Thanks guys , this is really helpful information .
If you do not care that the source code will reveal the original theme like this:
Why would I need to care? And can this be eliminated for a fee to the template owners ? My only concern is sending adverse signals to Google that they might factor in for QA purposes [ probably silly, but thought I'd mention it , post Panda, aside from content and brand requirements ]. I'm nervous about code bases and Google these days. Using a theme might conflict with brand in Google's eye's. Y/N ?
I'm also getting help from the designer, who has produced some great sites - I'd consider him top 3% by Western standards, who can also code, but doesn't have additional time available. So he will focus on the design and help me review the applicants code/performance.
I have no clue about code - just concepts.
He is recommending that it be done in HTML5 and CSS3 to make it lightweight.
I'm hoping for 75/100 + Google Test [developers.google.com
...] - is that realistic with average developers ?
One concern I have is that the code will not upset the stability for Google . For example , the positioning of the navigation, that forms a semantic hierarchy that Google doesn't get confused about, and also provides strong PR flow.
I guess a sitemaps plugin will assist, but not with the semantic hierarchy. Thoughts ?
I've gone to ODesk and been deluged by contractors, mostly from Eastern and Central Europe, and India area. The problem is that a lot of these people seem to be developing with budgets for low value business' , with poor design, so the professional portfolios are limited. What process do you suggest for me to quickly hone down to a shortlist, and protect myself from bad code?
Really appreciate the inputs here / thanks.
[edited by: Whitey at 10:50 pm (utc) on Dec 18, 2013]