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The difference between a WordPress Developer and WordPress Integrator

Published Categorized as Website Design

The question here is quite specifically, which option is best for your next project, a WordPress Developer or a WordPress Integrator. You might be familiar with the concept of a WordPress Developer. Imagining someone deep in concentration, headphones in, completely immersed in long lines of code, whether it be php, html, CSS or Java script…

You may be left scratching your head when it comes to a WordPress Integrator. Even a Google Search doesn’t really provide a suitable definition.

From a developer’s perspective, an Integrator may be seen as a lesser capable website builder. They would however, be wrong…

WordPress Developer vs WordPress Integrator

The integrator clearly understand the “hard points” and the “soft points” in terms of a website projects. Which items are structural, and more or less immovable, and which items are malleable, and highly customisable.

Clients don’t understand websites (typically) so it’s very easy to hear a request and think “right, that’s what you want, so that’s what you’ll get” when in actual fact, a minor modification to the client request takes it from being a “structural change” to a group of more malleable changes.

If a client knows that moving that menu “from here to there” would cost an extra $500, whereas if we just changed the letter spacing on the menu it might overcome some of their issue and comes for free…. which do you think they’ll choose?

This is where the integrator comes into their own. The integrator knows the best array of technology to use to provide maximum malleability – reducing the need for the developer (if needing them at all!).

Give a problem to a developer and they’ll develop their way around the issue. Expensive solution. Give it to an integrator, and they’ll integrate their way around the issue at small cost.

This is why when you’re paying for a website, and you’re paying by “time” it may be a false economy. An integrator will cover A LOT more ground than a developer in a shorter space of time. More often than not, their solutions also have more longevity.

Why does integrating lead to more longevity than development?

Bespoke development is exactly that. One off, bespoke. Code inevitably has errors, but let’s assume there’s none (of course developers are all perfect and don’t make mistakes!). That code will be “hooking” into other pieces of code and making calls to other pieces of software. As those pieces of software update, the hooks change, calls change and the code needs updating. But if the developer wrote the code for you, who’s going to update the code? Better call the developer and ask them why your website isn’t working like it was before… this won’t happen once… it’ll happen again, and again, and again!

Your code, your responsibility, your cost.

How do you avoid this with integrators?

Integrators select the best integrations that are supported, proven and used by MANY people. Therefore code updates are supported. For FREE. Without you or the integrator even getting involved. There are tonnes of other people out there, using the same plugins and extensions who are debugging and testing the code all the time. It’s no longer solely your responsibility.

Integrators are awesome.

We’re a team of integrators.

Don’t get me wrong, we love developers, but use them for the structural stuff you CAN’T compromise on. In reality, if the integrator is working well with the client to REALLY understand what they want, these no-compromise structural changes are few and far between.

Just remember, if you ask a dermatologist about a rash, they’ll say it’s a skin condition. Ask a nutritionist and they’ll tell you it’s a diet issue. Ask a cancer specialist and they’ll tell you it’s a skin anomaly that needs investigation. Ask an integrator and they’ll assemble the right combination of people to ACTUALLY solve the problem.

Developers want to develop. But it’s at your cost.

By Ashley Pearce

I'm the founder of Future State Media, a "small-on-purpose" creator-focused SEO agency skilled in helping creators systematically generate traffic, build audiences and maximise their monetisation whilst staying true to their brand.