4 Tips to Consider When Hiring a Web Developer
Whether you're a brick-and-mortar mom and pop shop or an eCommerce brand, one thing is certain - you need a website to represent your brand.
15:06 18 March 2021
But for most entrepreneurs, the learning curve involved in executing a well thought out website can be far steeper than what they are prepared to commit to in terms of time and effort.
For the not so tech savvy entrepreneurs, hiring a web developer comes as a viable alternative that can result in minimum investment of time and effort while also yielding a professionally designed website.
This route, however, isn't without its own unique challenges, one of which is finding and hiring the right web developer. There are hundreds of talented developers to choose from and a myriad of platforms to find them on, not to mention dozens of technical competencies they are promoting i.e. mastery in a programming language or database system.
To help you select the right developer that fits your business' needs, here are some things to consider:
Know Your Project Inside Out
Although it might seem that every website is built the same way as the next one, that is a completely false assumption and can start your project on the wrong footing right out of the gate. For instance, a website like Google will have a completely different set of tools and amount of resources powering it from behind than an eCommerce platform that sells widgets. A professional portfolio website will incorporate different UX elements and design constraints than a business or entertainment website.
Before you ever even talk to a potential web developer, you need to clearly scope out your project with very specific requirements. This ensures there’s no issue around the work that needs to be completed. The developer you hire should have technical know-how and experience in whatever type of website you need built.
Know What Questions to Ask
When interviewing a web developer, it's trivial to ask questions that do not specifically pertain to the job you need filled. Questions like "Who created the Python language?" or "In what year was Java released?" does not tell you how competent or reliable a prospective web developer is. Some good questions to inquire about include the candidate's ability to manage conflicting version updates when multiple people are working on the same dataset, what design patterns they've used in past projects, and how they test code for potential bugs and weaknesses.
Start With a Small Project
Before you hire a full-time web developer or award a freelancer with a six-month contract on a project, get to know how they work by starting them out with a smaller project. This sort of test run can give you a much better idea regarding a candidate's skill set and work ethic. Can they deliver on the agreed upon milestones? Are they familiar with the programming language or server setup that you require? Are they good at communicating project updates and concerns in a clear and professional manner?
Consider All Costs
Costs of building a web development project don't just start and stop with fees paid to your web developer. You'll also be paying for hosting services and ongoing technical support. Some developers will throw in a month or two of technical support while others will charge you on a pay-as-you-go basis, or any time the website needs updating. Before hiring any web developer, make sure you iron out the financial details of the contract. It's best to understand the costs upfront and meet a mutual agreement before any actual work is done.
Every web developer brings a unique set of skills and work ethic to your project. It's best to take the extra amount of time and effort in finding a compatible person to spearhead the project. Taking any shortcuts can backfire and cause even more delays as you work with a developer who isn't cut out for your specific project.