5 Steps to Finding and Keeping a Good Website Developer

In the world of technology and business, one of the biggest complaints I hear is that it is difficult to find and keep a good web developer. Clients want a web developer who is reliable, talented, and professional. With so many people doing website development these days, one has to wonder why it is that clients are unable to find a web developer who meets their needs. Here are some tips for finding and keeping a good website developer: Be prepared I would suggest this for any important project. It is important to be prepared for discussing your web needs with your developer. Being prepared includes having a budget in mind, having content available, having a realistic timeline in mind. When it comes to a timeline, many clients do not know what to expect. For this reason, it is very important to outline your needs to the web developer. Once you have outlined your needs, the web developer can tell you how long it might take and how much work will go into completing your project. Having content available will reduce the amount of time it might take to complete your project. Your content may be in the form of a brochure, a previous website or presentation. Having your content in electronic format will reduce your timeline considerably. Know what you want If this is your first web project, you may not know exactly what you want. So, you will want to visit your competitor’s websites to get an idea what people in your industry have on their websites. Although you may have a personal preference in music and colors, you may want to stay away from having your preference reflected in your site. Your site should have your target audience in mind and reflect your business brand. Once you have looked at some of your competitor’s websites, capture the link from the address field of the sample site and send the link to your web developer. This way, the developer has an idea what you are looking for in your company’s web site. Also, you will want to look at your web developer’s portfolio and references. Before signing a contract with your web developer, get to know the developer’s temperament. Some developer’s like to do things “their way”. I know of one developer who gets angry if a client does not fill out his mandatory intake sheet. If project structure is important to you, then you will want a developer who likes structure, also. Self-educate (Yes, this is similar to self-medicate) When looking to purchase any item, one must perform at least some due diligence. This is true in web development, also. It is not difficult to email your developer’s previous customers to ask if they like his/her work. Some developers only showcase websites that they are proud of in their portfolio. But, if you do a reverse look-up search on their website address, you may find some sites that they are less than proud of. Don’t de-value their work Just because you may not understand why it would take 2 days “just to get 200 pictures to fade in and out” does not mean that it does not in fact take 2 days to complete. If we are not familiar with an industry, we may not always understand how much work goes into completing a task. My plumber may take a week to replace a main line to my home. I might not understand why it should take so long because in my mind, all the plumber has to do is dig up the ground, remove a pipe, put a new one in and put the dirt back. But, the reality is, there is much more to the task than I think there is. So, when you discuss a task with your developer, always ask how long it will take for him/her to complete it. This will keep you from becoming frustrated, relieve some of their pressure and allow them to better manage their projects. It may be even more important to point out that a web developer knows how much a task costs to complete. Some web developers do not negotiate on their pricing. Many business people do not understand this concept. Many web developers consider themselves to be artists and as such their art is non-negotiable. You may find yourself listening to a dial tone if you attempt to negotiate on a web developer’s pricing. It would be easier just to tell the web developer upfront how much money you can spend on the project and the project specs. This way, the developer can tell you if he/she can help you or not. Read your contract Ask the developer if they have a standard contract you can review or have your lawyer review prior to signing (yes, it is just that important). Some web developers have clauses in their contracts which indicate they may have backlinks on your website. Although some clients do not mind backlinks, others find it to be an imposition. Reading your web developer’s contract removes the surprise factor. Like any relationship worth keeping, it’s not going to be hugs and kisses all of the time. But, if you follow these steps you web development project will be a success.