May 26, 2021
2
 min read

Tips for hiring a great web developer

Zareef Baksh

Your website is often the first introduction a customer has to your brand.

A high-performing website should generate organic leads for your business, convert customers directly, and provide a visually appealing marketing asset for your business.

Above and beyond this, your website is your sales machine.

In 2019, 1.92 billion people purchased goods and services online. During that same period, e-retail sales made over $3.5 trillion USD worldwide.

Not only do you need a website, but you need a good one.

That being said, hiring a great web developer is not always an easy task.

You need to decide whether you want to work with an independent or an agency. Whether you want to hire a separate designer or use a developer who has UI/UX skills. 

Plus, it can be difficult to know what to look for, who to ask, and how to understand your ROI.

In this post, we’ll outline some of the key points you should consider when hiring a web developer.

How to get the best value for your investment

If this is your first time hiring a developer or a website building agency, you may be wondering, “How do I know if I am getting my money’s worth?” 

Even if you have no technical skills, a good web developer should make the website development process clear and simple for you.

They should be able to easily explain the details of your estimate and how their time will be used.

For example, if the rate is 40 hours @ $100 per hour, they should be able to outline how many hours will be used in creating the technical infrastructure, planning the database schema, sourcing stock images, or anything else that goes into delivering your project.

Remember, when it comes to software, a lot of the work goes into intangibles. These are often things you can’t necessarily see. Your developer can show you the code, or walk you through the command line, but you may not have the skills to understand it.

So, how do you reconcile paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for something you can’t see?

One way is to think of it like the proverbial handyman paradox illustrated in the image below. Some of what you are paying for is the expertise that was honed over years of experience and professional development.

Having trust in your developer from the start is an important part of building this relationship.


ripped receipt showing charge for website service

How to find a website developer you trust

If you haven’t worked with a developer before, you may be hesitant to trust them.

Website projects can be costly and time consuming, so it’s important to find someone you enjoy working with.

Look for a website developer that can break down your project into simple steps.

For example, instead of saying “It will cost you $50, 000 for us to make you this app” you can work with the contractor to break it down into steps until you, the client, feel comfortable committing to a larger, more long term relationship.

At Brandcamp, we like to break website projects down into phases.

For example:

  1. Phase 1: Design Sprint
  2. Phase 2: Prototyping
  3. Phase 3: Development

As a client, this gives you the option to assess your working relationship.

From the contractor’s point of view, this is the opportunity to show real value and make the client feel confident that you are authentic and a good fit.

When in doubt, ask more questions. If you feel you aren’t getting the information you need to feel confident about your project, it may be time to find a new developer.

Agency vs freelancers: Which is better?

Freelance website developers are often cheaper than agencies. That being said, they work on their own schedules and often don’t have project managers to keep them on schedule.

Choosing an agency or freelancer really comes down to your budget and needs. 

Here are a few pros and cons to consider.

Freelance website developers

Pros:

  • Cost-effective and flexible pricing
  • Only one person to communicate with
  • One-on-one relationship

Cons:

  • Only one perspective, rather than a team of experts
  • They work on their own schedule which may take longer
  • Availability may be only “after hours” if they have a full-time job

Agency website developers

Pros:

  • A team of experts vs only one person
  • Availability of a  project manager to keep things on schedule, as well as an account manager to make sure your needs are met
  • Understand the bigger picture of the business
  • Because they provide other services they won’t be tunnel-visioned on one aspect of your project ( for example, just the site) and forget other aspects (conversions, funnels, SEO, etc.)
  • Access to advanced technologies and team members

Cons:

  • Higher cost to account for overhead fees

What are the main points to consider when hiring a developer?

When looking for the right web developer for your project, it all comes down to this:

  1. Experience
  2. Cost
  3. References
  4. Communication skills

Once you know your budget, you can start looking for a web developer who meets your needs. From there, it’s all about building trust and maintaining good communication.

At Brandcamp, we employ some of Vancouver’s best web developers.

If you’re looking to create a high-performing, high-converting website, reach out to us.


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