For most small businesses or startups, the right outsourcing partner can mean early success. Not only can it help reduce their development costs, it cam help them commit more of their valuable time towards brand development and other more important areas of their business.
When it comes to selecting the perfect WordPress outsourcing firm, companies shouldn’t dive head on! Today, outsourcing has become easier and therefore dangerous too. Just because it worked for your competitor, doesn’t mean it will work perfectly for you as well. Despite numerous advantages, successful IT firms still commit monumental blunders while choosing a WP outsourcing firm ultimately leading to additional costs and project delays.
Before you begin, ask yourself these 3 ‘Whats’:
- What are the requirements of your WP website?
- What is your target audience?
- What is the budget?
Unlike other CMS platforms like Magento or Drupal, WordPress is different in every sense. Thus, choosing a WP offshore partner firm can be daunting. Here is a 5 point checklist to help you avoid the pitfalls of selecting an outsourcing partner.
1. Money Isn’t and Shouldn’t be the Sole Selection Criteria
Cost savings is one of the primary reasons of moving a project offshore. Firms offering the lowest bid prices are often selected while ignoring the quality aspect. It is pertinent to note that intangible benefits offered by a quality-focused outsourcing partner can be far more rewarding compared to the one offering lowest rates. During selection, focus on prime business realms such as:
- Operational reliability,
- Process efficiency
- Tools employed including plugins, coding language etc.
- WordPress development and design experience
- WP development environment, methodologies and much more.
- Customer support and post-project deliverables
Remember, we have to lower the cost relative to your current budget. Quality of WordPress work, especially coding, should be balanced as such. Hidden costs or additional charges, if any, should be discussed in detail.
Check if your provider has ISO certificates, Microsoft competency, CMMi, and Google certificates to manage projects, and to preserve the quality and delivery of work.
2. Code Quality
Gibberish code won’t get you anywhere. Coding is an art that few understand. I personally know many coders who get the work done but leave many loopholes that can be compromised. This is a grave mistake. Here are a few aspects that can help you judge a good quality code:
- Code must be standards-compliant and valid.
- Conform to WordPress standards.
- Maintainable and scalable code that’s easy to build upon.
- Correct implementation of WordPress functions, APIs, hooks and classes.
- Inclusive code that receives visitors without any sensory bias.
- Efficient, logical code with minimal bloating.
- Code that does not compromise on the website’s security.
- CSS and HTML5 semantic code with right markup structuring.
- Cross device and browser compatibility.
Remember, code is the foundation on which you build your website. Don’t compromise on code, ever!
3. Define KPIs Well in Advance
During the initial consultation stage, it is vital that both parties know the ‘Key Performance Indicators’ well. This is ideal to measure outsourcing firm’s performance, create clarity of specific performance objectives, conduct periodic analysis, improve collaboration and foster a mutually beneficial environment. Wrong selection of KPI’s can harm your relation right from the word ‘Go’. In WordPress development outsourcing you should ideally look for following KPIs:
- WP trend analysis
- Gap analysis
- Budget performance
- Benchmarking for coding
- Value additions and cost savings
- Cycle time analysis
- Work order completion timeline
Technical indicators such as organic traffic, bounce rate, time on site, page views per session and inbound links should be discussed if WordPress SEO is also involved in the project. Avoid selecting pre-defined KPIs. Instead, choose ones that are specific to your project.
4. If Isn’t Latest, It’s Already Outdated
WordPress is something that evolves every day. The desire for something new and mind-blowing pervades in WP realm. So, if your partner offshore firm isn’t keen on the latest, you might as well drop them. Adhering to latest WP design trends, themes, graphics and coding ensures that your website or plugin remains in vogue and is loved by your audience.
In all possibility, the quality of resources will help you make the decision. As a rule, check these factors:
- Customizing theme templates
- Transfer a graphic design (e.g. PSD format) into a working website
- Create and customize an original plugin
- Availability of professionally qualified WordPress developers and coders.
- Reasonable number of projects undertaken proportionate to experience.
- Implementation of latest coding standards
- Non technical concerns like working ethics, legal risks and cultural differences.
When you are choosing the firm, make sure it has a grip on the latest technologies. Have a detailed discussion about their techniques and tools. Also, check out their latest portfolio to take a deep look into their recent projects. If possible, talk to their current clients.
5. Poor Communication
It’s a big red flag. Poor governance is the prime reason why most outsourcing relationships fail. Remember, it is not a ‘Select-Hire-Forget It’ relation. You have to pay proper attention to the nitty-gritty of the WordPress development. For example, if your partner is developing a staging website, you should be able to make suitable changes before the final website is finalized. In case of plugin development, you should be able to check its functionality and make live changes.
Strong communication should be maintained going past the first meetings. Accessibility of both the parties for milestones, inquiries and project deliverables must be consistent. Use all available communication resources such as video calls, VoLTE, Skype calls etc. Relying solely on written messages can spell disaster. In complex WordPress projects, miscommunication can lead to enormous costs. To avoid a strategic failure, it is vital to maintain an open discourse all throughout the project.
Bonus: 6. Ignoring Intellectual Property Rights and Patents
It is important that your vendor understands the intellectual property rights and patents as per your country. WordPress is open source and so is PHP. However, other data used in the website, app or plugin have specific regulations and laws governing them.
- Did you own full rights to the final code?
- Is the final code editable or is the code script is enriched with comments?
- Does the code feature proper documentation for legal compliance?
Before choosing an outsourcing partner, make sure that they agree to your confidentiality agreement and adhere to your IP rights and patents.
WordPress outsourcing can deliver enormous benefits in terms of cost savings and quality both. How you select your partner defines how much benefits you reap in the long run. Avoid these 5 pitfalls and you will surely be shaking hands with the right people to do your job.