Find Web Developers
Find Web Developers

How to Choose a Web Developer For Your Business

August 14th, 2018

Unless you know what to look for, choosing a web developer can be a very difficult task. Because there are no licensing requirements for web developers, and the barriers to entry are almost nonexistent, the web development market has become flooded with individuals and companies of all skill levels and capabilities. This whitepaper provides tips for what to consider when choosing a web developer.

Tip #1: Look for Specialization

Many web developers claim that they can do it all. The truth is that most web developers are primarily either graphic designers or programmers. The fields of graphic design and programming are fairly specialized and it is uncommon to find people who are able to do both well. When looking for a web developer, we suggest asking the professionals to designate who will be designing your web site and who will be doing any custom programming. If it is the same person doing both pieces, we advise paying even closer attention to their portfolio.

Tip #2: Look for a Strong Portfolio

The sites that a web developer has worked on are typically strong indications of the type of work that you can expect from them for your own web site. When reviewing a developer’s portfolio, keep an eye out for aspects that you want incorporated into your own site. If you are looking for a bleeding edge design, then look for those types of designs in their portfolio. If on the other hand you are looking for complex programming, make sure you tell the developer that you would like examples of those types of sites.

Tip #3: Expect a Focus on Marketing

In the early days of the Internet, simply having a web site was enough because not every company had one. Today however, a web site is an important aspect of marketing for small businesses. Make sure that your web developer will perform search engine optimization on your web site and that they will help you increase your rankings in search engines.

Tip #4: Understand Who Will Host Your Web Site

How a web development company hosts the web sites that they create is an important but often overlooked aspect of choosing a web developer. Many web development firms simply act as a reseller for a company that performs the hosting. The danger with this is that if you experience problems with your web site or email it sometimes isn’t clear who is responsible for fixing the issue. This can result in finger pointing between the web developer and the company involved in hosting the site when a problem occurs. This can be especially problematic with complex web sites that perform e-commerce or other custom functionality. Make sure that you understand who is responsible for assisting you with any hosting or email issues that you have before signing on with a web developer.

Tip #5: Think Long Term

There are several long term considerations that should be considered in your decision of which web developer to use. Make sure that you understand how ongoing maintenance will be charged and at what point your initial project ends and the maintenance phase of your relationship begins. It is also important to make sure that if your web developer will register a domain on your behalf that they put it in your name or the name of your business. This ensures that you can gain complete control over your domain in the event that you need to make a change to your hosting without the assistance of your web developer. Additionally, make sure that you have a copy of your web site. We’re always surprised at the number of people who spend many thousands of dollars on a web site but don’t have a copy of it in their own hands.

Tip #6: Request References and Actually Call Them

Once you reach the point where you have a web developer that you want to use, we recommend that you request references and actually call them. This will be one of your best indications of how the developer maintains and manages client relationships and it provides one last measure of safety before you begin your project.

Finding Web Developer Jobs

August 13th, 2018

There are many ways that you can find web developer jobs. If you are interested in joining this industry, you need to know where and how you can get involved. Just like any other career, you are going to have to put time into the job search process. If you take the time to search for the best web developer jobs you are going to be happy in the end. It may take you a while to find the position that is best for you and your situation, but you will at least be on the right path to success.

Listed below are the three most common ways to find web developer jobs. You may have other ideas of your own, but at the very least, you should consider these three when it comes to the job search process. You may be surprised to find out just how many web developer jobs you can find by searching the three areas listed below.

1. As you probably know, one of the best ways to find web developer jobs is to use the internet. And when it comes down to it, the internet is one of the best ways to find jobs in any industry or field. Not only will it cut down on the time that it takes you to find web developer jobs, but it will also give you the chance to access the largest number of positions. Make sure that you search on both general job boards as well as on company specific sites.

