How To Choose Your Web Developer

So you’re finally ready to get your website built, you sit down in front of your computer and begin the daunting task of finding a developer.  You’ve heard so many horror stories about web developers that you are afraid to even start looking….but it must be done.  Where do you start??

The first thing you need to do is know what you’re looking for.  Easier said than done right?  It’s actually easier than you thought!  Here is a list of the top 15 questions a developer will ask you so you can be prepared and know exactly what you need!

  1. Do you have an existing website?
  2. If you answered no to the first question, do you have a domain and hosting?
  3. Do you need both development and design?
  4. Do you have a platform picked out to have your site developed in?
  5. If you are using a template based platform, do you have your theme picked out?
  6. What is the main purpose of your site?
  7. Do you have colors that you need included?
  8. Do you have fonts that you need included?
  9. Do you know what style you want your site to be?  Write some examples of sites you like and dislike and state why.
  10. Do you have a logo or other branding that you need included on your site?
  11. What pages do you know or think you’ll need?
  12. What type of functionality do you think you’ll need?
  13. What is the timeframe that you are comfortable with from start to finish?
  14. What is your budget?
  15. How do you prefer to communicate with your developer?

Maybe you already know exactly what you want, you have all of the content that you need and all you need to do is find the right person to execute your plan.  There are some important questions that you need to ask potential developers to be sure the person you hire is a good fit for your project.

  1. What platform do you build in?
  2. What is your pricing?
  3. What experience do you have building websites in my industry?
  4. How many revisions do you offer?
  5. What is the expected timeframe from start to finish?
  6. What is your process?
  7. How will we communicate throughout the process?
  8. What hours are you available and what time zone are you in?
  9. Are you a freelancer or do you work for an agency?
  10. What if I’m unhappy with the website?

All of these questions should be easily answered by your potential developers and if they aren’t, cross them off of your list.

So now you’ve received replies to all of your questions and you have to choose which person to go with.  Definitely one of the hardest choices you’ll have to make throughout the entire process!  So how do you do it?  The first thing you need to do is weigh out the importance of each question that you asked.  I oddly learned the technique I’m about to show you when I was picking out items for my wedding registry.  The girl clearly had done her job for a long time and knew exactly how to help someone clueless and terrified of making the wrong decision.

This will take about 5 mins to do, but it could save you from months of hell. 

Start with the first two questions.  Of those two questions, which is more important to you?  Great, hold onto the question that you picked and go to number three.  Now, which is more important, #3 or your previous choice?  Ok, now go to #4….You get the picture.  By the time you’ve gone through all of the questions you’ll have your #1 most important quality of your web developer.  Do the same with the remaining questions until you have them in order of importance. 

Once you have the order of importance you can start going through your responses and weeding out the developers that aren’t right for you.  If you don’t like their answer to at least your first 5 questions, cross them off your list.

You’ve narrowed it down to 3 developers to build your brand new website.  Now what?  Well, you have to make sure that they can take your project right?  So contact your #1 developer first.  Can they take your project by your deadline?  No?  Ok, move on.  Yay, developer #2 can take your project! 

You’ve done it!  You’ve picked your website developer and it’s time to start!

Good luck and happy building!

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