Your website can be your most important marketing tool. It needs to drive traffic today and be flexible enough to grow and change with your company. A good web developer knows how to build on your brand and convert website visitors to customers.
Knowing how to choose the right web developer can be the difference between a satisfying experience and a frustrating one. It can also mean the difference between a site that drives traffic and one that just sits there.
How to evaluate a developer’s true skills
Evaluate their portfolio
What other businesses have they worked with?
Do you admire or respect these companies?
Does the developer have an ongoing relationship with them?
Does the design in the developer’s portfolio match that company’s current site?
Do you like other sites in their portfolio?
How well do the sites work? Are there broken links, typos, misalignment?
Trust your gut. Your relationship with your developer should be a cordial, comfortable one. You should not feel rushed or pressured. If it doesn’t feel like a good match, move on until you find one that is right.
How long have you been building websites professionally?
We recommend selecting developer that has been working professionally and full time for a minimum of five years. Do not hire someone who builds websites in their spare time.
What methodology do you follow?
Your selected developer should follow a systemized process to ensure accountability and oversight throughout the project.
How do you learn new skills?
The web is a constantly changing beast. Your developer should be self-motivated enough to continually educate themselves. What are they doing to educate themselves and their customers? Are they writing and reading blogs? Are they hosting or attending webinars?
What do you do to help clients create their web marketing strategy?
At a minimum your candidate developer should ask about your target audience and competition. Ideally they will understand your marketing strategy and consider it their job to implement it. It is not enough to hire someone just to build you a website. Your developer should have an understanding of fundamental marketing principles and how they apply to the web.
Ask for references and call them
It isn’t enough to just ask for references, you have to call and talk to those references too. This is one of the best ways to learn what it will be like to work with this developer. Don’t skip it.
Ask other developers what they know about this company
Understandably, web development is competitive and there is always the risk that another developer won’t answer honestly when asked about the proficiently of a competitor. But it is worth asking.
Ask business people whose opinion you respect
Ideally you will be able to speak with people who have worked with this developer on a web project, but even if that is not possible you can find out if the developer is reliable, responsive and easy to work with by asking around.
Evaluating someone’s true skill level can be difficult when you yourself are not an expert in this field. Our goal with this list is to help you determine if your candidate developer is able to handle the project. You will ultimately need to decide if they are a good fit for you.