Finding the Right Developer to Build Your Successful Website

by golson on November 20, 2012

So you have a great business or idea, and you're ready to move forward with it and bring it to the public? How do you drive traffic and attention to your site to ensure that your business gets the attention it deserves? Hiring the right developer to build you an easy to use, functional website is a great start.

But where do you begin in this process? How do you know which developer is the "right" one? What do you discuss with them, and what does this process look like?

To answer these questions, we sat down with Amber S. Hawkins, President and CEO of Your Computer Needs of Toledo, Ohio to discuss this process.

The first thing she addresses is how to find a developer - in a way more than just searching on the internet and hoping you'll get lucky. She advises you to consult your personal network and ask them who they've worked with in the past. Using reccomendations to find the right web developer is a great way to ensure you'll find someone you trust.

Once you've found this person, Amber advises to ensure they're certified and have the neccessary experience. While she admits that you can find a great developer that doesn't have a ton of experience, Amber reccommends that you find someone with at least 5 years of experience.

Next, view their work - This includes seeing a portfolio of previous sites they've completed, and checking out any referrals they might have. Also make sure you view their personal website - if they don't have one, it's a red flag for obvious reasons.

Amber states that too often, great websites go by the wayside because it was discovered too late that a developer wasn't certified.

Now you've found the right developer for the job and are ready to move forward with your design - what's next? Contracts. This is the most important part of the process, laying down a framework for the developer as they move forward with your website.

When talking with potential web designers, it is important to make sure they are willing to translate the web "jargon" used by web developers to better help you understand the process they go through and the technicalities of designing your website. Being comfortable with them will be important as you work with them on building your website.

Also, Amber stresses the importance of protecting your content. As she clearly states, you must make sure that you walk through every step of a contract, and understand every single point. 

The biggest point is to ensure that your content belongs to you. Most developers will fight this, but it's critically important to ensure that if something goes wrong during development and you need to consult someone else, your content goes with you - not the original developer.

Finally, be sure to discuss pricing with your developer. A typical agreement includes half of the fees up-front and then half after completion of the website. Also be sure to discuss upkeep fees and ownership duties for the website. As the business owner, you should own everything.

After all of these steps, you should be well on your way toward building a successful and visible website that will ensure your great business idea gets the attention it deserves - and all because you took the time to find the right web developer for the job.





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