WordPress started out as a blogging platform that evolved into a full-fledged content management system (CMS). But for laypersons, it makes sense to think of WordPress as a website system, a piece of software that generates a website.
As the most widely used website software in the world, WordPress has generated a lot of professionals, people who have made it their business to provide services related to WordPress. Some of these professionals design WordPress websites (creating themes); some build WordPress websites; and many do both design and development. Some are troubleshooters who can fix issues within the WordPress system; others are website administrators with expertise in using WordPress to manage a website.
Working with WordPress Professionals
If you’re looking for someone to design, build, or manage your WordPress website, it helps to know what terminology different professionals within the WordPress world use as their job titles. If you’re interested in getting a WordPress website for your small business, navigating the various job titles in this field can be confusing. Someone who calls themselves a WordPress developer might be proficient at writing the code for a WordPress website but lacking in online marketing skills. Someone who calls themselves a WordPress designer might be able to create visually striking designs but can’t walk you through the steps of using WordPress, as a layperson, to manage your business website.
To clear up some of the confusion, let’s look at a few types of WordPress professionals who provide services related to WordPress:
Terms like designer and developer are sometimes used interchangeably. Technically speaking, a designer creates the specs, schematics, or plans for a website whereas a developer builds it. Think of a designer as an architect and a developer as a contractor.
WordPress Designer: Any type of web designer is someone who creates the look and feel of a website, planning the layout and functionality, i.e., the blueprint for a website. A WordPress designer may or may not also build the website, providing installation, setup, and customization.
WordPress Developer: A developer builds a website using software and code. A developer might build a WordPress website based on a designer’s plan, but some developers provide both design and build. WordPress developers might also build themes and plugins, which are files or smaller software packages that are used within a WordPress installation to generate a website’s design and functionality.
Note: WordPress is open-source software. Professionals who design and build the WordPress software are also called WordPress designers or WordPress developers. So these terms can refer to someone who works on the actual WordPress software, or they can refer to people who use the WordPress software to design and build websites.
Theme Developer: The design of a WordPress website is generated by a package of files called a WordPress theme. A theme developer is someone who creates these file packages. Theme developers often work for companies that provide themes to the general public (some themes are free while premium themes are purchased), or they could be providing custom themes for specific companies or individuals. A theme developer will often do design and development work as well.
WordPress Consultant: WordPress consultants tend to have general expertise in WordPress, often providing a little design and development as well as other services, like WordPress instruction or website management. A consultant might also work as a project manager, overseeing or coordinating with multiple web professionals to build or manage a website. Such a consultant will also likely work on adjacent assets, such as marketing campaigns and content development.
WordPress Expert: This term gets thrown around a lot. In theory, it’s someone with high-level expertise in WordPress. It could refer to a designer, a developer, a consultant, or someone who is truly an expert and provides advanced services in all areas of WordPress.
What Kind of WordPress Specialist Do You Need?
Many small business websites are built on WordPress, so many business owners need to work with a WordPress professional. You can hire multiple specialists, such as a designer and a developer, to create your website, or you can find a general WordPress consultant who can provide multiple WordPress related services or oversee your WordPress project.
Buzz Pro Studio provides WordPress services to small businesses, including designing, building, and managing WordPress websites. Contact me to learn more about how I can help your business shine online.
Melissa Donovan is the founder of Buzz Pro Studio, providing website services to small businesses and independent professionals.