Welcome to the brand-new Internet Entrepreneur Connection!
What you see before you is the result of hiring a wordpress developer and about a month worth of work to completely redesign a WordPress theme for this blog. In this post I plan to discuss the following.
- WHY – I decided to have a new theme developed for IEC
- HOW – I went about having my customized wordpress theme developed
- WHAT – I learned from this entire experience and what was the total investment
With this post I hope to share and educate you on the process of hiring a wordpress developer to help you create a new worpdress theme for your blog and to help you avoid some of the mistakes I made.
If this sounds interested to you. Read on. If not, check back with us in a few days for another topic related to Internet Entrepreneurship or Financial Intelligence. Enjoy.
WHY I Had A New WordPress Theme Created
It’s no coincidence that often times, when describing a new product or service, we choose to put the word “brand” behind it. Next time you find yourself telling a friend about a new product or service you discovered look a little closer at the words you use. You may have used the words “brand-new” to describe the product or service and may not have even realized it. That’s because subconsciously we associate products and services with “brands”. Among many things, brands are unique, brands help us associate a company product to it’s mission but most importantly, brands embody a message or a movement.
It’s the same reason why I used “brand-new” at the beginning of this post. Granted, I did so to prove a point. But what you don’t know is that while I was thinking about how to open this article the words “brand-new” immediately came to mind which further helped me realize the rational behind why I had a new theme developed in the first place.
If you are a blogger, hiring a wordpress developer to develop a new theme for your blog can feel like a big step. In many ways, it is! There is a huge difference from simply uploading and activating one of the many free wordpress themes that is already created for you versus actually hiring a wordpress developer to develop your own, customized wordpress theme.
Doing so automatically puts you in the driver seat. You have to make decisions, you have to instruct your developer on what to do and how to do it and that can be a challenge for some people. If you’re a part-time Internet Entrepreneur working towards becoming a full-time Internet Entrepreneur, the action of giving orders can often clash with your mental conditioning as an employee, which is to take orders, and that is why I believe some people struggle with this.
I decided to hire a wordpress developer exactly for those two (2) reasons.
- I wanted to go through the mental exercise of taking ownership and being in the driver seat; and
- Most importantly, I wanted to create a world-class brand that would embody IEC’s mission
HOW I Had My Customized WordPress Theme Developed
Before starting this journey, I knew next to nothing about how to hire a wordpress developer. In fact, I used many of the SEO and Internet Marketing blogs I frequently follow to find resources regarding how to hire a wordpress developer. What I found was that the entire process was a lot easier than I previously thought.
Here are some of the major steps I took towards getting my customized wordpress theme developed
- I started by Registering a Free Account on eLance. (non-affiliate)
- I then posted a minimal Project Description of what my job consisted of, set my Project Budget, set the job type as “fixed price” and set my project category to Web/Programming – Blog Programming.
- I then elected to Featured my Post for a one-time cost of $25 so that priority could be set on my project. Keep in mind that this is optional but, given that my first project post received only a handful of proposals over a week, I found that electing this option allowed me to start receiving proposals from potential wordpress developer hires within minutes. I also found that paying the extra $25 usually attracts the better qualified/ranked companies. I attributed this to the fact that most companies assume that if you’re willing to pay $25 to get your project in-front of the line and in the eyes of potential hires, then you must be serious about your project and, in turn, they are willing to spend the time to review your requirements and write you a proposal.
That’s it. Three (3) simple steps gets you on your way to having your customized wordpress theme developed.
WHAT I Learned From Hiring A Developer
Although, my wordpress theme has been developed and is live on my blog at the moment, I am still working with my developer to make some tweaks to the theme and to re-arrange other things. No major changes will be made so you can rest assure that this is mainly the brand that IEC will be working on moving forward.
With that said, after going back and analyzing some of the steps that got to me to getting a new theme customized and developed, I do feel I may have made some mistakes or that I could have at least gone about doing certain things differently to have made the process easier.
Here are 5 things that will turn my mistakes into your triumphs!
- My Project was supposed to take two weeks. Instead it took about a little over a month. I attribute part of not meeting the set schedule as my fault and part of it I attribute to the time difference, as my developer was from Pakistan. However, going into this I had a “minimalistic” idea of what I wanted and this hadn’t changed much after finally awarding the proposal to my developer. We wasted a lot of time trying to figure out what I wanted the site to look like, what color scheme I wanted to use and what features I preferred. Before hiring a developer on Elance make absolutely sure you know exactly what you want and how you want it implemented. You don’t have to know every lasting detail because things can change or you may change your mind as drafts of your wordpress theme are presented, but have a very good idea of what you want, overall.
- When approving the proposal set forth by your developer for your project, take the time difference into consideration, if your developer is overseas. Make sure that schedules are reasonable and that any extra services are clearly detailed in the proposal before it is approved. For example, I requested to have 30-days of developer support to change or make any edits as needed.
- Take into consideration any language barriers, i.e. make sure that you can effectively communicate with your developer. I would recommend talking to them on Skype before approving their proposal to make sure that you will be able to communicate not only through email, but vocally as well. My developer spoke English so that wasn’t a problem. But I found that, in some cases, he had a lot of trouble understanding what I meant rather than what I said and the design was not coming along like I expected. It wasn’t until I spoke with him on Skype that he was able to effectively understand what I required.
- When setting a budget, I thought that setting a higher budget would produce many more potential developers for hire, and I was right! Increasing my overall budget to $900 (previously from $450) and paying $25 to have my project featured, returned about a 500% increase in submitted proposals. Of course, this was a great thing but I also found that the absolutely best ranked companies had their proposal price near what my overall budget was. After going through nearly 50 proposals, I was so excited about finally finding the right developer that I completely failed to attempt to negotiate a price. Of course, his price point was near my overall budget and I my total cost for development of my wordpress theme was $845. This wasn’t by any means as expensive as I have known other bloggers to spend on their wordpress theme development but you may want to try to experiment with this a little. I doubt that this developer would have not submitted a proposal if my total budget was $50 or even $100 less than what I originally indicated. If your budget is somewhat lower than what they would expect to pay, I am sure a potential developer would still submit a proposal and then negotiations can take place, if you are interested in working with them.
- Finally, don’t under estimate the amount of work required. Although you’re physically not developing the wordpress theme yourself keep in mind t hat you are going to have to stay on top of the project and it’s progression. You always want to make sure you get project status updates on a daily basis or every other day, depending on your project schedule. You have to be direct in communicating your expectations to your developer. I would suggest daily updates on any project that is 2 weeks or less. Anything more than 2 weeks can result in updates every other day. The point being to make sure your developer is actively making progress on your wordpress theme development and that they meet the estimated time for project delivery.
This post has now gone way over my normal limit but I had so much to share and I couldn’t help it so my apologies for the long read. I’ll end by saying that if you ever need help or advice regarding hiring a developer on Elance, send me a message via my Contact Form and I will be more than happy to help or at least point you in the right direction.
Once again, Welcome to the Brand-new Internet Entrepreneur Connection.