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A Lifestyle Blog for Women Entrepreneurs by Tierra Wilson

Hiring A New Web Developer? Here’s What You Need To Know

Hiring A New Web Developer? Here’s What You Need To Know

We all know how important is to have a great website. Often, it is the first impression you give any potential customers. In fact, 81% of shoppers today will search a product or service online before making a purchasing decision. You not only need to show up in their online search, but you need to look GOOD. Having a professional-looking website helps build your credibility – testimonials, customer reviews, an informative blog, and even an attractive logo lend to your air of authority. Bottom line – the more professional your website appears, the more advantages you will gain.

If you think your site needs a do-over, here’s what you should ask a web developer before hiring them:

What services do you offer?

You may think of a web developer as someone who designs and builds websites, but many offer a variety of services. Branding, copyrighting, marketing and SEO are all skills which they may be able to provide you.

Will you build me a custom website?

Some developers use templates, which may leave your website looking like several others already out there. If you want a one-of-a-kind look, make sure you hire a developer who will design a custom website, based on your unique branding and ideas.

Can you provide examples of sites you have designed?

Looking at a developer’s previous work will give you an idea of both the quality and diversity of the sites they build. In addition, you can get a good idea of whether or not they fit your personal aesthetic.

Will you keep my current branding in mind?

If you already have a brand you love, and just want a website redesign without having to totally re-do everything, look for a developer that will work with you.

How much input will I have with design?

Some people want to be highly involved with their website design, while some want to hand it over to a professional and never think about it again. There is no “correct” way to do it, but make sure you find someone that matches your preferred work style.

Who will be working on my website?

Just because you spoke to the owner of the company doesn’t mean that they’ll personally be working on your project. Find out if all work will be done in-house, or if parts will be outsourced. Ideally, you don’t want a middleman between you and the person actually designing your site, as that can cause miscommunication and confusion.

How long will it take to complete my website?

Knowing what to expect along the way, and having a defined timeline, will help you keep all your ducks in a row. Typically, there is more than just a website redesign going on, and knowing when it should be finished helps you keep everything else on track (for example, if you’re planning a marketing campaign to coincide with the launch, you will know when to have it ready).

Will my website be optimized for mobile devices?

In today’s world, where everyone has a mobile device in their hands at all times, it is essential to have a website that both looks great and functions well on mobile. This is a non-negotiable.

What will you need from me to get started?

Most developers will have you fill out at least one, if not several, questionnaires before they get started. They should ask you about everything from your target market to your current social media presence. Don’t get frustrated with all the questions – the more they know, they better your website will be.

Will I be able to give input throughout the process?

A great developer will send you updates along the way, asking for your input as they go along. Be wary of the one who doesn’t want you to see what they’re doing!

What if I don’t like the initial design?

Most developers have a policy on how many edits they’ll do after the project is complete. Make sure you find out up-front if, and how many times, you can request a do-over.

Will I be able to edit my own website later?

As time goes on, there will be things you need to update on your site (such as new services offered, or a change in pricing). Make sure you understand how to do that on your own.

How do you price your services?

Some developers charge per-project and some charge an hourly rate. In addition, there may be add-ons available, such as logo design or on-going maintenance packages. Plan a budget up front and work with your developer to find a package that suits your needs.

A great web developer is a web developer who will work with you to truly achieve your vision. Don’t settle for someone just because the price is right or because a friend used them. Do your research and find someone who is the perfect match for YOU.

Tierra Wilson

Hi, I'm Tierra, the Owner & Creative Director for TW+CO. When I'm not working with my clients, I'm passionate about teaching creative entrepreneurs and small businesses how to succeed online.

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