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How to Hire the Best Professional for Your Web Development Project

When it comes to hiring a developer for your website, there are certain factors that you must take into consideration in order to ensure that you hire the professional that is best suited for your web development project. That means knowing what to look for and what questions to ask during the hiring process. Considering the fact that you may receive dozens or even hundreds of proposals, weeding through them to find the best of the best can be a very significant undertaking. Here are some tips to help make the hiring process easier.

Asking the Right Questions

If you want to hire the best professional for your web development project, the first thing you have to do is make sure you ask the right questions, and that means knowing what questions to ask. There are certain “must-ask” questions that come into play during the process of hiring a qualified professional. Before you decide on one specific candidate, make sure you ask the following questions of all of the developers you are considering…

  • Have you built websites that utilize the same functionality as mine? If so how many have you developed and can I see examples?
  • Are the sites in your portfolio still being used by the clients you developed them for?
  • Do you need to perform any branding work and, if so, how much branding experience do you have?
  • How much importance do you place on clean and intuitive navigation?
  • Can you provide me with referrals that are easy to get in touch with and who will confirm the quality of your service and your work?
  • What will you do for me once the site is launched? Will you provide potential updates? If so, are they included in the initial budget and if not, how much will you charge?
  • Are maintenance packages offered for future needs?

While these questions may have nothing to do with a candidate’s specific skill set or technical abilities, the answers will have a significant impact on the outcome of your project.

Communication is Key

When it comes to the success of any project, communication is a very important key to success. Web development projects are no exception to this rule. When approaching a potential candidate, you need to be able to communicate your needs effectively and give the candidate all of the information he or she may need to evaluate your project. So what kind of information does a candidate need during the interview and proposal process?

First and foremost, make sure all of the candidates you are considering know exactly what you want. If possible, give them examples of a few websites that you absolutely love. This will give the candidate an idea of what it is that you are looking for. Giving examples of sites you really like, however, isn’t always enough information for a professional to go by. You should also go to the other end of the spectrum and provide examples of sites you hate and the reasons why you hate them. This will let the candidate know what needs to be avoided during the development of your website.

You’ll also want to give the candidate an accurate budget. Do not be afraid to state your budget up front, thinking you can get the work done for less if you hide what you are willing to spend. You need to make sure that you and your developer are on the same page if you hire this professional, and that means they have to know exactly what they are working with from the get-go in terms of budget. It will be impossible for a candidate to create an accurate proposal without a budget to go by.

If there are certain functions that you want your site to include, be sure you let the candidate know about these functions from the beginning. This will ensure that the candidate knows what you need in regards to functionality and also ensures that you don’t end up hiring someone who isn’t capable of providing those functions.

Things You Never Want to Say

While there are questions you want to ask and information you need to give during the hiring process, when searching for a developer for your web development project there are also questions you need to avoid. If you want to hire a good developer and want to start off on the right foot, make sure you avoid asking things that may give candidates a less-than-favorable impression of you. After all, the last thing you want is to find the perfect developer, try to hire them for the job, and then have them refuse to take on the project.

One thing you never want to say to a developer is, “I would do this myself since it’s so easy but I don’t have the time.”

If you are hiring someone to work on your site, telling him or her that your project is easy is akin to saying “I’m not willing to pay a lot for this project because of its simplicity.” Unless you are a professional web developer, you really have no idea how easy or complex your web development project really is. Leave the scope of the project up to the candidate and let him or her decide how “simple” it actually is.

Another thing you never want to say to a candidate is, “My budget is very limited so can you give me a discounted rate if I’m willing to hire you for future work?” This tells the developer that you are not willing to pay his or her usual rate due to your budget limitations. The promise of future work will mean nothing as it only tells the professional that they will be asked to work at a reduced rate again at some point in time. Be straightforward about your budget, but don’t expect to get more than what you are willing to pay for.

“How much will you charge me to build my website?” is another question you want to avoid. First of all, simply saying you want a website tells a developer nothing and asking them to give you a price based merely on your desire for a site is like going to a mechanic and saying, “There’s something wrong with my car. How much will you charge to fix it? The professional won’t take you seriously and may avoid working with you due to the fact that you won’t seem knowledgeable about the development process or hiring someone for your project.

Putting It All Together

Once you have the answers you need to the questions you have asked and your candidates have the information they need to assess your project, you should be able to sort through some very well-written proposals that include examples of work so that you can determine which professional is best for your web development project. Just be sure the right questions are asked, the right information is given, and that you avoid the taboo questions mentioned in order to find the professional that best suits your web development needs.


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