Business is moving faster than ever. If you need to expand your internet presence to grow your business, you need website development services here and now, not a year from now. If your team is going to hire a web developer, they need to get it right the first time. Missing the mark can mean a lot of wasted time, a lot of missed opportunities, and a lot of financial risk.
Here are the eight basic steps to make sure that when you hire a website development expert, you get the product you want, for within your budget.
Define the Problem
This step is absolutely crucial. Without an understanding of what you actually need, you can get completely led astray into an end product that won’t suit your needs. At a minimum, your web developer needs to understand what you want and need to be able to build it. If you and your team don’t fully understand what you need, you are going to be very inefficient in executing the project.
Think About What You Need
Start by naming the challenges you are facing. Then list out the possible solutions for those challenges. If you can’t tie an idea you have for your developer to a specific problem you are trying to address, reconsider that item. This is true for all sizes of projects.
Take a look at what your competitors are doing. They are facing many of the same core problems you are. How are they addressing them? Don’t be afraid to veer off track too. If you find yourself really enjoying or appreciating how a website looks, functions, or feels, think about what elements are so appealing. What is it about the user experience that makes it feel good? It doesn’t matter if the site you love sells plant stands and you manufacture car parts. Good design is good design.
Once you understand what you need, you can map out the scale of the project. Small projects would be things like adding a form for site visitors to fill out, switching the design from one template to another, or adding a button to click that takes users to a related page. Larger, medium sized projects would include items like those that require your site to work with an outside service provider, such as content service management or customer relationship management, or building an online store or web app. Large projects would include things like making a seamless connection to cloud hosting services or integrating multiple sophisticated technologies.
Learn the Language
You know what you need. Now you need to find the right type of company to do the job. Learn the terminology of types of website development services so you can hone in on the right candidates. Here is some language to know, to get you started.
Developers are different from designers. Designers will help you with layout, fonts, color scheme, and other visual, creative decisions. Developers actually write the code needed to make the site work. There are three basic types of developers.
Front-end website development services specialize in the parts of your website that visitors or end-users see. They may be able to give some guidance about design, but they will definitely understand how to make sure that every element of what you want works for the people who actually need to use the site.
Back-end website developers work on the parts of the website the end-users don’t see. They build the structure, which allows the website to work, controls its speed, and other integral infrastructure components.
Full-stack developers handle both back-end and front-end areas of website creation. They are sometimes seen as jacks of all trades, using a full-stack provider can also be a more seamless and efficient way to build a site than hiring two different specialist contractors.
Define the Scope of Your Job
Although your team may have a mile-long wish list, you need to hone down to what your project will realistically include. Start with the basics, and must-haves. Then prioritize the heaviest hitting wish list items next.
Write it Up
Commit to your vision, and make sure your team is aligned, by writing down the scope and purpose of your project. This will be your touchstone as you interview developers and it will keep everyone involved on task, with no mission creep, throughout the development process.
Set Your Budget
It might seem late to the game to be setting a budget is often most successful once you understand what you truly need to do and why. If you set an arbitrary budget up front, you may be stuck trying to contort what you need into a box that is too big or too small for what you actually need to pack in it.
Once you have all of this lined up, your team is ready to start searching for and interviewing developers.