numbers and charges the client the total amount. The designer will then collect payment from the client to pay me. You may be different. You may want your client to pay you and the developer separately it’s totally up to you.

Working with a WordPress developer can help make your design life better with less stress. It’s important to note that the more communication that is presented up front the better the experience will be.


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