It’s an exciting new project: whether you’re finally ready to launch your new business, or your boss asked you to take the lead, it’s time to dig into designing and developing a new website. There’s just one problem.
You don’t know anything about building websites.
Clearly this is going to be an outside job, and after browsing some developers, you settle on one who’s got a quirky flair that seems to match your vibe. You chat a bit, they seem nice and knowledgeable, so you commit.
Cut to six months later, and your website is full of bugs, doesn’t feel intuitive, it’s never really been finished properly, and your developer is getting harder and harder to reach. Worst of all, you’re still pumping money into it hoping to salvage something for your investment.
Could all this have been avoided?
Yes! We’ve all had our share of hiring disasters where what we wanted was not even close to what we got, and you can’t afford that risk for your website. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Our advice will help simplify the process and get you the best results the first time when you‘re hiring a web developer.
The Importance of Picking the Right Web Developer
A website is the face of your business, but if it looks mediocre and has the user friendliness of a Commodore 64 trying to run Windows 8, you’re going to lose weeks of time, burn additional development costs to fix it, and depending on the issues, send potential customers screaming to your competition.
Investing effort into selecting the perfect candidate for the job is key, and spending some extra time researching potential developers could save you from disaster later down the line. If you’re not aligned with your developer on project scope and specialized architecture requirements, the end product won’t align with your business model on the other side.
You need to ask the right questions and consider the right details if you want to develop the perfect website.
1. Identifying the Scope of Your Project
It’s essential to consider the scope of your project and what type of development is necessary. If you’re familiar with some basic terms and concepts you’ll be able to get on the same page with your potential expert.
Do You Need Front-End, Back-End, or Full-Stack Development?
Front-end developers focus on creating user interfaces and any visual aspects that users interact with. Back-end developers work behind the scenes on more complex aspects of websites, and full-stack developers can do both.
Before hiring a web developer, decide which kind of development is right for your project.
Understanding the Level of Complexity and Functionality Required
Depending on what you need out of the website, the complexity of development may vary significantly. Knowing exactly what features you want from your website, from its user interface to its functionalities, will help you better communicate with potential developers about their ability to take on specific tasks.
And if you’re not sure, just ask! A good developer shouldn’t just be able to build; they should be able to guide their clients with their knowledge and skills to the best outcome. If you need advice and your developer can’t communicate, it’s a huge red flag.
Determining Timeline and Budget for Project
Assessing how long it will take to complete your project and how much money you will need to allocate is crucial to hire a web developer. Be sure to discuss these details with potential hires and compare the different estimates to make an informed decision.
2. Address Specialties and Skill Sets Required
Choosing a web developer with the specific skills and experience necessary for your project should be at the top of your list. Research potential candidates’ portfolios and previous work. This can give you invaluable insight into their level of expertise.
If any particular technologies or coding languages are essential for your project’s success, double-check that these are part of the developer’s skill set. Also, any good developer should have a reasonable sense of the specialization or expertise your proposal might entail and advise you accordingly. If they aren’t capable of offering guidance, you can bet they’re not the one for you.
3. Choosing the Right Development Model
When it comes to hiring a web developer, you have countless models at your disposal. But which one is best for your project? Understanding the different models available and their respective pros and cons can help you make an informed decision about who to hire. So let’s break it down.
- Full-time employees are ideal if you need someone on board for more than just a single project, as they’ll be able to provide continuity in maintenance and fixing bugs over time. However, this also means you’ll need to commit financial resources (salary) and non-financial resources (workspace, benefits, etc.) to ensure the employee is well taken care of.
- Part-time employees are an attractive option for projects that don’t require a full-time commitment from a web developer. They have fewer associated costs and responsibilities than full-time employees, but still provide continuity and stability for your project. However, part-timers may not be able to give their all if they’re juggling multiple jobs at once.
- Freelancers are great when you need someone just for a single project. They can come in quickly, get the job done efficiently, and then move on to something else without any additional obligations. However, freelancers often charge higher rates, and you won’t have the same control or consistency as a full-time or part-time employee.
- Agencies are perfect if you need a team of professionals to work on your project. They provide plenty of resources and can quickly assemble a squad to tackle any challenge. The costs of using agencies can vary, and are typically higher than freelancers, so research each carefully before choosing which suits your budget!
4. Do Your Homework
Researching potential web developers and creating a checklist of questions to ask them can ensure you are getting the best developer for your project. Here are some FAQs to help get you started:
- What kind of experience in coding languages, platforms, and development tools will I need for this project?
- Does this developer have any certifications or portfolio samples that demonstrate their capabilities?
- Can they provide you with (or can you find) references from past employers or clients who could give an honest opinion on their work ethic and communication skills?
- Do they have a good understanding of user experience, usability testing and accessibility standards?
- What is their availability, and what would be the timeline for completion of your project?
- Finally, are they just plain great to work with? Do they get back to you quickly with clear ideas when you have a question, or are you constantly waiting for clarification?
Don’t forget to use your gut instinct when it comes to selecting the right web developer. Trust you’ll know who has the most potential!
Now You’re Ready to Get Started!
There’s so much pressure on finding the right match when you’re hiring a web developer for a project you’ve sunk your blood, sweat, tears, and hard-earned cash into, and you deserve a website that reflects your hard work and commitment to excellence.
Buddy Web Design & Development wants to help make your dream a reality.
At Buddy, we’ve got a team of experts with decades of experience under their belt, so you know they’ll be able to bring your website vision to life. Don’t wait any longer—contact Buddy now, and let’s work together to create something awesome!