Over 28% of the web runs on WordPress. It is one of the largest open source communities in the world. Easy content authoring, reliable performance, and excellent security come standard. But what truly sets it apart is its flexibility; modularity is one of its core principles. In addition, WordPress can be extended with the choice of thousands of optional plugins.
Who Uses WordPress
A better question might be who doesn’t? Anyone who is anyone today understands the value and versatility of WordPress. It is home to everyone from brand-new bloggers to Time, CNN, TechCrunch and the list goes on. With WordPress, you’re in good company.
The best WordPress themes are responsive, built with a mobile first design. We leverage page builders and child themes to create amazing websites.
We serve as developer consultants for other creative agencies, auditing internal workflows, and applying actionable project management suggestions.
Most of the projects we work on push and store data outside of WordPress CMS. Our team can get you up and running and integrate your website with third party APIs.
Our developers will use existing plugins but are more than capable of coding custom plugin functionality to accomplish website goals.
Leave updates and maintenance to a real developer. We will back up and update your site including core, themes and plugins.
Visual page builders and themes allow for site owners and their team to take ownership of website content, creating new pages and modules.
Why Do You Need WordPress Developers?
When you create a website without a CMS, it usually means hiring developers to code it from the ground up. It’s their job to turn your site from a blank white page into a navigable, feature-rich website.
However, WordPress is a CMS platform that comes prebuilt and ready to go. The backed that makes your website work is already present, as is the ability to create navigation, add pages, and other key features.
Since WordPress functions out of the box without having to write any code at all, why would you need a developer? What exactly does a WordPress developer even do?
While the WordPress core is already built for you, there are still times you may need to deal with programming. What if you need to edit your header, access your files through FTP, or tweak how a plugin functions? If you’re not familiar with WordPress development, this could be frustratingly difficult or entirely impossible.
Most of WordPress’ basic functions can be navigated without having to program or touch any sensitive files. But if you want to do something more advanced, or in the event that your site stops working right, you’ll need a developer’s skills.
WordPress developers install, create, and modify plugins, design and code themes, fix technical issues and offer support, and customize websites. In short, they work with you to help create the exact site you’re envisioning, and keep it running once it’s up.
If you need to save time to focus on other areas, have complicated project requirements you can’t accomplish yourself, or just want the peace of mind knowing that your site is being maintained, you need a WordPress development team.
What is Web Development?
Every website, including those built on WordPress, is made up of code. All pages start out a completely blank canvas, but once you begin adding HTML and CSS, it will spring to life with text, images, and dynamic layouts.
Web programming and markup languages are used to change how a webpage looks and acts, and it’s the job of a web developer to master these languages.
There’s a lot of overlap between web design and web development, but in general, it’s the job of designers to plan out how a website will look. They pass their detailed mockups onto the web developers, who do the coding needed to make that design function.
HTML is the heart of the internet, and an integral part of creating websites. This markup language uses tags to create every element of a page, from the overall structure to the items inside each section. It defines header and body areas, creates paragraphs and titles, displays images or links, and everything else that makes a website function.
CSS styles the basic HTML code, expanding on it and making it pretty. You might use CSS to display fonts, change text color, or define how your pages adapt to certain screen sizes.
PHP works hand-in-hand with HTML, but it’s a powerful server-side scripting language that executes various functions. Much of WordPress is built on PHP, so it’s necessary for its developers to learn.
Finally, while it’s less essential to website building, WordPress uses MySQL as its database management system. Databases hold a lot of important parts of your site, so your developer should probably know SQL.
These five languages make up the core of WordPress.
WordPress Development Services
You may think of development as simply coding a site or perhaps a theme, but there’s far more to it. Web development is a process that extends from the first concept phase to project launch and beyond.
Great web developers won’t just help you set up a website and code a theme. They’ll continue maintaining and improving every aspect, even down to providing third-party integrations that help optimize your workflow.
Custom Theme Development
Your website’s design is the face of your business. If you have a WordPress theme that thousands of other people are using, you won’t stand out at all. A generic website means that your business won’t be memorable to anyone.
With the combined work of web designers and developers, a custom theme can be just what you need to take your website from completely forgettable to one that makes a lasting impact.
DC Dev Shop doesn’t just create a beautiful theme perfectly tailored to your brand. We also make it responsive so it will work on any device. In this day and age, we understand that responsiveness is a requirement, not an option. We ensure that everyone will have a positive experience on your website no matter their device.
We also work with WordPress page builders and design modules, to have finer control over the final product. And when we’re finished designing, page builders allow you to easily make changes to website appearance and content. You won’t need to contact us every time you want to shift your color scheme or edit the text on your homepage. You’ll have full control over everything.
