Things to look out for when searching for a WordPress Theme Developer

Posted on: September 25th, 2018 by Web Design of York

WordPress Theme Developer

As a business owner, finding a good WordPress theme developer can be a difficult task. Technology and the web is constantly evolving. It’s our job as developers to stay on top of this, not yours. A good WordPress developer will always follow specific practices:

1) They will develop the “WordPress way”

This is a huge problem with any theme that is purchased outside of the WordPress theme directory. More specifically Theme Forest is known for hosting questionable WordPress themes. The problem with themes not developed the way WordPress recommends is that the theme may develop problems or errors months or years later. Especially when a core update occurs. By following WordPress development best practices you can ensure a WordPress theme will not have any issues for a long period of time.

2) They use a task runner to minify their distribution code

One of the things that can cause a website to load extremely slow is when there are numerous HTTP calls for CSS and JavaScript files. In addition none of those files are minified. By concatenating all of the files into a single file and then minifying (also known as uglifying). You greatly reduce the amount of files and code the user has to download to view your website.

3) Their JavaScript files are called in the footer of the theme

Most JavaScript should not run until after a web page loads all of the CSS and HTML first. Placing JavaScript files in the header can cause your pages to load slowly unnecessarily.

4) They don’t use Theme Builders

Using theme builders can be a very quick and cheap way to build a website. But what happens when something isn’t working properly? That “developer” has to go back to the original theme developer. Write them an email or submit a bug report. All while your website is sitting with a visible problem or an error on the site. A good developer should be able to investigate and resolve any issue quickly.

Finding and solving a development bug is skill that’s developed from years of experience developing WordPress themes from scratch. As a seasoned developer, we can quickly figure what’s happening; if it’s a front-end issue the developer will usually use Chrome dev-tools to find the issues within the console log, or another tool. If it’s a back-end issue, the developer will usually run a search through the source files to find the cause of the problem.

4) They don’t rely heavily on libraries or frameworks

It’s true that developing front-end apps with something like JavaScript over jQuery can drastically speed up the load time of a website, especially for a simple module. But it’s also important to note that a vanilla JavaScript developer usually tends to have a much better understanding of the way the browser works and can resolve and front-end problem fast. Especially compared to a developer that has only every developed using frameworks.

The same can be said for back-end developers. A seasoned PHP developer with a solid understanding of object-oriented programming and patterns for developing applications (such as content management systems) will be much more qualified to find and resolve a server side problem.

Conclusion

Finding a good WordPress Theme developer can be a daunting task. A quick look at their most recent work’s source code can tell you a lot about the level of experience and skill a WordPress theme developer has.

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