If you’re a small business owner, the thought of hiring a developer can be terrifying. You don’t need to be a techie yourself—just know that it’s important to approach the decision with care. If you’re curious about hiring a web developer but aren’t sure where to start, here are some tips:
Get clear about the job you need done.
Set your goals. The first step in hiring a web developer is to get clear about what you hope to achieve by hiring one. Your goal should be specific and measurable, with a timeline attached so that you know when it’s been achieved (I recommend 3-6 months). For example, if you want to start making more money from your website, set a goal like: “Increase average monthly sales by 15% by March 1st.”
Don’t worry about other people’s goals. It can be tempting when choosing a developer or creating content for your site to look at what other businesses are doing online, but don’t let their successes cloud yours! You are unique—so look at what worked for them and figure out how it might work for you too—but don’t start blindly copying the exact formula they used because chances are there’s no such thing as an exact formula anyway. Instead of taking cues from others’ websites and marketing strategies, go back to defining your own problem first before thinking about how best to solve it with technology tools like websites or apps (we’ll talk more about this later).
What skills do you need?
The first thing you have to consider is what skills do you need? This can be broken down into three categories:
Back-end development: Typically these are the people who build the core of your website including databases, servers and other technical stuff.
Designers: The designers create a design for how your website should look and feel based on what it does for your business.
Is this a local job or can it be done remotely?
If you are hiring a web developer, it is likely that you will be working with them on a regular basis. It might even be important to have meetings in person so that you can communicate effectively. If this is the case, then find out if your prospective partner has office space or a dedicated workspace where they can meet with clients. This can help ensure that communication between the two parties goes smoothly in future meetings if needed.
If there is no option for face-to-face communication, make sure to set up some sort of Skype call before hiring anyone to do work for you remotely so that both parties know what each of them sounds like (so things don’t get lost in translation).
Does your developer need to be familiar with similar projects?
If you have a project that is similar to another one, it can be helpful to hire someone who has worked on that type of project before. For example, if you are creating an online store for selling handmade items and want a web developer who has already created other online stores for handmade products, then this might be a good fit.
Another way to find out whether or not your potential web developer has experience with similar projects is by looking at their portfolio. You can see what kinds of projects they have worked on before and get an idea of their expertise in this area.
Ask for references.
While you should always take into account a developer’s previous experience, it’s important to also ask for references. If they have worked with other companies, or even just on their own projects, ask them for feedback. A good developer will be happy to share positive experiences of their work. Also ask if they can provide any negative feedback so that you know what issues they have had in the past and whether this is something you need to concern yourself with going forward.
I think it’s a good idea to see if there are people who are not affiliated with the company either by asking friends or family or searching online for reviews from other clients – don’t forget though that these reviews might not be entirely impartial!
Hiring a web developer is a big decision and it’s important to go into the process carefully
Consider the skills and experience of the people you are hiring. Ask them about their past work, ask other developers they’ve worked with, and check out their portfolio. If they say they’ve done similar projects to yours in the past, be sure to ask them specifics about those projects so you can get an idea of what they mean by “similar.”
Make sure you understand what you’re getting for your money. It’s easy to see how much time someone has billed on your project so far without understanding which clients have paid for that time—but it’s just as important to understand where all of your funds are going! Web development can take many different forms depending on what features need building or updating; make sure there’s clarity between both parties about both costs and timelines before making any final decisions about hiring someone new on board full-time at this stage beyond just helping finish some things off here or there (which may be worth considering too).
As you go through this process, remember that hiring a web developer isn’t just about finding someone with the right skills. It’s also about finding someone who shares your vision and passion for creating something amazing. Hopefully these tips will help you figure out how to do that!