Hiring website developers is a tricky business. Unlike the jobs that your other employees or contractors do, this is something that we don’t know anything about. We don’t know what needs to be done, and we don’t know how it needs to be.
For example, let’s say you’re looking for a developer as an administrator for a new web server which your web hosting company has told you is needed to handle your growing website traffic. So you’re wondering – What is it that an administrator has to do? The job begins with selecting the right web server and hosting package. You probably don’t want to hear anything about IaaS and virtual servers, operating systems, control panels, bandwidth, user management, network peaks, security, backups and all that kind of thing.
So what questions should you ask, and how do you know that the developer you hire will be able to do the job? Here’s a set of guidelines – the top 10 things to keep in mind while hiring website designers.
1. Ask people you know to refer competent developers.
2. Look at their LinkedIn profile. Every good developer has a solid LinkedIn profile that chronologically lists their experience.
3. If you’re hiring a freelance developer, then look at their Upwork or Freelancing profile. They’re bound to be one of these two platforms.
4. What are the development-related questions you want to ask? If you don’t know, then consult with a tech-savvy colleague who can tell you what you need to ask.
5. What is the cost involved? Developers typically charge by the hour, so you need to define the scope of work, and get an estimate of the number of hours required, and the cost per hour.
6. Time and time zone. Both of these are critically important when it comes to development on an ongoing basis. You need to collaborate with your developer in real-time in order to sort out bugs and explain what it is that you want done. Emails and messages won’t be enough. So is the developer you want to hire in the same time zone as you, in order for you to speak on the phone or in-person as and when needed? If not, are they willing to stay up at all hours of the day and night in order to speak with you and get the job done?
7. How professional is your developer? As a species, they tend to be quirky and temperamental. You have to look for a professional outfit or consultant who can work in a corporate environment, unless you’re ready to treat them with kid gloves and let them do things their way. Will they fit into your work culture, and be able to collaborate with the rest of your team?
8. You looked at their experience before hiring them, but how do they do their job? A highly talented developer could make changes and updates dierctly on your live server, but do you really want to take that risk? Does your developer know how to set up a staging site that is a replica of yours? Do they know how to move a project forward from staging to production to live? These are the qualities that separate talented designers from talented and experienced designers.
9. Background check – Hiring a developer means you’re handing the keys to your business – every document and all your IP that is in the form of digital data, over to the developer. Before you do this, run a background check to make sure you’re not hiring someone who’s going to abuse this trust.
10. Hire a developer who is capable of learning and teaching new technologies and platforms. There’s something new every 6 months that you simply must adopt in order to stay competitive. Is your developer capable of learning these new technologies, implementing them, and explaining what your team has to do as users?