Hiring a Web Developers

Hiring a web developers is easy if you know what you want to achieve. So you first need to make clear for yourself what exactly you are trying to accomplish. If you don’t know that, you won’t know who to look for and what to tell them.

For website changes, most commonly the tasks come from two different areas:

Design: This can be anything from redesigning your logo or header image to overhauling the entire page layout or adding design effects.
Functionality/coding: For example, adding a shopping cart, custom image slider, or making changes to your website’s management panel.

Depending on which area your project focuses on, you need to hire different people. If you are planning to create an entire website, you will need people for both.

You need to be completely clear about what you need and write it down in detail. Doing so will help you to:

Eliminate the wrong candidates — If the job description is clear, you can already weed out people who are not qualified. If you keep it vague and broad, a lot more candidates will apply to your posting as opposed to if you provide details.
Save time upfront — If you are clear on your expectations, your web developer can spend less time in the discovery process. Instead, they can jump right into how to implement your project.
Receive better estimates — Knowing the extent of the work will allow the candidates to better estimate the time and costs beforehand. It will also make costly changes less likely.
Achieve clarity for yourself — Writing things out is also a good exercise for yourself. It helps you really think through what you are trying to accomplish and makes your ideas less hazy. That’s an important step towards accomplishing them.

However, there are still two very good reasons to hire a web developer:

  1. It would save time.
  2. You might need help with some of the more technical bits.

In both cases it’s important to know how to find, hire, and work with a web developer so that your project runs smoothly.

Developer vs Designer

There is a difference between a developer and a designer. A designer is a person who comes up with the look of a website and creates assets like images, icons, etc. Their expertise is Photoshop and other graphic design programs.

A pure graphic designer doesn’t actually implement the site. Instead, they prepare a representation of what it will look like in the end. Someone else will make the actual website based on it.

A developer is a person who writes code. Meaning, they can get into your site and edit files to make changes or create an entire site from scratch. They also work with code editors and other development-related tools.

Front-end vs Back-end Developers

Developers also have subgroups. The most significant are front-end and back-end development.

  • The front-end is the part of the website that visitors will see in their browser.
  • The back-end is everything behind that. It’s both the place where you manage your website as well as how the site communicates with your server or database.

Front-end developers and web designers are often the same. They use the same languages and both take care of the look and the feel of your website. Front-end developers can also signify the person who implements the design but doesn’t come up with it in the first place. There’s a lot of overlap in these areas.

Back-end developers are focused on how your site works. They deal with the functionality and are also concerned with website speed and other technical issues. Their skill stack includes PHP (especially when you are working with WordPress), Java, Ruby on Rails, Python, and other programming languages.

Front-end and back-end developers are specialists. It means that they are usually quite good in their own domain but not versed in the other person’s discipline.

Depending on your needs, you might have to hire two or three people (graphic designer, front-end developer, back-end developer) to implement your website or the changes you need. Obviously, it results in more work hours and higher costs.

Another choice to hire a web developer is to hire a generalist who can do everything, a so-called full-stack developer. These are jacks of all trades who are able to build complete websites from scratch including design, implementation, and coding. While their knowledge is not always as deep in every field as that of the specialists, they are still able to produce the results you want.

While full-stack developers can be more expensive, they require less coordination. Consequently, it can speed up the process and save you money.

Freelance – Part-Time vs Full-Time

Finally, when looking for a web developer, the question is whether to work with a freelancer or hire somebody full time. This depends on the details of your project. If you only have a one-off job, working with a freelancer is often good enough. You agree on the time frame, price, and delivery, they create the website and you take over from there. Plus, you can hire them again if you need any changes.

This is the usual arrangement with mostly static websites or sites that don’t need a lot of upkeep. It’s also an ideal way if you plan on doing the day-to-day running of your website yourself. If you need someone to constantly take care of your site, you might be better off hiring a full-time web developer. This makes sense, for example, if you are building a complex news site that needs a lot of hands-on work, changes often and has a lot of different content.

Good to know:
Experienced developers are faster and make fewer mistakes. Hence, they will require less back and forth, which saves time. For that reason, hourly pay often comes out cheaper.

Inexperienced workers likely need more revisions and corrections. It means more work hours, therefore you are better off to agree on a fixed fee from the beginning.

Large projects have even more potential errors, faulty estimations, design changes, revisions, and fixes. If paid hourly, this can produce a lot of costs on the tail end. For that reason, you are better off to have a developer estimate the overall effort (including potential corrections) and agree on a fixed price.

It also means that you need to be thorough in your project proposal and communication. The more precise you are on the project scope, the less likely it will need additional work.

Thanks to technology, it is now easier than ever to find and hire a web developer. In the past, you needed to browse the local classifieds to hire anyone. Today, today, you find a lot of professionals around the globe that will work with you just a click away.


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