Nowadays, every business is online and the competition in every market is bigger than ever, so putting your business out there is essential.
Creating a website for your business is a huge step and no small feat, and websites are large projects that require a lot of work and attention.
Because of these reasons, it is of utmost importance that you hire a website developer or a digital agency that knows what they are doing. The aim of this article is to help you learn a bit more about web developers, their skills, where you can hire one, and what you can expect during the development stage.
Let’s get to it.
What kinds of web developers are there?
Before we continue, it is important to know the actual definition of the term ‘website developer’. It gets thrown around a lot, and some people use it interchangeably with other terms, which is incorrect.
So, in a way, web developers create a foundation for web designers, who then use their skills to give it a good appearance.
There is also a difference between front-end developers and back-end developers.
Front-end developers use programming languages to implement a design onto a website, which includes the layout, buttons, text, fonts, colors, and everything else. Front-end developers are not web designers – web designers may design the look of a button, but front-end developers work on placing it on a website and making it functional.
Back-end developers, on the other hand, are involved with website maintenance, database, and servers. They make sure that the website can exist and function by building code that allows the information to get transferred between the website and the server.
There are also full-stack developers, who specialize in both front and back-end development. This occupation is getting more popular by the day, since it enables people to hire one person who can do the whole job, instead of hiring two people and having them coordinate their work.
If you are looking to hire a website developer, we definitely recommend that you go for a full-stack developer, since it can save you a ton of time.
How important is experience?
Like in every job, experience means absolutely everything in web development. As we already mentioned, website building is a huge project and because of this, it can be quite costly, so you don’t want the job half done. Imagine if you paid someone a lot of money only to find out that your website performs badly or some parts don’t work.
To ensure that this doesn’t happen to you, you will need to look for a highly experienced web developer or digital agency.
If you’re looking at websites of developers or you’re browsing websites such as Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, and so on, make sure to check their portfolio first. It will contain a list of their projects, so you can see who they worked with and what the websites they made look like. You can also visit these websites, granted they didn’t get changed during the years and are still up.
If the developer’s portfolio isn’t as big as you would like it to be or has projects that you don’t like the look of, they’re not the right developer for you. Don’t be hasty in the making of this decision – the success of your business depends on your website. Take your time browsing websites and looking at portfolios, but don’t forget reviews.
Reviews are great because they will tell you more about the developer and if they’re easy to work with. It’s true, there can always be people who are dissatisfied with the developer’s work, but if the majority of the reviews are positive and people think they did a great job, I think it’s safe to say they can be trusted.
How to know if the website developer is capable of taking on the task?
Along with the reviews and portfolio, make sure to check out their skills. It’s true that anyone can put just anything in their description, but don’t forget about reviews. The people leaving them will tell you if the developer really was punctual and good at communication.
Here are some skills that every developer should possess and which you should look for if you want to hire a website developer.
Communication skills – A web developer needs to be good at communication, because if they aren’t, they won’t be able to understand what you want to do with your website and reach an understanding with you over its look and design.
You can learn a lot about this skill if you look in their reviews and if people say that it was pleasant working with them.
Analytical skills – Analytical skills involve problem-solving and information collection and analysis.
For web developers, they’re important because every business belongs to a certain niche and has a specific target audience that will buy their product, so they need to build websites that will cater to that audience and get them to buy your products.
SEO – It is true that SEO experts are a completely separate thing from web developers, but certain aspects of web development indeed affect SEO.
Those elements are page speed, domain credibility, as well as keyword content. The faster a web developer can make your page load, the better your rank in the search pages.
There’s also responsive design, which is the method of making every website suitable for every device. It greatly affects your rank, as well.
Web design – If you are looking to hire a website developer who can also take care of your website’s appearance, this is absolutely a skill you will want to see on their list. Look for any mentions of Photoshop, Figma, Zeplin, Sketch, and other tools that graphic designers use.
Testing and debugging – Make sure that the web developer you’re about to hire has testing on their skill list. This skill involves them making sure your website performs well and is bug-free.
Web developers will often spend hours benchmarking a website and all its pages to ensure good performance and speed. It is also important that they know how to handle bugs, should they happen.
Where to hire a website developer?
There are multiple ways you can hire a website developer. You can use social media to look up ‘web developer’, and the search engines will display a number of groups, people, and links.
Once you find them on a social media platform, make sure to look for their website, so you can see what their own online presentation looks like. Additionally, the website will have their portfolio.
Next up, hiring websites. There is a ton of websites where you can find freelancers, some better than others. Websites such as Fiverr, Freelancer, Toptal, UpWork will give you the chance to find your ideal web developer by using their advanced search engines and filters.
They will also have reviews, ratings, comments, and well-designed layouts, so you can get all the information you need about a developer. Some of them even have a portfolio feature, so you can view the developer’s work immediately.
The best thing about hiring websites is that sometimes they have milestone managers, where the developers can tick off boxes once they reach a milestone, as well as a feature that will take a screenshot of a developer’s screen every few minutes to make sure they’re working on your project.
Last but not least, there are also digital agencies, such as ours. They have entire teams dedicated to working on projects that split up the work and the tasks for maximum efficiency.
Digital agencies have web development experts on their team, as well as web designers, copywriters, search engine optimization experts, all with the aim of providing the full service for people who need it.
What can I expect during the development stage?
Once you find and hire a website developer, the next phase will consist of a number of meetings (video or live, depending on where they’re located) during which you will discuss what kind of website you have in mind.
The more information you can provide for them, the better. It will help them get a grasp of your vision and give suggestions on their own.
If you don’t know what kind of website you want, there’s no need to worry. Web developers are highly skilled and capable of helping you come up with a design from scratch, or if you would prefer a theme, they will provide a list of themes that they think you will like and would be suitable for your website.
This is why good communication skills are important – they will need to understand your vision, and if you don’t have one, they will need to know how to get their own ideas across without sounding too technical.
The development phase will also consist of them sending you drafts, wireframes, and mockups, which are all different stages of your website.
Wireframes are initial drafts that only contain the elements of a web page and their positions. They will give you a look into what your website is roughly going to look like, and if you are satisfied with them, the developer will then create a mockup.
A mockup is a more advanced wireframe, and it contains colors and more details, as well as text and images. Mockups are what your website is going to look like – however, they cannot be interacted with and are only images. If you like the mockup, the developer will then start building a website that looks like it.
As the web developer creates each page of your website, they will send you updates and ask for your opinion on them. Be honest – if you like something, say so, and the same goes for things that you don’t like. If you have changed your mind about something, let them know, so they can make the necessary changes.
What’s the next step?
After they finish building the website, the web developer will test it and, if everything is in order, they will launch it so it will start appearing in the search pages and people can start accessing it.
After you pay them and you finish doing business, don’t forget to leave them a review. Who knows, it might be just your review that will help them land their next job! If they ask for a testimonial and you feel comfortable giving them one, go for it.
Website developers are highly skilled people who are capable of building websites from scratch.
Whether you are looking for someone to build you a website from the ground up or you have found a website theme that you want someone to implement and modify, an experienced web developer will be sure to make anything you have in mind possible.
We hope that this post has helped you learn any information you needed about web developers and the process of hiring one.
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Thank you for reading!