For non-tech savvy people who have a business that requires an online presence, choosing the right web developer for their business could be a confusing and difficult experience where they rely more on luck than any real knowledge of web development and the skills they need to look for in a potential employee. Laypeople might feel overwhelmed in their search for a capable web developer – asking questions like “do i get a firm that offers these services to handle it for me?” “Won’t it be cheaper to just go with that nephew of mine who said he could develope sites?” “Will it be more cost-effective to go with a firm or an individual?”. One statement in particular by a business owner looking for a web developer summed up the experiences of most people in this search: “I have no idea what to ask, but more important, even if someone gave me a list of questions, I wouldn’t know if the answers were the “right” answers or even made any sense. If I understood this stuff, I wouldn’t need to hire someone!”. This feeling is common among several business owners, but can be remedied. A little information about what to look for will help you find the web developer you need relatively easily.
Here’s a list of tips to guide you in the search process.
Start from websites you enjoy visiting:
You can start your search by looking at websites you enjoy visiting and that have a good followership. Most sites have links at the bottom, pointing to who designed them. If you like a site and can lay hands on the contacts of the developer, it’ll be an easier way to go. If there’s no link to the developers, you could send a brief email to the owners of the site, asking who developed it for them and whether they were satisfied with their work.
Check out their portfolio:
Any web developer worth his salt should have a portfolio on which they showcase their best projects. Try to have an idea about what they can do, what their style is and whether or not you would like to spend your hard-earned money on it. When you look at their portfolio, pay attention to more than just the pictures displayed there. Try to visit the site itself and see if the same developers are still doing the web work for the company (most developers put a link in the footers). Get someone who’s tech savvy to look up the site markup and okay it for quality. Observe how fast the pages load and how they appear on your phone as well as your computer. Check how the sites are presented, if they’re in a simple, uncluttered manner. Imagine yourself as a potential customer and ask yourself honestly if you would be interested in the business by a visit to the site. Would you quickly understand what they’re about and get information you need with ease?
Test them with a small project first:
You might think you’ve identified your ideal candidate, but just to be sure you should give him or her a small, relatively unimportant project so you can observe the person in action and get additional information about the quality of their work beyond just an interview. Check for how efficient the candidate is in delivering products and how stable the final product is. Did they go beyond just the essentials to get the product delivered? How creative was the solution? How well did he or she work in a team and communicate problems and delays?
Make sure they’ll be available for future tasks:
This is one of the most common problems new clients encounter. When they go to someone cheap, that they knew – probably a family member of a friend that was trying to make some cash on the side at the time. Maybe they even tried outsourcing it overseas to get a deal. Either way, a year later when they can’t get in touch with the developer and have no access to anything they paid for, they find themselves frustrated with no easy solution. Do yourself a favor and work with an established, financially-stable company that wants to build a lasting, long-term relationship with your business.
Get in touch with their references:
Ask for references and actually contact them. Ask each reference what it was like to work with the web developer. Find out if they delivered on time, on budget, and if the client could honestly recommend them.