New to working with developers? In this blog we share the most important questions you should ask during the process of hiring a web developer.
At CreativeMinds, we believe that hiring a web developer can have big benefits for your business website. A good developer can take your project from mediocre to amazing. But, before hiring a web developer, you need to make sure they’re the right fit for you and your project.
In order to ascertain if a developer is the one for you, there are questions that you should ask both yourself and the developer in question.
We’ll start with the questions for you – the things you need to understand about your project before you get started. We’ll then provide some ideas for questions to ask any and all potential developers.
So, without further ado, here are 10 essential questions to ask before hiring a web developer.
Questions to Ask Yourself
What is the purpose of your project?
You need to consider the purpose of your project and any goals you have in mind for your web design and development project. These aspects are likely to inform your decision when hiring a web developer to work with.
Are you modernising an outdated but well established site? Or are you building from scratch for a brand new business?
Are you simply hoping to improve the performance of your site? Or do you have a more specific goal like attracting customers from a certain location?
Knowing your goals inside and out will make it easier to find a developer who can understand, and deliver on, your vision.
What is your budget?
Do you have a sizeable money-pot to spend, or are you building your website on a budget?
There isn’t a right or wrong answer here – there are solutions available to no matter your budget. But it is important to know, and accept, how much you can afford to spend before you hire a developer.
If your budget is on the smaller side, you might find the most competitive prices come from freelance developers. Talent can be found on site likes UpWork and People Per Hour, but be sure to check other customer’s reviews before you decide on a developer.
Alternatively, there are great web development companies out there (including us!), with professional developers at the ready to help bring your vision to life.
Who are your target audience?
Your website will look different based on the kind of audience you want to attract.
Knowing your target demographics inside and out is essential, as is knowing where they might come from on the web. For example, if you’re targeting a younger audience they may be more likely to find your website through your social media channels.
All of this can play into how your website is designed, and by knowing it you’ll be able to present your potential developers with a clearer picture of what you need.
What’s your preferred style?
Of course, your website design should be informed by your target demographic. But, it will also be colored by your own personal preferences.
Do you like phosphoric, neon color schemes or do you prefer something more muted? Do you have a particular preference for layout or site structure?
How involved would you like to be ?
Hiring a web developer means you can be more hands off, but that doesn’t mean you have to take a back seat.
Decide whether you want to be fully involved in every step, or if you’re happy to let your chosen developer take the reigns without you there all the time. If you do want to be closely involved, consider how much time you have to spend on the project.
This will again inform who you choose when hiring a web developer – some developers will want to work closely with you throughout the project, others will prefer a more independent way of working.
The only way you’ll know this, of course, is to start a conversation. So that brings us nicely on to part two of the blog.
Questions to Ask a Developer
What experience do you have?
If you’re looking to build a bells-and-whistles eCommerce site, a developer with no experience in eCommerce is more than likely not the one for you.
Ask upfront what experience the developer has. Don’t be shy in asking to see a portfolio or speak to previous clients. A reputable web developer won’t have any qualms about sharing this information with you.
What services do you provide?
There are lots of different types of web developers. Some may specialize in a certain platform – say Magento or WordPress. Some may offer back-end development services without the front-end portion, or vice versa. Others may focus on mobile development.
Every developer offers different services and packages.
Asking exactly what they provide will help you know straight away whether they can deliver what you need.
How long will the project take?
This will most likely depend on a number of factors. These can include the experience of the developer and how many people will be working on it, as well as the complexity of the project.
A good developer should be able to give you an honest and open answer, with an estimated timeline. Of course, things can change. Like with any line of work, unforeseen circumstances can increase the amount of time a web development project takes – so bear that in mind. A good developer, however, will keep communication open to inform you of any changes in the timeline.
What is the expected cost?
Much like every developer’s service is different, every developer’s rate is different too.
A trustworthy developer will be able to provide you with an estimated cost upfront, as well as talk you through options based on your budget.
You should also ask how the developer charges their fees – do they charge by milestone, per hour, or a fixed flat fee? After all, you don’t want to be hit with unexpected charges.
What will you need from me?
Every developer will require some level of input from you. Knowing exactly what they expect from you from the very start will help the project to run more smoothly down the line.
As mentioned earlier, a good developer will establish and maintain a level of communication that works for all parties involved.
The Choice is Yours
Finding the right developer can take time, and we don’t recommend choosing the first (or cheapest) you come across. But, at the end of he day, the choice is yours.
We hope that the questions listed here have help you to better understand the process, and think about what you need to ask when hiring a web developer.