This is the sixth post in a series of posts about “How you can find the best WordPress developers for you“.

Here are are links to the content we have covered so far:

Day 1: Experience
Day 2: Expertise
Day 3: Price
Day 4: Standards
Day 5: Communication Skills

For today’s topic, we are looking at one of the most difficult subjects to master and something that can be a challenge in any sort of relationship.

6) Timekeeping

Possibly the number one thing that we hear complaints about is whether or not the project is fully delivered within the timescales requested. We hear about so many projects that are late or that the developer can no longer do the job, it’s frightening. Excellent timekeeping is a make-or-break element of a successful project.

Good development teams will provide a full schedule of how the development will commence. From initial development to testing, this will be delivered to you before the project starts. Make sure this fits into your client’s expectations and gives you time to test the site your end and to populate the site with content if required.

Poorer development teams or freelancers will ask you when the deadline is and then just work to that deadline without any real structure or methodology. Sure, they might hit their deadlines sometimes with this slap-dash approach, it is just not a good indicator of future success.

Before you start any project, make sure you have a full schedule for the development and ask for communication when each part of the development is completed. Make sure you stay on top of any delays early so they can be managed, don’t let it get to the last few days before chasing up on missed internal deadlines, it will only lead to disappointment.

Questions to ask:

  • How do you ensure that the project will be delivered on time? – Find out about processes, guarantees or steps they take to ensure they deliver the project on time. The more detailed doesn’t always mean the best and often there is a fine line between over-engineering a project and it not being delivered late.
  • Have you ever delivered projects late and what were the circumstances? – Here, we are using an honesty question and this is super important. In my experience, projects can be delivered late for a multitude of reasons such as change of scope, client not signing the site off or stakeholder interference. If someone says they have never been late in delivering a site then they are either in denial or haven’t worked on projects with set timelines.
  • Do you track the time you spend on each project using time tracking software? – Time tracking can be a difficult thing to do manually so the use of time-tracking software like Timely, Hour Stack or Harvest is really important. A good developer will be able to let you know down to the nearest minute how long they have spent on your project.

In the next post in this series, we will discuss the value of something that isn’t always considered, ‘location‘.