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Who Knows WordPress

WordPress as a Content Management System

WordPress is my favorite content management system for developing web sites and I discovered it in 2008 after a friend from the American Marketing Association recommended it to me. Prior to that I had written my own content management system and installed it at a handful of businesses. Once I saw how WordPress had separated content from the look of a site, and how I could customize and extend the looks or features to do anything, then it really convinced me that this CMS was the one to specialize in.

Today when you hear that someone “knows WordPress”, you really should stop and think for a minute, because there are no regulatory bodies or associations out there to say that you are “WordPress certified”. That prompted me to think about a list of questions to ask your WordPress expert, just to find out how much they really know about WordPress:

  1. Can you install WordPress manually by uploading files, creating a MySQL database, and running the install script? Not all web hosts have a single-click install feature.
  2. Have you migrated a WordPress site from one domain to another domain?
  3. Do you know how to backup a WordPress site?
  4. Is my web hosting company using the right version of PHP and MySQL for WordPress?
  5. Can you manually upgrade to a newer version of WordPress when the automatic upgrade isn’t working?
  6. Can you setup an SEO-friendly permalink structure to help search engines find content on your pages?
  7. Do you know how to setup the Home page to be a static page, not filled with blog posts?
  8. Do you know how to harden WordPress to make it more secure from attacks?
  9. How would you restore an infected WordPress site?
  10. How do you make a slow WordPress site faster?
  11. My WordPress theme has Javascript and HTML errors, can you fix those?
  12. How may WordPress sites have you built?
  13. Can you create a custom theme from scratch, or do you only know how to install someone else’s theme?
  14. Can you create a custom plugin from scratch, or do you only know how to install a plugin?
  15. What is your experience in creating a child theme?
  16. Are you a WordPress theme designer, or a WordPress plugin developer? Design and development are very different skill sets.
  17. Are you active in the WordPress discussion Forums?
  18. Can you customize my theme using CSS, HTML, PHP, Javascript and jQuery?
  19. Have you used Custom Post Types before, and why did you have to?
  20. Do you provide a Web User Guide to explain how I can update my own WordPress site?
  21. Are you involved with the WordPress community, like on Meetup or at WordCamps?
  22. What are your favorite plugins and themes, and why?
  23. Have you migrated any web sites from Joomla or Blogger into WordPress?
  24. When you upgrade a plugin and it breaks WordPress, how do you fix it?
  25. Have you built an e-commerce site for WordPress and how complex was it?
  26. What is AJAX and how is it used in WordPress? Have you programmed with AJAX?
  27. Have you developed responsive themes for use in WordPress, so that I can view it on my desktop, tablet or mobile device?
  28. What is the difference between a Page and a Post in WordPress?
  29. Can I see your portfolio of WordPress projects?
  30. May I contact your WordPress references?
  31. Is my theme SEO friendly?
  32. Can you add a new sidebar to my theme?

The vast majority of people that use WordPress are content to update pages or posts, and on occasion click the Update link when there are new versions for their plugin, theme or WordPress. Using WordPress and developing or designing for WordPress are very different tasks, so ask a few questions of your WordPress expert to see if they are a good fit for your next web project.

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