Custom Plugin Development
In most cases, it’s preferable to use existing WordPress plugins. They’re freely available on the WordPress repository, so there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel. But sometimes you can’t find a plugin that does what you need it to, or the plugin you have could be customized just a little more to make it perfect.
We can help by coding custom plugin functionality just for you. You don’t have to settle for not quite good enough. Let’s get your site working exactly how you want it.
Security and Maintenance
Once you’ve created a theme and have a functioning website, your job isn’t over. You need to maintain and secure it to ensure that it stays in great shape, and any issues that crop up are quickly resolved.
Even after launch day, you need continued monitoring and quick response time when technical problems appear.
Let’s not forget about the importance of web security. Our ongoing maintenance services include security monitoring and malware cleanup, so you won’t have to worry about being hacked.
We’ll also help you set up web hosting, plus deal with backups and updates to WordPress so you’re always up to date and never lose important data.
WordPress development is an ongoing process, and we’ll be there for you not just during the initial development stages, but long after your site has been deployed.
Workflow and Integrations
WordPress developers are also responsible for workflow and integration addons that keep your business and blog running without a hitch.
You need the right tools to work more efficiently, and we’ll help you integrate with third-party APIs. Bring the platforms you use right to your WordPress dashboard. We can also help with project management, inbound marketing, and workflow optimization.
With the right web development skills, you can do more than just create a website. You can also optimize your workflow and vastly increase efficiency.
How to Choose a WordPress Development Agency
When you’re setting out to choose a developer or development agency, you need to be sure of your decision. The developer is responsible for how your site looks and functions, along with how secure it is, and the reliability of the code.
You’re placing your whole site into their hands, so you want an agency that hires expert developers, writes code that won’t cause glitches, and offers ongoing support. Choosing the wrong developer can mean having to pay more in a few months when their code falls apart.
Here are some qualities you should look for before choosing a WordPress development agency.
Web development is a skill that takes years of experience to build up. A skilled developer is well worth the cost; the more experienced the developers you choose, the faster and more quality code they’ll write.
But pure experience isn’t enough. You want to choose developers who adhere to web standards of quality, such as accessibility and responsiveness. These standards make the internet easier to use for everyone. If your site isn’t accessible and responsive, you’re turning away a huge population of disabled and mobile users.
They should follow WordPress’ plugin and theme development standards as well. WordPress is open source software, and any custom code they add should line up seamlessly with its model.
Their code should be clean and high quality, secure to prevent hackers from exploiting it, and efficient so it doesn’t bloat and slow down your loading speed. Performance has a huge impact on user retention rates, and the last thing you want is inefficient code bogging you down.
Lastly, the development agency you choose needs to be flexible. They should know how to work with you and your project, scaling and changing their methods to meet your individual goals.
A great development agency doesn’t just design carbon copy websites that all use the exact same programming backend. They adapt and respond to every client’s project with a new and original approach.
Familiar with WordPress
The developers you hire should be familiar not just with web development but with WordPress itself. It may use common languages like HTML and PHP, but it has its own custom structure and code functions.
If you want to get things done, you can’t just hire any web developer. You need a WordPress expert who understands how to work with the platform. A developer who’s used to programming from scratch will be completely lost in WordPress, and it can take years of digging into the code to fully understand it.
The best devs are active in the community, making contributions to other open source projects and going to WordPress meetups. You should hire an agency that’s passionate about WordPress and wants to help you and the platform succeed.
Project Management Skills
WordPress is a content management system, which means you’re likely using it as the foundation to an important project. It might be a blog or an ecommerce store, but you’re constantly creating new content and adding it to your site.
For this reason, a WordPress developer should be familiar with project management, so they can help you optimize your workflow by integrating APIs, tweaking plugins, and coding new functionality.
A good developer will know precisely how to improve efficiency for your project. With their skills, they can eliminate much of the repetitive, menial busywork and let you focus on what’s important.
It’s necessary that you choose a development agency that offers routine maintenance, or at the very least support in the future if something breaks.
It’s certainly cheaper to purchase a one-time theme coding or setup service, but you may end up regretting it. What if in a year WordPress updates and your theme no longer functions? Or problems and incompatibilities suddenly appear and leave your site totally broken?
Even an agency that reliably creates high-quality code can still make a mistake, or issues out of both of your control can appear and cause glitches. You need to know that the company you hired will be there to help if something goes wrong.
Good developers know that web development never ends. Every website will need routine maintenance and monitoring to remain fully optimized. Choose an agency that provides in-depth maintenance services years after your website is launched, so you can be sure that everything will continue operating smoothly for the long term.
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We are the leading WordPress focused development shop in the D.C. area, working with brands to attract and retain clients by leveraging web technologies and inbound marketing methodologies.
Don't be shy, drop us a line. Whether you are aiming to launch a new website yourself or want to hire a team of experts to build a custom site, we'd love to hear from you.