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What to Ask a Web Developer Before Hiring?
September 19, 2022
Introduction: What to Ask a Web Developer Before Hiring
When you’re looking to hire a web developer, it’s important to know what questions to ask. So, you may now wonder what to ask a web developer before hiring? This article will give you some key questions to ask a potential web developer, so that you can make sure they’re the right fit for your project.
Why it’s Important to Ask the Right Questions
You may wonder what is the importance of the question “what to ask a web developer before hiring”? Well, when looking for a web developer to help build or improve your website, it’s important to ask the right questions to ensure they are a good fit for your project. Otherwise, you may find out that you two are not compatible partners too late into the process. Or, you may find that they are unable to meet your needs. Worse, you may discover that their services are way out of your budget. Wasting time and money is horrible for business – on both ends. Thus, asking questions will give you a better idea of the developer’s qualifications and whether they will be a good fit for your project.
So, what to ask a web developer before hiring? First, you should ask about their experience. Consider the following questions:
- How long have you been coding?
- What programming languages are you proficient in?
- What kind of projects have you worked on? Can you provide any examples?
- Have you had any experience with the specific type of project I am looking to have developed?
- What is the breadth of your capabilities? For instance, do you offer services like graphic design, content writing, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies?
Elaboration on the Questions: Experience and Capabilities
Asking about a potential hire’s experience will give you a better idea of whether or not they are qualified for the job. If they have been coding for many years, or have worked on similar projects in your industry in the past, then you can be confident that they will be able to handle your project. However, if they are new to coding or do not have much experience with the type of project you need developed, then you may consider looking elsewhere. This is especially true if your firm is in a complex industry since the learning curve for the web developer may be too steep and costly.
Moreover, asking about the full breadth of their capabilities will provide you insight into whether they offer services like content writing and graphic. It is important to hire a web developer who at the very least has access to these services, regardless if it is in-house or outsourced, as you will likely need them to have a marketable website. Additionally, if they do outsource jobs, then it is critical to know this as it may pose some cost and scheduling challenges.
Furthermore, upon viewing their portfolio, you should ask yourself these questions:
- Do their designs align what I am looking for?
- Is the user experience seamless or frustrating?
- How is the writing? Is it compelling and easy to read?
- Are the visuals crisp and professional? Do they tell a story?
Once more, asking these questions ensures that you hire a web developer capable of not only making your website, but also making it marketable.
What else to ask a web developer before hiring? Well, when you’re looking to hire a web developer, it’s important to ask about their project process. This will give you insight into how they work and whether or not they’re a good fit for your project. Here are some questions to ask:
- How do you approach a web development project?
- What are the steps involved in your process?
- Do you research before starting a website design and if so what do you typically research?
- How do you communicate with clients during a project and how often?
- What will be required from me?
- How do you handle changes or revisions?
- What is your timeline for completing a project?
Elaboration on the Questions: Process and Research
So why ask these questions before hiring a web developer? Well, understanding a web developer’s approach to projects is important as it will tell you whether they are effective and efficient workers. For example, if they already have a standard operating procedure or use some project management software, then you can rest assured that they work in a timely manner and stay on task.
Furthermore, asking a web developer’s research process is essential because this question separates amateurs from professionals. The professionals usually research your industry and target market so that they find what is most appealing to said market. Ultimately, having sufficient research allows web developers to successfully design and market your business.
Elaboration on the Questions: Communication, and Timeline
Moreover, asking about communication allows you to establish (1) a point of contact, (2) a project schedule that both parties agree upon, and (3) a method of communication. Oftentimes, your point of contact will be a project manager who ensures that the project is moving along smoothly. Other times, you may simply meet with the lead designer. Whoever you meet with really depends on how large the company is. Regardless of who you meet with, you’ll want to ensure there is a schedule for key project milestones. Additionally, you’ll want to communicate about what is required from you.
