What to look for when searching for the best website developers

Smaller businesses that want to extend their reach to a much larger, targeted audience have to develop and launch a professional looking website or update their existing one.  Unless you are well-versed in the art of designing and developing one, it is best to leave this in the hands of a professional website developer.  However, that is easier said than done when it comes to deciding on the best one to hire.

A simple Google search using the keywords “website developers” will reveal nearly 1.75 billion results and you could easily spend the rest of your life trying to search through every one of those results pages trying to find the best one to hire and that’s just not practical.  Fortunately, we have compiled the helpful tips that follow so you know what to look for when you are searching for the best website developer to address your needs.

What To Look For

Avoid website designers and developers that only charge per page – this can quickly get very expensive.  The best designers and developers will quote an “out-the-door” price.  In other words, the price quote should apply to the entire project.

Be sure the individual gives you ownership of your website – this is referred to as “ownership of intellectual property”, so since you have the right to this, be sure you ask for it.  This enables you to make future modifications and updates in the future without having needing to compensate the original designer/developer.  You should also ask the person to make your website easy to edit so you don’t have to hire someone to do the work for you.

Have them show you their portfolio of past projects – having a great portfolio is oftentimes more important than the amount of experience they have.  Additionally, you should look for the amount of diversity that exists and the types of websites they have created.  This is more important than whether or not those websites are still operating.  However, there should be some that you can check out to see how easy they are to navigate as well as how well they work.

Make sure they have the proper skills – there are certain skills that a good website developer must have in order to create what you are looking for.  Ask them which of the following they are skilled at performing:

  •  Ajax
  • content writing
  • CSS
  • Flash
  • graphics creation
  • HTML
  • JavaScript
  • PHP
  • SEO

Sometimes, experience isn’t everything – most individuals will tell you that a website developer should be chosen based on the amount of experience they have.  We disagree.  Granted, the amount of experience they have is important, but it shouldn’t be the only factor that you use when making your decision.  There are 2 reasons why:

  •  First of all, website designers and developers that have been at it for a long time tend to get stuck in their ways – if you want them to design and develop a cutting edge website, they may not be able or willing to do so.
  •  Secondly, today’s younger designers and developers have a degree in website design and development – although this isn’t a primary requirement, it does ensure that the person you hire will have the academic knowledge that many older professionals have not acquired.

It goes without saying that you need to read the fine print on the contract before signing it.  Finally, you should never pay for additional services that might otherwise be available for FREE.  Why would you pay for “search engine placement” when you could use Bing, Google, or Yahoo! at no cost? So keep all of these tips in mind so that the website developer you hire creates the website design that best facilitates your business.



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