WEB & TECH / MAR. 21, 2014
version 8, draft 8

How to Find a Worthy Web Developer for Your Website

Technological advancement has changed the way we used to buy products by going to physical markets. With the introduction of online commerce systems, we don't have to leave our chair and we can buy or sell anything we want. This is a great time saver for us. Isn't it?

Do you know how this buying and selling process is made simple for us? Answer to this question is hidden in this post.  We are talking about the web developer who builds these web based marketplaces.

But consider this scenario-you are a seller/manufacturer/affiliate marketer/product promotion guy and to make this thing work, you surely need a website or blog. You need a website which works 24*7*365 seamlessly and smoothly. For making this possible, you need three things-

  1.  A clear vision about your business so that you can avoid mistakes
  2.  Strategy for reaching out to your customers by getting organic traffic
  3. A software developer who can develop the website 

Point 3 is most important because it is the developer who:

  1. Helps you to decide which modules have to be developed if you don't have a software architect. In essence, he can help you to decide the structure of the website.
  2. Can program these modules so that they interact with each other in a smooth manner. For example- what happens when a buyer registers on the website
  3. Convert the business requirements to functioning web pages
  4. Helps you by designing graphics if you can't afford a designer (only if the developer is comfortable or willing to do so)
  5. Tests modules and deploys them on live servers

This way the developer works on most of the phases of software engineering. Now you can understand the criticality of hiring the most worthy developer for this job.  In this post I am going to discuss how you can find a worthy developer for your website/blog/online business. For this, you need to ask these 5 questions to your developer and I am sure that using this approach you can get a perfect fit for your development needs. Here is the list of these questions you need to ask:

How is Your Portfolio?

A credible developer will have decent experience on several other projects. By looking at his other completed projects, you can get an idea of:

  • His knowledge of programming frameworks
  • His design acumen
  • His awareness of social API's such as Facebook Open Graph and Twitter's OAuth
  • His understanding of scalability and distributed computing
  • His knowledge of content management systems like Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal etc.

Also you don't want your website to go down even for a second. Ensure that your developer can program the website on cloud services such as Amazon Web ServicesHeroku, or Salesforce.com so that you can run your business at lower cost by achieving high throughput and efficiency.

Can You Sign a Contract?

This is a must question which you should ask when you are hiring a developer. Though many people don't consider doing it, it can save you hours of potential future conflicts . Try to estimate the costs, deadlines, ultimate deliverables, number of minimum daily hours and clear objectives for that developer. You don't want to end up with an uncompleted project so make sure your developer understand the requirements. If a person is passionate about the project, most likely he is going to accept a reasonable contract.    

Administrative Details

The current web is ruled by dynamic pages. So when your developer makes a portal like a gadget shopping website, it should be easy for you to add new pages, blog posts and new product entries in your website. You should confirm by asking him what kind of administrative details will he provide to you. In case of any query regarding this, ask him to handover controls of your website admin panel and server admin panel. A serious developer will understand that you trust him but you also need to manage the potential risks of website security.

Services and Support

Does this developer provide you basic testing of your website such as testing against SQL injection attacks or cross site scripting. Has he taken precautions to secure your website from DOS attacks? Remember when you are building an online business, your website can be the target of thousands of hackers and if the developer has not used secure coding practices, no matter how much you spend on securing your servers or network, you will never be safe.

In the future you may want to move your website to another server or you may want to change the whole domain. A developer should understand these issues and he should be able to develop the website keeping these issues in mind. For example, he should use the relative paths rather than the absolute paths. These are the things which do not come at extra cost and a genuine developer will take care of these things.

Do you Understand Mobile Web?

A developer should be aware about the importance of small screen devices such as mobile phones and tablets running on top of smart OS's. These days, people consume more and more web services using these devices. As a website owner, you want to capture this audience too. For this you need to find a developer who can provide you with a mobile version of a website or can provide you responsive design so that you don't have to bother yourself with issues related to screen view of the website.

Final Words

Remember, for the time being you will have to spend most of your time with your developer instead of your wife. Put in some extra efforts to find out whether he is willing to do whatever it takes to make your business successful or if it is just another coding job for him.

If you can ask as many details as possible in the early stages, you will achieve a faster progress. It might irritate the developer for a while, but you should remember one thing- "This business of yours might have been a dream for you, don't let others kill it." You are spending those dollars and you deserve the best.

(Image Source: AtomicDust)

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