2. Although some people think that this method is outdated, you can find web developer jobs in your local newspaper. The nice thing about this is that the jobs that you do find will be close to home; this is not a guarantee when you use the internet. If you are going to search the newspaper for web developer jobs make sure that you do so in the major city publication. In other words, the largest newspaper in your city is going to have more web developer jobs than a smaller community publication. But of course, it never hurts to check as many of them as you can find. You never know when the perfect job is going to jump off the page at you.

3. One of the best, but most overlooked ways of finding web developer jobs is networking. The computer and internet industries are tightly knit. A lot of people who get jobs within this industry know somebody who can help them out. If you are searching for web developer jobs, why not tell people who you know in the industry? Even if they cannot directly help you out, there is a good chance that they may be able to pass your information along or point you in the right direction. The more people who are helping you with your job search the better off you are going to be.

These are three of the best ways for you to find web developer jobs. As mentioned above, you should also consider any other search options that you think will work for your situation. To find the best web developer jobs you need to do your homework. It may be tough searching out these jobs, but in the end you will agree that it was worth it!

How to Determine Who to Hire To Be Your Next Ideal Web Developer

August 12th, 2018

Critical Benefits and Drawbacks You Need to Know About Different Web Developer Types

I get asked to do website estimates a lot and sometimes it’s downright heartbreaking to hear about the struggles and challenges entrepreneurs and business owners face when trying to find the right web developer.

Too many times I hear about people who feel they were ripped off by their previous webmaster and are very reluctant to hire someone new for fear of the same thing happening again.

Some of these people decided they better do all the work themselves, struggled terribly trying to literally learn a whole new profession. They end up calling me out of sheer frustration that nothing is working and things are worse off than before.

One time I was having a conversation with someone on a completely unrelated topic and he asked me what I did, when I responded he blurted out, “I hate web developers.”

I cringed.

I’m sure this happens in every industry where there are people who are really great at what they do, some who do enough to get by, and some who only THINK they know what they’re doing!

The web development industry is no different.

If you are unhappy with your current web developer or are in the process of finding someone that you can trust and depend on to fulfill your web development needs, this article will provide some valuable tips that will help you find the perfect complement to your team.

The first thing to get clear on is exactly what kind of help you need.

When hiring a web developer, first get clear on what kind of help you need:

There are many different types of “web developers” out there and making the wrong choice can be very costly. So be sure you understand “who” you are hiring first and then your selection process will be much easier from there.

Here are four common types of web developers:

The WordPress VA (Virtual Assistant)

This person has figured out WordPress pretty well. They know how to install a WordPress theme (either free or purchased) and can make some modifications to that theme to help match your brand colours. They will have a good understanding of what plugins are available to match your needs as well.

Benefits: Usually hiring someone for this work charges less per hour than a fully qualified web developer. Putting together small-sized sites are their specialty.

Drawbacks: Often WordPress is all that they know and rarely do they know HTML or CSS to customize your website for any extra bells and whistles that you want to have.

Often purchased themes are so rigid that even moving an element from one part of the page to another is impossible to do with this type of limited knowledge.

When to hire them: You would want to hire a WordPress VA when you are not interested in a fully branded/customized website. You realize that any customization options are limited and you basically get what the theme preview shows aside from some colour, text and image changes.

You would also want to make this choice if you are already well versed in marketing strategy, copywriting, and branding and can simply tell your VA what needs to be done. Anticipate them having limited knowledge in some or all of these areas.

The Programmer

This person is what I lovingly call a “techno geek”. We have a few of these people on our team and we would not be able to be as successful as we are without them!

The Benefits: They know programming inside and out. They live, eat and sleep programming.

The Drawbacks: They can most definitely build you a fully functional website, no problem. But don’t expect it to look pretty! Branding, copywriting, design layout and marketing are rarely found in their list of skillsets.

You will probably need to hire someone else to help with those areas if you are not fully versed in them yourself.

