Hiring web developers is a big step. You’ll not only spend time working with the chosen team, but you’ll also be entrusting your brand to them. While there are many web developers, choosing the wrong one could cause months of delays and thousands of dollars in wasted resources.
Interesting in learning how to hire a web developer? If you want your web development project to succeed, you need someone trustworthy and experienced.
Consequently, there are seven essential questions to ask web developers to gauge your comfort and confidence in them.
1. What are Some Similar Projects You’ve Worked On?
The developer should have experience working on similar projects. It would imply that they are aware of all the procedures and preparations that must be made, which guarantees that they won’t waste time doing additional research and will be prepared to handle any issues that may arise.
How the developer responds will allow you to gauge if they understand your vision and if you are aligned on how the project should move forward.
You’ll also want to determine if the project can be handled by a CMS or is a custom application. If the latter, then discovery work is necessary to map out user personas and use cases, although discovery is generally always advised. This will save you time and money, plus ensures a successful project outcome.
2. How Long Will This Web Development Project Take?
This question is crucial because it will play a part in determining the project’s web development cost and help set expectations.
A web development project is a complex task; it involves planning, design, implementation, and testing. Building a marketing website with 5 to 10 pages could take a few weeks to a few months, whereas marketing websites with hundreds of pages could take a year or more. Simple custom applications can take around four months, while ones with more features and content could take anywhere from 9 months to a year.
Different types of projects require web developers to input varied amounts of effort. A good developer should provide you with a realistic timeline for the project, and most developers will give you an estimated cost so you can decide if it works for you.
To ensure both parties are aligned, it’s best to have the web development timeline in writing.
3. Can You Tell Me About Your SEO Strategy?
A web developer’s SEO strategy is vital in ensuring your website is optimized so that people can find it. Data reveals that 75% of users who conduct online searches never scroll past the first page of results.
Having SEO in mind also ensures a good user experience, including fast loading times.
A critical step on how to hire a web developer is ensuring they are proficient in SEO web design. They must also share their strategy for dealing with SERPs like Google and Bing. Inquire about the KPIs and metrics they use to monitor success and any case studies they may have that illustrate past results!
Some KPIs and metrics to track are:
- Website speed
- Average time on site
- Organic traffic
Moreover, a proper SEO web design strategy is vital for your content marketing. The way visitors access and read the content on your website will be influenced by its design.
4. What Platform Will You Build the Site On?
Expert web developers know the difference between various platforms and can provide a strong rationale for choosing one over the other. Here’s an overview of the main website development platforms they might suggest:
Wix, Shopify, Squarespace
These are all popular, easy-to-use WYSIWYG platforms that offer security, maintenance, and hosting. However, these platforms come with their own downsides as well. For example, you can’t move your website to another platform easily should you decide you don’t like the service. And while these DIY platforms may make it easy to make your own site, they don’t come with marketing expertise. If you’re looking to grow your e-commerce business, hiring a Shopify website developer can help add more capabilities and customizations, as well as bring the marketing knowledge to compete in the e-commerce space.
This is the go-to platform for many businesses, given its robust capabilities and customization options. It offers plenty of add-ons and plugins for advanced features, plus great scalability.
Developers for WordPress range from “front-end developers,” who build sites using pre-made templates, to custom developers who start with thorough research and design phases to ensure that your website meets your marketing goals and provides the best user experience for your specific target market.
These platforms can work for businesses with complex websites that need to handle high traffic volumes. However, they tend to require more technical expertise, so it’s important to inquire about the web developer’s experience with these platforms. Additionally, they are not as user-friendly as WordPress.
Custom applications that use frameworks like Laravel, Node.js, or CakePHP can be built from scratch. These solutions offer more flexibility and control but can also require higher development costs and maintenance over time.
While there are many excellent options, you should hire a website developer who can assess your requirements and whether those requirements necessitate custom instead of starting with an existing platform.
5. How Does Your Pricing Work?
Knowing the industry standard and what affects the cost will help you land the right developer for your budget and criteria.
There are generally two options to consider: freelancers and companies. While companies can cost more, they also come with a team that can offer a range of skills, better communication, and multiple developers working together.
Good freelancers can cost anywhere up to $150 per hour. Depending on their experience, tech stack, and project complexity, developers can charge much more or less. A developer with over ten years of experience will likely charge more than one who has just begun working in the field.
When it comes to hiring good web development companies, the cost could range from $10k to tens of thousands, depending on your budget and requirements. Web development agencies can charge up to $300 per hour. Bigger projects often require a fixed-price bid as there are more complexities involved, and sometimes even require a paid Discovery to pay for the agency’s time to research and quote the project thoroughly. This Discovery process is typically recommended when your company relies on your website for revenue or leads.
In any case, make sure you get an in-depth explanation of how the developer arrives at their fee, and always ask for a written agreement with payment terms. This helps ensure transparency between both parties.
6. Will You Take Care of the Necessary Content?
Content marketing is one of the most effective tools for building a strong relationship with your target audience and generating leads. In fact, a majority of B2B and B2C companies rely on content marketing to drive sales.
Having outstanding content that is both SEO optimized and relevant to your audience on your website establishes you as a trustworthy authority. Potential buyers may even be swayed to make a purchase.
“Great content is the best sales tool in the world.” – Marcus Sheridan
While some website developers also provide content marketing services, others do not. You should make it clear if you expect them to handle all aspects of content management, from writing and editing to formatting and publishing articles to the website.
7. What Will My Role Be in This Project?
Now that you know more or less how to hire a web developer, you must ensure both of you are aligned. You will work closely together for quite some time, so the project may not go smoothly if you don’t share the same vision. This is where choosing a developer that fits your style and personality comes in handy.
Your developer is responsible for building your website or app and ensuring that it meets or exceeds expectations. This includes doing the research, planning, creating a mockup, coding, testing it out, and making any necessary changes.
On the other hand, you will most likely be responsible for providing timely feedback on what they’ve built. They will also turn to you if they need any branding guidelines for content marketing or the website design itself.
Hopefully, these seven questions can guide you on how to hire a web developer the right way. The bottom line is you want someone who has the experience and knows what they’re doing.
Hiring a freelancer for more minor projects can save money, but if you really want to build something substantial, a full-service web development team may be worth it.
Here at Ayokay, we’ve helped many clients grow their brands using the power of web design and digital marketing. Whatever you need, whether that’s a new app, content marketing, or SEO services, we’re here to help.
Contact us today to get started!
Jack Shepler is a Marketing and Search Engine Optimization expert. He founded Ayokay, award-winning marketing, and web design firm in Indianapolis, Indiana that has built brands, increased sales for businesses, and helped nonprofit organizations fulfill their missions since 2011. He uses his decades of experience to educate through the Ayokay blog and through public speaking. You can follow him on LinkedIn.