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Why would you need a guide for hiring a web developer? Why would you need to hire a web developer in the first place?
Isn’t websitesetup.org built on the premise that anyone can create a website?
It’s true. While in the past you needed to either be a web developer yourself or hire a web developer if you wanted a website, today that’s not the case anymore.
Content management systems like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal have enabled many people to build websites themselves. Additionally, website builders like Wix let you create sites via simple drag and drop.
However, there are still two very good reasons to hire a web developer:
In both cases it’s important to know how to find, hire and work with a web developer so that your project runs smoothly. For that reason, our guide on how to hire a web developer will go over all the necessary steps of doing that.
Let’s get started!
To hire a web developer, you first need to make clear for yourself what exactly you are trying to accomplish. If you don’t know that, you won’t know who to look for and what to tell them.
For website changes, most commonly the tasks come from two different areas:
Depending on which area your project focuses on, you need to hire different people (more on that below). If you are planning to create an entire website, you will need people for both.
Here’s the most important part:
You need to be completely clear about what you need and write it down in detail. Doing so will help you to:
Now that you are clear on the kind of website you want or the changes you need to your existing site, it’s time to think about what kind of web developer you need to hire. The term “web developer” in reality covers different skills and job descriptions.
First of all:
There is the difference between a developer and a designer. A designer is a person who comes up with the look of a website and creates assets like images, icons etc. Their expertise is Photoshop and other graphic design programs.
A pure graphic designer doesn’t actually implement the site. Instead, they prepare a representation of what it will look like in the end. Someone else will make the actual website based on it.
What is means is this:
A developer is a person who writes code. That means, they can get into your site and edit files to make changes or create an entire site from scratch. They also work with code editors and other development-related tools.
Developers also have subgroups. The most significant are front-end and back-end development.
In case you don’t know:
The front-end is the part of the website that visitors will see in their browser. The back-end is everything behind that. It’s both the place where you manage your website as well as how the site communicates with your server or database.
Front-end developers and web designers are often the same. They use the same languages and both take care of the look and the feel of your website. Front-end developers can also signify the person who implements the design but doesn’t come up with it in the first place. There’s a lot of overlap in these areas.
Back-end developers are focused on how your site works. They deal with the functionality and are also concerned with website speed and other technical issues. Their skill stack includes PHP (especially when you are working with WordPress), Java, Ruby on Rails, Python and other programming languages.
Front-end and back-end developers are specialists. It means that they are usually quite good in their own domain but not versed in the other person’s discipline.
In other words:
Depending on your needs, you might have to hire two or three people (graphic designer, front-end developer, back-end developer) to implement your website or the changes you need. Obviously, it results in more work hours and higher costs.
Another choice to hire web developer is to hire a generalist who can do everything, a so-called full-stack developer. These are jacks of all trades who are able to build complete websites from scratch including design, implementation and coding. While their knowledge is not always as deep in every field as that of the specialists, they are still able to produce the results you want.
While full-stack developers can be more expensive, they require less coordination. Consequently, it can speed up the process and save you money.
Finally, when looking for a web developer, the question is whether to work with a freelancer or hire somebody full time. This depends on the details of your project.
If you only have a one-off job, working with a freelancer is often good enough. You agree on the time frame, price and delivery, they create the website and you take over from there. Plus, you can hire them again if you need any changes.
This is the usual arrangement with mostly static websites or sites that don’t need a lot of upkeep. It’s also an ideal way if you plan on doing the day-to-day running of your website yourself.
If you need someone to constantly take care of your site, you might be better off hiring a full-time web developer. This makes sense, for example, if you are building a complex news site that needs a lot of hands-on work, changes often and has a lot of different content. Permanent can also mean for a limited time frame or “project based” as is the official lingo these days.
Do you have an idea of what kind of web developer you need by now?
Good, then let’s talk about where to find them.
Thanks to technology, it is now easier than ever to find and hire a web developer. In the past, you needed to browse the local classifieds to hire anyone. Today, you have websites full of professionals around the globe that will work with you on short notice:
A few more options are Stack Overflow Jobs, remote OK and Authentic Jobs. You can also use LinkedIn to search for web developers. Additionally, many website building applications have their own marketplaces where you can find freelancers:
Estimating how much a website project is going to cost is one of the hardest steps. The price depends on many factors – the skill and experience level of the developer, the size of the project, where the developer is based, the type of job portal you used to find them and more.
How do you create a budget?
Here are a few tips.
The first question is whether you will pay your web developer by the hour or a fixed fee. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Which is right depends on your project and who you are working with. Here’s one way how to decide:
The argument is simple:
Experienced developers are faster and make fewer mistakes. Hence, they will require less back and forth, which saves time. For that reason, hourly pay often comes out cheaper.
Inexperienced workers likely need more revisions and corrections. It means more work hours, therefore you are better off to agree on a fixed fee from the beginning.
Large projects have even more potential errors, faulty estimations, design changes, revisions, and fixes. If paid hourly, this can produce a lot of costs on the tail end. For that reason, you are better off to have a developer estimate the overall effort (including potential corrections) and agree on a fixed price.
It also means that you need to be thorough in your project proposal and communication. The more precise you are on the project scope, the less likely it will need additional work.
What does it mean in numbers? How much should you expect?
As mentioned, it depends on a lot of factors, not least the location of the person you are working with. To give you an idea, here are a few reference points for hourly and project rates you can expect:
Now it’s time to create the actual job offer. As mentioned, you need to be crystal clear about what you want. Only then can you effectively communicate it to another person.
Here’s what definitely needs to be in your job posting:
Aside from the above, here is some extra information to make your job posting more effective:
This only leaves the question, should you include your project budget or wait for applicants to quote you their price?
You usually have the option for both and each has their pros and cons.
If you don’t have any flexibility in your budget, include it in your proposal. That way, you only attract candidates that are willing to work for it. Of course, it will also scare off some people but it wouldn’t have worked out with them anyway.
If you have some leeway, ask for quotes. That way, you don’t disqualify potentially great candidates just because you underestimate the budget requirements.
Makes sense? Cool.
Once your project is online, you will hopefully see the applications rolling in. Now is the big question: how do you decide who to work with? Below are a few guidelines to improve your chances of picking the right candidate.
Once you have settled on a web developer you’d like to work with, it’s time to attack the project for real. Here are the steps you will take from beginning to finish:
Though anyone can build a website these days, there still many good reasons to hire a web developer. A professional can do things you are unable to and will get the job done quicker than you. Outsourcing this task to someone else also gives you the opportunity to concentrate on more important things.
In our guide to hiring web developers, you found tips on how to nail every step of the process. It can be nerve-racking at first but will get easier with experience.
Plus, once you have a working relationship with good candidates, you can often continue working with them. That way, you don’t have to do all the steps every single time.
Do you have experience on hiring a web developer and would like to share your experience? Are you a web developer yourself and have anything to add? If so, please do that in the comments section below.
The post Your Complete Guide to Hiring Web Developers (From Start to Finish) appeared first on WebsiteSetup.org.