Choosing a web developer: Part 2 – what the developer needs to have

No primary category set

Once you have ascertained what you need to specify when looking to recruit a private web developer, you then need to turn your attention to what you need from them to fulfil these criteria.

While a lot of this is what you would do to recruit anyone – are they honest, punctual, able to speak and qualified to do the job – there are also a raft of more specialist questions you need to ask them in to order to match the right person to your job.

Some of the main the things you need to know are:

Do they have the right skills?

While we shall take it as read that they do have the right IT skills and know one end of a dongle from the other, you need to match up the demands you have for, say, responsive design, mobile checkouts or working purely with Magento plug-ins with what they have.

There are many different flavours or web design: you need to make sure that the people you consider for the job have the precise ‘add ons’ in terms of skills that you need.

Do they have the right experience?

You need to also look at where else they have done freelance development work and how successfully that has gone. Have they done lots of payment gateway implementations before?

Have they worked with e-commerce sites before? Do they specialise in working with start-ups. These are the kinds of experience that you are looking for.

Do they have good references and a great portfolio?

To verify the skills and experience you need not only their word for it, but to see references and examples of the work they have done. Ideally, you need to see the sites they have developed for other clients and then then to talk to those clients about the developers work.

That may not always be possible, but written references are a must to corroborate the developers skills and matching those to the needs of your site.

Do they offer the right price

Cost of course is the one thing that everyone focuses on. But really what you should be looking at is the cost verses how much extra revenue their work can deliver. Cost of course vary and are dependent on a number of factors, such as:

  • Experience
  • Skills
  • Length of the project
  • How regular the work will be
  • Any sort of profit share or buy in you offer

There is no hard and fast scale on this and you have to compare prices of various candidates. Also, as with everything, the cheapest quote may not be the best quote. Weigh it up carefully.

Do they understand your marketplace

Is understanding the marketplace you work in a priority? It may not be – so don’t be concerned if you really think it isn’t – but it might be and so it is vital then to get prospective developers to  outline where else they have worked and what they know of your business.


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