So you have a fascinating brand, product, or service, and you’re interested in taking things a notch further. The ideal step is usually to present this brand as professional, reliable, and top-notch. This can be flawlessly achieved with great content, amazing customer service, and of course, a website! A website automatically establishes the reliability of your brand. It is a beautiful way of showcasing a company’s values and products. Imagine searching for a service without any brand recommendations. Would you choose to patronize a company with just one social media presence, or would you rather go for a company with a website, and a social media presence as well? Exactly! We would go for the latter option too.
From the above illustration, it is easy to understand that a website is one of the most professional ways of establishing competence, reliability, and ethics.
Now that we have understood the significance of websites, it is paramount to explain that the quality of your website can determine the response you get. This means that having a poorly developed website can be worse than having none at all. A properly developed website not only inspires confidence and reliability, but is a way of indicating professionalism, style, and work ethics. This is where a skilled web developer comes in.
Who is a web developer?
A web developer is one who primarily takes the design and general plan given by either the client or the web designer and transforms it into a website. This means that a web designer and a web developer are different. A web designer is responsible for the aesthetics of your website, whereas a web developer is responsible for bringing those aesthetics and designs together using codes and computer languages. In other words, a web developer will basically take a rough draft and finetune it perfectly to a finished website. To effectively do this, the web developer has to be skilled, efficient, and quality-driven.
Hiring a skilled web developer can be very tasking and stressful. This is because the task automatically seems overwhelming. So you know you want a good website. You know you want it to be as professional and as engaging as possible but where do you begin? How do you begin this seemingly daunting task of finding a web developer equal to the magnitude of your project? There are tons of web developers with different acclaimed experiences and reviews. However, not every web developer can give you results that you would confidently approve of for your brand. This brings us to the summit of this article.
How then do you hire a skilled web developer?
Hiring a skilled and qualified web developer involves knowing the right questions to ask and the right information to look for as well. There are boxes to check and features to tick. To ease this process, here are some steps to take in hiring a skilled web developer.
Step 1. Search for a web developer or a web development agency.
A web developer or a web development agency can be found via recommendations from people. This is usually a fail-proof method because you would most likely have seen a website the person or organization has developed. Hence, you would have an idea of their skill, expertise, and principles. However, this would not be ideal for people who do not have any recommendations. In this scenario, online resources are your best bet. Searching for web development agencies and web developers will yield information that can redirect you to various platforms. It is no surprise that information for almost anything can be found online. To simplify this step, I will recommend sites you can visit to find a web developer.
- Toptal: Toptal is a site that focuses majorly on tech. The selection process of becoming a developer via Toptal is so intricate that only about 3% of total applicants become successful. This is a good and relatively cheaper alternative to hiring a web development agency. The web developers on this platform have a high level of efficiency due to the careful screening process.
- Github jobs: Github is a community of developers. We all agree that specification enhances efficiency, right? Well, imagine a platform for just developers and tech companies. The fact that tech companies and hence, web development agencies can be found at Github makes it exceedingly unique.
- Stack Overflow: This is a similar platform to Github jobs. This is because Stack Overflow is also niche specific. You can, therefore, expect to find experts and specialists via this platform.
- Upwork: Upwork is a massive freelancing platform that covers content creators, web developers, and several other niches. It also makes it easy to access a developer’s qualifications and reviews. You would have to search through different web developers and decide on who to hire based on your instincts and good judgment.
- Hired: This is another platform that is great for matching clients and web developers. It simplifies searching for a web developer and scanning through their portfolio. You can also be matched with web developers that are around you if location happens to be of consideration to you.
- Fiverr: Fiverr is very similar to Upwork as well. However, Fiverr has a more lenient screening process and you would have to also search through tons of people till you find a web developer you consider a good match. If you’d rather skip wading through so many people that might not possibly be what you’re looking for, then try Fiverr Pro. Fiverr Pro allows you access to experts and those whose skills are trusted and deemed reliable.
You could also search for web developers via LinkedIn. There are numerous sites and platforms that web developers work under. However, I would recommend that you start with the aforementioned.
An important checkbox that comes up here is:
- Should I go for a web development company or a freelance web developer?
Most people would prefer or advise that you go for a web development company. This is because a web development company has lots of people with different levels of expertise at their reach and hence, it makes sense that a web development company would be more risk-free, reliable, and generally better. So this means that with a web development company, you automatically have access to a team of web developers, web designers, and other skilled personnel you might not have even considered.
This does not in any way nullify the effectiveness freelance web developers. Although hiring a freelance web developer can have downsides like missing deadlines and limited web development skills, you could find a freelance web developer who is reliable, efficient, and invested in providing quality services. This route, however, is generally more time consuming and has relatively more risk.
To summarize, the safer and surer option would be to go for a web development agency but if you do choose a freelance web developer, ensure you are satisfied with the person’s skills and general work ethics.
