Redesigning an existing website or building a new one is an arduous task that takes time, money, and clear communication. Finding a skilled web developer can make all the difference when engaging in this tedious process.
However, the internet is filled with developers who claim to have the necessary skills, experience, and organizational qualities to get the job done. How can companies protect their interests and sift through the noise to find the right one?
Here are six helpful tips for finding the right web developer for your project.
Evaluate Their Website
The first thing you should do when vetting a web development company is to browse through their website. Not only will this exercise give you a better look at their skills and portfolio, but it will also showcase whether they practice what they preach or not.
If you find the developer’s website hard to navigate or outdated, they’re likely not the right vendor for your needs. Additionally, if you feel like their website is overly familiar and uses a template you’ve seen before, there’s a good chance they’ll take a similar approach to your project and call it a custom build.
Try to overlook the aesthetic qualities, as their branding may not appeal to you. Instead, consider the navigation, load time, and overall flow of their site.
Look for Customer Testimonials
Another important exercise when trying to find a skilled developer is to look at customer testimonials and reviews. Many web developers will have testimonials posted on their site. You can also Google for additional reviews. When you see a testimonial, don’t hesitate to click through to the reviewer’s website to get a better idea of the developer’s work.
Word-of-mouth referrals are also valuable when seeking a skilled developer. If you have contacts whose site you like, ask them who did the work.
Keep in mind that a lack of web presence is a red flag when seeking a web developer.
Evaluate the Broader Skill Set
Technology evolves rapidly. The honed skills that mean so much today could be obsolete in a few years. This is just one reason why it’s important to look beyond the core skills and evaluate the developer’s broader skill set.
For example, a modern developer should have plenty of experience with SEO (search engine optimization). While many tend to focus on the content marketing side of SEO (keyword research, etc.), there’s a technical component to SEO as well, and it’s influenced by the coding and structure that a developer puts in place.
Depending on your project, you may also want someone with niche experience in front-end or back-end development, branding and design elements, eCommerce, etc.
Read Past the Jargon
The buzzwords and jargon in web development and programming can be both impressive and intimidating. Beware of developers who use these terms to sound superior or mysterious as a form of marketing.
A skilled developer will know how to communicate their expertise in a way you can understand and measure independently. They’ll know how to report their progress in a way that helps you follow along. You may not understand the nuances of what they’re doing, but you should understand why.
Create a Vetting Process
Create a streamlined vetting process for determining which of your potential developers you’ll choose. This vetting process could require a request for proposal (RFP), interviews, and even weighted success metrics to simplify the selection process.
Clarify the Project and Payment Models
Finally, look for transparency and clarity in the project and payment models. A developer should be able to tell you who will work on your project (one person or a team), how reporting will take place (frequency, format, etc.), and how much the project will cost.
Each developer may have a different structure, from retainer-based to milestone-based payments. They should also be upfront and honest about this structure and willing to put it in writing, so you know what to expect.
With these six helpful tips, you’ll find the right developer for your company website project.