Hiring a web developer can be an intimidating process. You may not know much about web development and have concerns about getting the most value for the money you spend. There’s a lot of terms and processes you may not be familiar with, and comparing estimates or quotes from different developers can seem like apples and oranges. We can help. Here are a few of the items to look for when you go developer shopping:
- Portfolio - Anyone you’re considering should have a portfolio. Even brand new developers out of school have work they can show you. Check their website and look around to see what their sites look like. If you’re building a special type of site, like e-commerce, be sure you see a couple in their portfolio before you consider hiring them.
- Support - What good is a new website if you can’t make changes or get on-going help if something is wrong? Unfortunately, in this industry is more the exception than the rule that a developer will put up a site and then disappear. When shopping around, be sure to ask what kind of support they offer and how they charge. Many will include some time if they are already providing hosting, but others will charge per hour for changes or tech support. Ask, and get anything they offer in writing.
- Services - All developers will offer different packages and add-ons. Be sure to get a good idea of what those additional services are and if you’ll actually use them. Some things you might look for: SEO updates, copywriting, blog posts, tech support, hosting, and more. Don’t pay for things you won’t use or can do in-house. Again, with such a variety of options out there, comparing one company or developer to another can get tricky. Just ask lots of questions and don’t be afraid of sounding dumb—if the developer doesn’t have the patience to answer your questions and thoroughly explain their services, maybe they aren’t a good fit.
- Price - In web, as with everything else, you get what you pay for. The tricky part is there are some folks out there doing business who lack general decency or integrity. Typically, the bigger your site, the more features you need (online shopping, databases, membership sections) the more expensive the site. Trust your gut and find someone who has broken down their estimate in a logical and clear way so that you can understand exactly what you’re paying for.
Ultimately, there are a lot of factors to consider. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions about your web development project. Sometimes talking to a friendly, knowledgeable party can help you better understand the questions to ask and information to gather.
Josh is owner and lead developer at Clicks & Mortar Websites. He's an expert in designing and developing websites and loves helping other entreprenuers create a great first impression online. Learn more about working with Josh and his team here.