Step 2. Access the web developer’s skill and work ethics.
This step brings us to an important checkbox.
- What do you look for in a website developer?
- A skilled developer should also have commendable soft skills or skills more related to work ethics as with other professions. Although gauging this can be more tricky, you can have an idea from how much the web developer understands your job request and description, and how quickly they respond to your inquiries. It is generally a good sign when a developer tries to reply quickly and in a polite tone. This is an indication of how seriously the web developer and really anyone takes their work. You can also have an idea of someone’s work ethics by the level of detail they put into their work, their communication skills with potential clients, and how reliable they are with the supposed delivery date. You can roughly evaluate this from their amassed reviews and ratings. Your brand or business can also greatly influence the features you look for in a web developer. This is because you would need a web developer to be highly flexible and adaptable in a starter business and while these features are necessary even in large scale projects, they are not of utmost importance.
- A skilled web developer should also be able to learn and improve continuously. You can easily evaluate this by looking out for passion and drive, instead of focusing on current coding knowledge alone. This is because your website isn’t essentially a one-time project. You would most likely need to change up a few features, update some processes, e.t.c., and you would need a web developer who is abreast of current tech ideas.
It is at this step that you can confirm for yourself the validity of the reviews you had previously seen. Not only can you judge the web developer’s work principles, but you also have the opportunity to request specific work experiences, and discuss the cost and other requirements. This brings us to two very important checkboxes.
- The general cost of hiring a web developer. The cost of hiring a web developer is dependent on so many different factors. This includes the complexity of your website and your exact requirements. Hence, the exact cost can only be gotten after discussing your project with a web developer. It is thus important to note that the cost of hiring a web developer is not fixed and might differ slightly with different web developers as well.
- Important questions to ask a web developer.
This is where it is important to ask some questions about your website. A very good example is, “Will I be able to edit features myself?” This is because most people assume that once their website is up and running, they can automatically make tweaks here and there without consulting the web developer, and this isn’t always the case. You also need to ask how much the web developer would charge for your website. It is important to make sure that the web developer understands the vision you might have generally for your website. It is also a good idea to ask the web developer about search engine optimization. This covers areas like keywords and how accessible your website would be to people who search for services or products you provide.
Step 4. Make Objective decisions.
Carefully evaluate all you know about the web developer you want to hire. Weigh the person’s skills against the level of quality you want for your website? Do you honestly consider the web developer equal to the task? Are you confident of the web developer’s skills enough to entrust them to your project? If you’re not, it is paramount that you take a step back and evaluate the reasons you have doubts. If these reasons are things you consider to be very important, then you should opt for someone else. However, if these reasons are things you consider minor or trivial, then, by all means, go ahead.
Sometimes, people give jobs even without being convinced of the web developer’s abilities. This could be because they feel like they’ve made so many inquiries or they’ve come such a long way that they are reluctant to begin the whole process anew. A suggestion to this is to speak to more than one web development agency at once.
This will help you make a better decision and easily switch options if your preferred option suddenly becomes the less preferred. So ensure that you are confident in the web developer’s abilities, at least to a certain extent.
Step 5. Give them a mini project as a trial.
The saying goes, “Better safe than sorry”. If you’re not confident enough of the developer’s abilities, why not take a smaller risk? Give them a mini project first and evaluate their performance in it. It would be better to not let the developer know that you intend to test his/her abilities or that you have a bigger project lying in wait. This is because the web developer might go all out trying to impress you and then flop at the bigger project.
This is where another checkbox comes in.
- What information would a web developer require from you before developing your website?
A web developer cannot work best in isolation. What this means is that at the end of the day, this is your website. The web developer will need you to be as involved and as detailed as possible. You’re not expected to know detailed coding languages or how to bring about the idea in your head. After all, if you knew all that, why would you need to hire a web developer? However, it is extremely helpful to have an idea of how you would want your website to look like or at least work closely with the web developer and his/her team to ensure you’re satisfied with their services.
Step 6. Test run the website before you click the final “okay” button.
When a web developer is finished developing your website, it is ideal that you test run it on various browsers and devices. What this means is, have an idea of what your website would look like on google chrome and if possible on safari as well. The whole aim of the website is to allow potential clients with different browsers and devices to have hitch-free access to your products. Therefore, it makes sense to ensure everything looks good everywhere. You can be a little extra and crosscheck how it looks like on a mobile device and a laptop. Doing these test runs will ensure you spot whatever errors or features you’re not comfortable with and make suitable adjustments.
This is the last and final process. After this step, you should have an effective website that is developed according to your requirements and that you are fully satisfied with it.
We hope that these steps have simplified the whole process of hiring a skilled web development agency(web developer) and that you are more confident tackling the whole process now than you were in the beginning.
Thank you for reading.