It is a proven fact that a carefully selected and a handpicked web developer can greatly contribute to the success of your online business, its long term sustainability, better user experience and an overall better business experience. In short, developer is the god of your website which is why hiring the right web developer is considered to be one most critical decision as a car owner you have to take.
While it may sound really fascinating to dip into an online freelance marketplace with hundreds of developers desperate for projects, choosing one is still a big gamble as not all developers are created equal. Each developer has a different skill level and different expertise you can literally get lost in a wide range of skill sets and price tags.
Reports reveal that a majority of investors walk into the developer shop oblivious with no prior research. If you are one those, we have assembled some tips for you to make the selection process easier and more effective.
Analyze Your Project Needs
First of all, you need to understand that all business websites are not created the same way. The structure and design is subjective to the needs of your particular business and the objectives you aim to achieve with the website. Do some paperwork to calculate the needs and determine the business model of website.
Here are some pro tips,
- Understand the Niche of your business. Each niche has different scope.
- Either it’s a bookstore, pet store or even a consultancy agency; you have to figure out the specialized business niche.
- Understand the web development trends in your particular niche and what skills will be required to accomplish them.
- Understand your target audience.
- It is important for you to analyze and interpret the needs, demands, and expectations of target audience prior to the development process.
- Determine what you want and what you don’t want.
- Anticipate potential obstacles and hurdles that may come in the way.
Determine the Required Skills
Once you determine your project needs, it will be quite easy to decide on the required skills. Competitors can help you out on this. Go to their website and explore them. Visit each and every page. We suggest you inspect every minor detail on competitor’s website. The objective is not to copy their ideas but is to examine the fundamental layout so that you have a better idea of required skill level. You can give a personalized touch to the whole thing.
There are many ecommerce platforms available, and developers can pick one for ecommerce web development. Top of the line platforms are Magento, WooCommerce, Shopify and PrestaShop. There are endless tutorials and helpful videos available on YouTube that will help you figure out which platform is good for your website.
Determine Budget and The Pricing Model
Determining the budget can be tricky. There are various pricing models available and wide range of options and elements to consider before planning the budget. It depends upon the platform expertise of the developer you hire. For instance, WooCommerce devs usually charge less than Magento devs, if you want to add extensions like WooCommerce price calculator. It can help you sell items by area, volume and length.
I will give you a brief insight into the three pricing models you can choose from,
1- Time and Materials
I prefer this approach to keep things simple. This is because the billing is provided much like by accountants and lawyers. You can ask the developer for a blended rate that covers all the specialties, regardless of role and seniority.
2. Flat Rate / Project Cost
Fixed price is the alternate approach. The cost of a project is determined by calculating the number of hours, goods and services regardless of time and materials.
3. Value-Based Pricing
This is the most advanced mode of pricing where you are charged for the value of the strategy or creative thinking. You pay for what you get. The developer will focus more on the end product and its effectiveness rather than the productivity and limits to the project.
Look at portfolio of Several web designers and Examples of Some prior Design
I will be sincere here. I personally believe that judging a developer based on the previous work is same as judging a book by its cover. Never make it the sole criteria for hiring. However, it is important to take a look at their portfolios and don’t mind contacting their previous clients to see if they are satisfied with the developers’ services.
Also, don’t obsess on education.
I personally know businesses who have hired some great web developers by putting more emphasis on prior work as opposed to resume details or educational credentials.
Shortlist Top Three and Arrange a Meeting with Them
Now are fully prepared to get out and interview the potential candidates. I suggest to shortlist top three that most closely match your needs. If you interview all of them, you will probably get confused. Scrutinize your list and select top three. Arrange meetings with them. Discuss different websites, brands, and business in your niche that could be taken as inspiration. Realize their key motivations.
Also try to understand if they have any reservations or concerns with your approach to the project. And if you realize that their style and expertise may uncover unique design elements and is perfect for your business objectives, Congratulations, you have found the exact match.
Understand the Contract
Contract is often taken for granted. A contract will ensure the transparency in the dealing and everything will be streamlined. Last but not the least; don’t forget to retain the ownership rights. It is important that you acquire the ownership rights of the assets as a part of working agreement.
Hiring the perfect web developer may appear to be a daunting task. However, with some little self-education, proper research, and a clear picture in your mind, you can easily find the perfect web developer for your project.
Paul Simmons is eCommerce web developer works for FMEAddons, a company specialized in developing eCommerce extensions.