Did you ever watch the movie Armageddon? You remember it, right? It's the totally believable story of the Earth about to be destroyed by an asteroid until a deep-sea drilling expert (Bruce Willis) and his team (including Steve Buscemi) fly off in a space shuttle to save the Earth.
Anyway, the reason I'm asking if you remember it is because of this one line you see Steve Buscemi say, as they're about to be launched into space.
You know we're sitting on four million pounds of fuel, one nuclear weapon and a thing that has 270,000 moving parts built by the lowest bidder. Makes you feel good, doesn't it?
That's the line I was thinking about when I read friend and WordPress designer CodyL‘s tweet.
Look for the #WordPress developer who will provide the most value, not the lowest price.
— Cody Landefeld (@codyL) January 14, 2013
Can I be honest with you?
When I landscaped my backyard a few years ago, I didn't pick the most expensive quote. I found a guy who said he could do it for way less. Chances are, he wasn't licensed.
When I bought my first suit (yes, I used to wear those), I didn't pick the most expensive one. I found a cheap one that I thought would be fine.
When I booked a hotel in Paris last year for my quick trip with my wife, I didn't look for the best hotel. We didn't plan to hang out in the room, right?
You know what I'm going to say, don't you?
In each case, there were two things in common. First, I made a decision using price as my guide (with the goal of spending the least amount). Second, it was the wrong choice and I ended up spending more money to correct my decision.
Let's be honest, when you don't care about something, or when everything is equal, price is a fine way to make the call. But there are a lot of times when we use price and it's the wrong approach. In my mind, that's what Cody was getting at.
Finding a WordPress Developer
So here are my three recommendations for selecting a WordPress developer using value over price as your guide.
1. Find a developer who understands your business. There are tons of business models out there and they each have their drivers, leverage points and risks that need to be mitigated. So find a developer who understands (and can converse about) your business model and understands how your web site fits into the larger dynamics of your business. This isn't the time to find a warm body who can configure a theme. Trust me. You'll be paying a second time to fix things.
2. Find a developer who has the right experience. Every project is different. Sometimes you have a design challenge. Sometimes it's a conversion challenge. Sometimes it's an integration challenge. And other times it's a feature challenge. Whatever the challenge is, make sure your developer has solved it multiple times. That's what it means to get the most value from experience. When you pick cheap, you pay for someone else's learning.
3. Find a developer who you feel comfortable with. More often than not, the developer sitting on the other side of the desk is speaking Greek to you. So there's a natural lack of comfort. My suggestion is to skip them, regardless of how cheap they are. Instead, after a call or two, ask yourself if you enjoy your time with them and could see yourself spending a day with them. Chances are, before the project is done, you'll have to. And trust is more easily developed when your comfortable with the person you've partnered with for your success.
So as you look for the next person to help you with your site, invest up front in figuring out if you're making the right trade-off decisions. Choosing price at the wrong time will hurt you and cost you more later. On the other hand, when you choose value over price, you won't go wrong.
Are you looking for someone right now to help you? Leave me a comment or use my contact page and I'll connect you up with some of my friends who are spectacular!