So, you are thinking about building a website for your business? That’s fantastic, however, this is likely to be a somewhat spendy adventure. That being said, over the years I have had my fair share of experience in working with tons of web developers and have learned some hard and expensive lessons about working with trusted web developers.
I have put together these 10 tips to hiring a trusted web developer:
Any trusted web developer should be able to provide you with samples of their work.
Check out the developer’s website. Does it look like a website you would want? Does it look professional? If not, I would look elsewhere…A trusted web developer should know that their personal website is going to say a ton about the quality of work they are providing.
Are they upfront and transparent about estimating the cost of the project? A trusted web developer should be able to give you a project total before beginning the project and should always get written permission before doing work that is over the estimated budget.
Have you heard from others about their experience in working with this web developer? Ask around and see if anyone has anything positive or negative to say about the web developer. Can they provide you with some past clients as references for you to reach out to?
I am personally biased on this one so take it with a grain of salt. I firmly believe in asking for recommendations when it comes to a web developer. I normally will not work with a developer unless someone I personally know recommends them or can speak to the quality of their work.
A trusted web developer should be willing to communicate with you on a regular basis to answer questions or provide updates. Before hiring a developer I would highly recommend adding into your contract the frequency of communication expected.
Test their knowledge. I know that this is somewhat hard to do for average folks with little knowledge on websites, but you should be prepared with questions. Some of my favorites are:
- What website platforms do you build on and why?
- Will the website you build be user-friendly? Meaning, can I go in and easily make changes?
- Do you provide any kind of training so I personally can learn how to use the website and make edits as needed?
- Will you properly hook the website up to Google Webmaster tools?
- Will the website be optimized for SEO? How will you do this?
- Will the website be optimized for mobile use?
- Will all images be compressed and properly sized so page speed is not affected negatively?
- Will you perform a thorough check of the website to make sure everything is functioning correctly?
- Do you have any kind of warranty? Meaning, if something breaks on the website will you come in nd fix it?
Get a Second Opinion
Much like taking your car into a mechanic, you should always get a second, third, or even fourth opinion. It is great to know what is out there and allow several web developers to bid for your project.
Who Owns What?
This is one of the biggest problems I have seen when working with untrustworthy web developers…meaning, I have seen developers build websites for users and they actually end up owning everything. They buy the domain in their name, they host the website through their own account, etc. As the business owner, you should 100% own everything and everything should be in your name!
Things you should have access to and own:
- Full website access
- Your domain
- Google webmaster tools
- Any social accounts
- Any email accounts
When working with a web developer you should always have a written contract. They should provide one, however, if they do not, write one up and if possible have a lawer look over it. Have all agreements in writing in case anything should go wrong and legal action needs to be taken.