As some of the most experienced web designers in Oxford, it’s safe to say, we’ve made every mistake in the book. WordPress allows us to quickly tailor our design and development to work in any business context. However, simple mistakes can lead to a project going over budget and missing deadlines. We’re now experienced enough to spot them before they happen. However, a close relationship with your WordPress developers is essential. How do we ensure we have an effective collaboration? Following simple advice for working with WordPress developers goes a long way.
Setting clear expectations
The first step to working with WordPress Developers is to set your expectations from the offset. That means firming up all the basics, things like the project completion date and the available budget. It’s important to agree on expected response times to queries and delegate who will deal with communications at every stage. It also makes a lot of sense to clarify up front who’ll be dealing with longer-term website updates, hosting and any digital marketing. We don’t work with anyone without discussing these, and putting a plan in place before we begin.
Planning it crucial. The idea is that when are web designers start working with WordPress developers, they both work to common goals. Planning and communication are the foundations of an understanding of what’s expected from each team member.
It’s important to communicate every piece of information to both designers and WordPress developers at every stage. We keep a simple running list of notes. We make sure everyone stays in the loop, at all times.
Pinning down the deliverables
If things start to drift, it’s a challenge to get materials delivered on time and in an agreed budget. We believe it’s vital to provide mock-ups in the right way, so the completed site looks the way the client expects it to look. It might sound obvious, but some website design agencies don’t do this! We’ve seen everything from monochrome wireframes to all-singing, all dancing mock-ups that look like the final site. Mockups can come in Photoshop format or InDesign, .pdfs and .png files. Some are easy to grasp, and others don’t bear too much relationship to what the pages will look like in the end.
We insist on sending our clients complete wireframes. After all, when you are working with WordPress developers, it’s important that they understand exactly what the final website is going to look like. It’s then much more likely they’ll actually deliver it! We use InVision because clients can leave comments easily in the spot they want the design or layout reviewed.
We operate a content-led design process. It helps enormously to know what volume and style of content you’ll be working with WordPress developers on eventually. And it’s essential to figure it out before beginning both the layout, design and development stages. You can see when it’s worked. Attractive, workable, user-friendly page layouts are no accident. We meet our WordPress developers half way by created content before we start designing the website. We use detailed client checklists to drive the process. It saved a lot of time and misdirected effort in the long-term.
An understanding of how websites work
Lastly, it’s vital to have a good understanding of how the internet works. It’s vital to appreciate how websites work and the wider digital marketing landscape. Helping everybody understand some of the pitfalls of poor design and usability will help when then working with WordPress developers. Here’s an example. Take sliders. It isn’t a good idea to have multiple sliders on one web page. They’re resource-hungry, and web page load speed is critical to search engines. If your pages load slow and a competitor’s pages load super-fast, they will likely engage more visitors.
It’s not practical to expect a client to understand as much as you do. However, education plays a big part in any web project. When we start working with WordPress developers, we ensure we’re on hand for everyone in the process. Don’t expect everybody to be as interested in this as you are, but you have to take the every involved a certain amount of the way.
Advice for working with WordPress developers
When the lines of communication are free and definite, a web design and WordPress development project is likely to go smoothly. Working with us means you can relax in the knowledge that working with WordPress developers is handled professionally. Have you had a more challenging experience of working with WordPress developers? If so, we’d be happy to walk you through our process and discuss how we might able to help