Hiring anybody can be a pretty tough call to make, and even more so when you’re trying to hire a web developer. Your website will quickly become the online face of your business and will shape the way your company is perceived by customers as well as how it does business online.
But there’s no need to feel pressure. Hiring a great web developer can be easy, and you can get it right the first time by following these six tips below.
1. Make a List of 2-3 Websites You Like
The first thing to have in mind when looking to hire a great web developer is what you want (and what you don’t want). Take a look at some of the websites you follow whose designs appeal to you. Ideally, these are sites with a large following and lots of engagement.
Ask yourself what you like about these websites, what you don’t like or feel could be improved on. Create a list if you have to.
At the bottom of these websites is usually a reference to the developer including contact details. Email the website owner for this information if you don’t see it; ask them if they are satisfied with the services they got.
2. Ask For a Portfolio
So you’ve gotten in touch with the developer who took care of your favorite website on the web. If they are good, there’s a high chance that they are booked solid for the time being.
Don’t feel discouraged; this actually gives you time to do your due diligence. Ask for a portfolio if you have not already viewed it on their website.
The portfolio should give you a feel of what this developer has to offer, and should help you make a decision to either move forward with the hiring process or move along to the next developer.
3. Check Out References
While you’re at it, ask for some references. Beyond portfolio samples that can show you what a developer can do, references can fill you in on how it feels to work with a person.
For example, you don’t want a brilliant web developer who goes missing for weeks at a time, and messes up your deadlines.
A good place to get references is from the owners of those websites you love and follow. References could even be your first step towards hiring a web developer. You could streamline the whole process by asking around from people you trust who have solicited the services of a web developer before.
Picking up a phone to actually talk to a developer can tell you a lot of things that a bunch of portfolio samples simply won’t.
4. Keep Your Budget in Mind
Getting your website designed and developed could cost you anywhere from free to a tens of thousand of dollars. It depends on what your requirements are, who you’re working with, and how much they charge. Factors like the intricacy of the design, number of pages, and any special functionality can affect the cost of the job you want done.
Keep your budget in mind, and ask the designer the cost for their average project. The closer your budget is to the cost range given, the better. If the difference is too much, you may want to move on to the next designer on your list.
5. Ask Relevant Questions
While tech-savvy people take the initiative to ask a bunch of hair splitting questions to evaluate a developer’s level of expertise, the uninitiated and non-techies could ask other practical options such as:
- When can you start?
- What is your average turn-around time for projects?
- What do you need from me before you start?
- Does the price include making the website mobile friendly?
- Do you offer post-launch support or maintenance?
- Who will own the website design after you're finished? (Typically you want to own it.)
- Who will actually do the work? Is anything outsourced? (You’ll want to know if you can afford to wait several hours for a patch job because the programmer is actually over-seas.)
6. Is Your Prospect a Good Fit?
In the end you want somebody who makes a good fit for your business or organization. This is especially true about smaller teams where strong personal friendships are formed and often key. Experience is important, yes, but so are the values that your company holds dear. Does your business thrive on a culture of determination, persistence, adaptability, and drive? Or maybe the atmosphere is more laid back and less intense?
The degree to which your prospect is compatible with your company values and culture is a great predictor of future success. You likely will want to be working with them for an Eternity (pun intended). So keep a list of these values in mind when thinking of hiring. Ideally, your developer’s personality should tick at least 75% of all the right boxes.
We hope that your path leads in our direction and we would love to chat to see if we are a great fit.