If you are looking to hire a web developer, how do you know who to choose? Aside from ensuring that they have the know-how and technical skills, here are the things you should look for before signing a contract.
1. They Have a Process
Creating or revising a website can be a daunting process. So it’s important to choose a developer who you trust to guide you every step of the way.
A good web developer will have an established process. It’s their responsibility to make sure that the process feels as smooth and easy as possible. And part of that is explaining the process to you so you know what to expect.
2. They Think about Strategy
A website strategy is extremely important. So many business owners spend time and money on a website, but they have no idea what it’s doing for their business.
Your website developer should understand the importance of creating a site with purpose. They should either work with you to create a website strategy or make an effort to understand the vision that you’ve laid out.
If your new site does not consider your business needs, you may soon be spending thousands more dollars for a new one.
3. They Make Recommendations
There are hundreds of thousands of people who can make you a website1, and you could even make one yourself! But one of the reasons you hire a developer is for their expertise.
A good web developer will use their expertise to anticipate needs or issues so you don’t have to. You should feel comfortable taking their advice and looking to them for recommendations.
4. They Give You Ownership
I know too many entrepreneurs who are stuck with a website they can’t access or update. Most of the time, they hired a web developer to create the site and never received the important account credentials. Now that developer is no longer involved, and the entrepreneur is left worried or frustrated.
To avoid this scenario, you should be given ownership of any and all credentials throughout the website development process. A good developer will give those to you without you having to ask.
- Ownership over your domain name and access to your domain name registrar
- Full access to your web host/server
- Admin access to your CMS or website builder (like WordPress, Squarespace, etc.)
- Access to the licenses for any add-ons, plug-ins, extensions or integrations
Don’t allow your website to be kept captive. You need to be able to access, update, and renew your site with or without the original developer.
5. They include Training
Be sure that your web developer arms you with the tools and training that you need to update your site. This is your website, and you should feel confident that you can make quick changes.
Some developers handle ongoing maintenance, so you may not feel the need to know now, but you’ll undoubtedly run across a scenario when you want to make a quick update. You’ll be glad that you aren’t left with your hands tied.
Your developer should teach and train you either during or after the project. It’s even better if they supply you with a training document.
If you have more questions about building a website, feel free to contact us. We’re happy to talk with you about your website project.
1 This estimate is based off of May 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics for web developers in the US (https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151134.htm#nat) which doesn’t include hobbyists, web designers and other marketer job titles. Yahoo Finance calls attention to Webydo in 2013 which serves “a large creative community of 38M designers worldwide” (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/market-analysis-design-industry-180000355.html)
I like how you said that even though we could make a website ourselves, the reason to hire a web developer is for their expertise. At my work there’s been some discussion of starting a website to make our products more accessible. I’m glad I read your article because now I can better see the value of hiring a web developer.
WONDERFUL! Even non technical person would understand what a user needs and designers would know what should be included and what needs to be not. I am impressed with your creativity.Keep it up.
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