When To Hire Them: You would want to hire a developer of this caliber if you have a complex website in mind that needs to be customized to fit your needs. Whether it’s an eCommerce engine, membership site or a database-driven tool, a fully trained and experienced programmer is your best bet.

The “All Round” developer

This again is a single person who has built enough websites to have a pretty good understanding of the bigger picture. They are what is called “a Generalist” where they have enough skills to be able to design and develop a decent website.

The Benefits: Having one person have knowledge in the different areas needed for web development is a big plus.

Usually this person has enough programming acumen to be able to handle most customizations and challenges that come up and will not need a plugin for every functionality (which will bog down your site’s performance).

They also are knowledgeable enough about branding and visual design that your site visitors will enjoy the experience of being there.

The Drawbacks: Even though they may appear to know a lot about web development, it’s impossible for one person to be really good at everything. It’s rare to find a really good designer also be a good developer (they do exist but they are a rare breed.) So you will still need to be, or have someone else on your team who is, well versed in online marketing and copywriting to help offset any weaknesses the person you hire has.

When To Hire Them: If you are lucky enough to find someone who has these skillsets AND is dependable, then you will have a great asset on your team. You will need to be aware of what their limitations are so that you can offset those areas with other people on your team.

The Web Development Agency

There several different types of web development agencies and for the sake of this article, I’ll focus on the kind that we are, a boutique web development and digital marketing agency. (If you’re looking for a big name agency that only multi-billion dollar corporations use, you wouldn’t have read this article to this point anyway!)

The Benefits: A boutique web development agency is not a one-man show. They are a team of professionals who can offer, as a collective group, all of the different areas of expertise that your business needs from a marketing perspective.

These areas generally include:

Brand Identity Design

Website Design and Layout

Copywriting

Online Marketing / Lead Generation

Video/Audio Editing

SEO

(Note some agencies only have 2 or 3 people on their team so be sure to ask questions to find out what everyone’s expertise is and if any skillset is lacking that you require.)

The other big benefit to using a web development agency is that they are very knowledgeable in your brand, your positioning and the message that you want convey to your ideal clients.

With every request you give them, they will already know what is needed and can discuss options with you to create something for you that is a perfect fit for your needs.

This avoids you from having to know what is needed yourself and also have to ensure other people on your team remain consistent with your brand message and design so you can focus more on what you do best.

The Drawbacks: Depending on who you find, the price point might be outside of your budget. Do your research: ask for and talk to referrals to help you decide if they will deliver what they promise. If they have a good reputation for being on time and on budget, then the extra costs will balance out in the long run.

When to hire them: Hiring a boutique web development agency can be one of the best things you can do as a new business. Doing this will assure that your new venture will get going on the right foot right off the bat. You will save a lot of time and money in the long run if you make this initial business investment.

If you already have an existing business and website but area ready to step up to the next level, this is the time to bring in an agency that can help you with not only the “doing” but also the strategizing to ensure you get to where you want to be without wasting a lot of time, money and energy.

You will also want to look for an agency when you want someone on your team for ongoing, consistent support. After your website is built, you will want someone you can contact at any time for website updates, creating new campaigns, doing SEO work etc.

My final piece of advice is to be sure you do your research on who you approach. You want to find someone with experience and skill who will partner with you to help you build your business.

Unless this is what you’re looking for, you want to avoid programmers and developers who only do exactly what you tell them. Having someone who can offer ideas and suggestions and be a part of your team to be a valuable resource when needed may be more ideal for you.

References are very important in this industry: Always ask to talk to their clients to see what their experience was working with the developer.

Be aware of those that claim to be developers when in reality, all they learned was how to use a “do it yourself” software like WIX or Weebly.

The quality of your website – both in design and in how it is coded – is very important on many levels. Ensure the person you hire understands how to design and build a quality product for you. Otherwise, you will most likely be faced with going through the whole process again in a short period of time once you realize your site is doing you more harm than good by turning off your potential clients instead of attracting them!