Finding a website developer is simple because there are so many of them out there. However, when you want to find a great one, it is important to know what to look for. Taking the time to research and see what a website developer offers can go a long way to ensuring that you have a great looking website.
You don’t want anything to be missed when it comes to having your website built because it is simply too important. You want to visit their website, check out their portfolio, and decide if you like what you see. It’s more than that, though. A professional website developer needs to be innovative, utilize state-of-the-art technology, and provide plenty of support.
There are some tips to follow to help you hire the best developer for what you want your website to feature.
First off, know the goals of your project
Before you get started, you need to know about the goals of your website. Do you want e-commerce present or are you looking for a basic website that is informative to consumers? Do you want people to be able to login and access members only information? How many pages do you want? These are all questions that you need to ask of yourself before you get started with a website developer so that you can answer them in a timely manner when you sit down during the consultation.
If you don’t know the goals of your project, you won’t be able to find a developer that can give you what you want.
1. Do you have an existing portfolio with references?
Website design can be dramatically different from developer to developer. You need to review the portfolios for everyone to see what they can offer. Some are very cookie-cutter, while others are completely customized. If you don’t see something in the portfolio that is similar to what you want, it may be that the developer is unable to give you what you want – and that is a sure sign that you need to move to a different firm.
2. Can you scale with me as my business grows?
While you may be specific about what you need now, you need to make sure that the developer is capable of providing you with room to grow. Websites are not static entities, so you want to make sure you end up with a developer that can support your on-going business needs.
3. Are you using industry standard, open source software?
There is a significant amount of technology in the internet marketing industry, including responsive website design. Talk to the developer to see what technology they are using to ensure that you are getting the best of the best.
Responsive designs ensure that your site can be viewed on virtually any handheld device, while HTML 5 and other coding allows your site to load quickly on the devices so that people don’t get frustrated with your website and choose to go to a competitor.
4. What is your process?
Ask the developer how they typically work on website projects. How much effort will be required on your end? What's the estimated timeframe for launching the new site? At what points will you be able to review work and provide comments?
Ultimately, you want to find someone that finds a good balance between doing the majority of the work for you, but also gives you opportunities to request revisions at certain points throughout the development process.
5. Will I be able to do minor updates myself?
A CMS or content management system should be provided to you. This will allow you to make minor updates to the content on your site as well as to add blogs without having to go back to the developer for them to add it and charge you for it.
6. Are there any hidden costs?
Find out what it is going to cost, and make some comparisons with other developers. Do not make the assumption that a developer is giving you the best price just because he says he is.
It's also worth considering the time cost on your end or the cost of hiring other vendors to handle work that the developer doesn't cover. For example, if your developer doesn't cover content creation for your site, you'll either need to spend several hours of your time writing or hire a copywriter to take care of it for you.
To learn more about the various website design and development options out there, download our pricing comparison chart.
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