Now as for revisions, you’ll want to ask about how many rounds there are and how they are handled. This is because you’ll want to establish checkpoints so that you may review and approve of the work. The checkpoints also provide you an opportunity to give constructive feedback. Typically, most web developers allow for 2-3 rounds of revision. If you need more rounds, then they may charge you on an hourly rate (i.e., charge for how much longer it takes them to put the changes into place).
Finally, it is important to ask about the timeframe so as to ensure that it is doable on your end and that it meets your needs. You shouldn’t expect a website too quickly; good projects take time and aren’t rushed. Typically, the time frame depends on the scope and complexity of the content as well your schedule and the web developer’s schedule. Moreover, extra time is usually added to the time frame to account for any issues or changes that may pop up. Finally, a quick tip: you should read the contract to see if there are any late fees you’ll be charged if the project goes beyond the time frame.
Tools and Technology
You may think those are all the important questions to ask a web developer before hiring. But, there is certainly more that you should inquire upon. So, what else to ask a web developer before hiring? Well, it’s important to ask about the tools and technology they use. Here are some key questions to ask:
- Which web platform do you intend to use and why?
- How will you ensure that my website will be SEO friendly?
- Will my website be actually fully customized?
- Will my website be responsive on all devices?
- What tools do you use for debugging and testing your code?
- What experience do you have with content management systems (CMS)?
- What kind of development environment do you prefer (local, remote, etc.)?
- How well do you know HTML/CSS?
- Do you have any experience with server-side scripting (PHP, Ruby on Rails)?
Elaboration on the Questions: Web Platforms and Customization
It’s critical to know which web platform the web developer intends to use as there are pros and cons to each. You want to know that the web developer is well-versed in their industry and know these pros and cons and that they choose wisely. Moreover, this is related to whether your website will be SEO friendly, meaning that it will rank as a top result on Google searches of topics related to your website. You should make sure that the web developer you hire knows SEO strategies like strategic meta descriptions, alt tagging, image optimization, proper URL structure, and more. Otherwise you will simply have a nice looking website with no one actually looking at it!
Furthermore, it is important to ask whether your website will be custom because some developers market websites as fully custom when in actuality they simply use a template website and customize it for you. Typically, many developers use CMS (content-management system) platforms and customize the code from there. You want to know whether the web developer actually customizes the code or simply uses a template because this affects the pricing.
Elaboration on the Questions: Testing the Code and Ensuring Usable Experiences
It is also crucial to know that your website has a responsive web design as this is Google recommended. This means that your website is optimized to provide an excellent user experience on all devices. Relatedly, you should ask the developer of their system for testing their code. It is necessary to test the website prior to launch on various devices and browsers for quality control.
Elaboration on the Questions: Security, Maintenance, and CMS
Additionally, it is vital to understand how the developer handles security and maintenance. Maintenance includes preventing or eliminating bugs, hackers, and spam. Moreover, you should ask the developer about how often they will update the software and plugins of your website, how often they will perform routine back ups, and what their process is to get an SSL certificate for your website.
Further, you’ll want to know about the CMS the developer plans on using so you can ask whether you’ll be able to make updates on your website on your own. If so, you two can set aside a time where they go over the CMS dashboard so you can understand how to navigate it.
What are the final questions to ask a developer before hiring? Inquire about the costs of course! Consider asking the following questions:
- How much will this project cost?
- Are there any additional costs I should be aware of (e.g., hosting, domain registration, etc.)?
- Do you offer any post-launch maintenance or support services?
These questions are important so you can recieve a custom quote and compare it with your budget. Further, you’ll want to consider the additional services the developer offers as these typically are at an extra cost. Such services include web hosting, domain registration, content writing, email marketing, e-commerce, membership, brand photography, and stock images.
Conclusion: What to Ask a Web Developer Before Hiring
All in all, there are many questions to ask a web developer before hiring them so as to ensure they are a good fit for your project and can provide what you need. While this list is lengthy, it is vital to ask a web developer such questions so as to not waste any time or money further down the line. We wish you the best of luck as you seek a web developer!