What to Look When Hiring a Web Developer

Web development is an essential part of modern businesses. E-commerce has really taken off – the global retail e-commerce segment alone is currently worth nearly $5 trillion, and the figure is still rising. For businesses, this means that websites and web-based apps are now the new storefronts. Consequently, finding web developers capable of creating winning e-commerce platforms is vital for business success. This article explains the importance, processes, criteria, and effort involved in hiring a competent web developer.

The importance of high-quality web development

Web-based enterprise platforms do a lot more besides creating first impressions with potential customers. A strong online presence can help you with:

  • Marketing products and services to target audiences via digital marketing
  • Generating leads
  • Reaching and directly communicating with customers
  • Establishing brand credibility and authority in the industry
  • Spreading information and news through blogs and announcements
  • Carrying out sales transactions

In short, a multi-functional e-commerce platform is an invaluable business tool in so many ways. However, acknowledging the importance of a website or web app is one thing, and actually developing one is another. According to a 2019 survey, 28 percent of Small Businesses don’t see the need for a website. But in our line of work, we find that some entrepreneurs are hesitant to take their businesses online because they don’t understand much about web development and management. The solution here is simple – hire a web developer to create the site for you.

Hiring a web developer

We just said that hiring a web developer was a simple solution, but that’s not entirely true. Web development is a complex process involving a great deal of skill, a high degree of professionalism, a touch of artistic creativity, and some exposure to the craft. Although there are countless web development companies, freelancers, and contractors, finding a developer that fits the bill can still be a challenge.

One of the reasons why it’s so hard to find a good web developer is the skill shortage that’s plaguing nearly all professional labor sectors. According to analysts, the talent deficit in the IT industry could reach 4.3 million workers by 2030. Plus, you can’t always accurately judge the credibility of a developer. So, you may never truly know what to expect until you’ve worked with a developer, and that’s a risk not worth taking.

Hiring a poor developer will consequently result in an inferior product. You might actually end up losing money by running a weak web platform on top of whatever it cost to develop. For instance, given that most online traffic comes from mobile devices, user experience is a key performance factor for websites and web apps. If the developer ignores crucial web performance attributes such as responsive design, loading speed, visual appeal, and SEO capabilities, the resulting site will miss out on countless business opportunities and lose badly to competitors. Business-wise, such a site would be worse than just a waste of money, time, and effort.

How to hire a good web developer

Choosing a web developer for any business is a difficult and weighty decision. Luckily, we know from experience how to hire a web developer because we understand all the pain points and procedures involved. Below is a list of our top considerations when looking for the right web developer.

Skill level and capabilities

Web development is a vastly broad field with several areas of specialization. Look for a web developer that can deliver on the kind of platform that best suits your need.

First, find out exactly what the developer can do. Generally, developers are categorized into front-end and back-end developers. Front-end developers design and code the user interface and everything about it, from layouts, themes, responsiveness and navigation to user experience. Back-end developers deal with the technical and functional side of a web platform. They build the underlying clockwork behind data management, server connections, security, etc.

For a simple static site or app, a front-end developer will do. But if you’re going for a dynamic and robust web product, you’ll need both designers and back-end coders – or a full stack developer that can do both.

Credibility and trustworthiness

You want to know what past clients make of the developer. Look up credible online reviews and testimonials about the developer’s reputation to gauge their commitment to quality service delivery and customer satisfaction. For newly established developers without a rich job history, ask for at least a proof of concept. Keep in mind that a proven track record strengthens the developer’s competence and experience (to some extent), which we’ll get to in the next point.

Talent vs. experience

Acquired experience vs. raw talent is an age-old conflict in the labor and services market. Do you hire a novice developer that demonstrates exceptional skills or a seasoned developer with years of churning out websites under their belt? In most cases, the simple choice is going with experience, but it’s not always right.

Admittedly, experience is a great advantage in web development since it sometimes requires honed skills. In fact, experience is always the safer bet when hiring a web developer. But you might easily miss out on a good hire by prioritizing experience over talent. The truth is, unproven start-ups in the tech industry have given us some of the most revolutionary ideas, gadgets, and services.

We are not advocating for either experience or talent. All we’re saying is to keep an open mind and put all your options on the table. Judge each developer individually rather than pitting them against each other. Instead of haggling over experience and talent, choose excellence.

Availability and responsiveness

Web development is a highly engaging process. Most developers take the agile methodology approach to project management that involves collaborative efforts between the developer and the client. A good developer will set aside ample time throughout the project’s life-cycle to consult with the client, report progress, and act on feedback.

Remember, this is all part of project scheduling. Ask every potential candidate how you can reach them, how much time they’ll allocate to your project, and how quickly they can respond to queries. If the developer also becomes responsible for the long-term support of the website, which is often the case, ask them how that will look like.

Hiring through IT staffing agency

It’s not surprising that there are so many considerations to make before hiring a web developer, given the complex diversity of this niche. And that’s not all. The vetting process goes even deeper than this, and criteria vary depending on whether you want a fully-boarded developer, a part-time freelancer, or a one-off contractor.

But there is an easier way to find just the right professionals for any web development job. Regardless of the web expertise you’re looking for, an IT staffing agency will eliminate all the hassle of having to vet dozens of potential candidates.

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