Tips to Consider Before You Hire a Website Developer
With so many options for web developers, how do you know which to choose? When you've decided it's time to build a new website to showcase and advertise your product or service, you will probably consider hiring a website developer or firm so you can be assured of a high-quality, functioning, and professional website. Because your website is your online extension of your business – it's a very unique representation of your business, its message, and its products or services. So, it's important that the website developer you choose be experienced and professional.
What are some of the key things you'll want to think about before you talk with a website developer? Sydney web developers will ask questions like the following – and these are the questions you want any website developer to ask:
- What is the site's goal and primary purpose?
- Who is the site's target audience?
- What is your time frame for going live with the site?
In addition, what are some of the items you'll want to have in hand before you talk with a website developer, whether it's an individual or a firm? You'll want to have a website plan that answers these questions as these will guide your web developer:
- What is the reason you are building a site, and how the site is intended to support your business: by bringing in money, by gathering new leads, or by supporting the products and services (or all three)?
- If possible, list some of the competitor sites and what features you like and/or hate about each – this will serve as a discussion point between you and the web developer.
- You'll want to ensure that your company owns the rights to all the design work when it's completed. You'll also want to specify that your company owns the rights to the domain name and has administrative rights to the server after the website developer team is finished.
- You'll want to specify your time frame and budget, as well.
Before you consider choosing any web developer – firm or individual – you'll want to see their portfolio. It's less of a concern whether any of the sites in the portfolio are live or outside the firewall, because designers sometimes design sites to showcase their work or are asked to design websites that are internal to a particular company. It's most important to see how the site they have built works. Is the layout easy to navigate? Do the links work and are they logically understood?
What is their process and do they show you their progress as it develops? This is an important question because you'll want to provide feedback as the site develops. Almost never does a client see what they wanted the first time and website developers are used to that – they build into the process feedback loops if they're smart so they can hear feedback from the client. If they don't have a process that allows for incorporating feedback, reconsider. You'll likely get a website that does exactly what you wanted it to, but you'll want to make changes after seeing it. That's just human nature.
As we noted above, many people think only about getting a reliable and working website, but they don't think about such legal details as ownership. It's important that if things go wrong, you have the rights to the web development as far as it's gotten so you can get someone else to finish the job. Without this protection, the web developer can leave your business in the lurch with no recourse and money already spent.