Use this great checklist to help with outsourcing web development for a new website or when looking for a web design partner for more than one project.
How to Outsource Web Development for a New Website
Is it a Good Idea to Outsource Web Development for a New Business Website?
Making the decision to outsource web development for a new business website would make most people uncomfortable, to say the least. The only people who wouldn’t worry about this decision would be someone very knowledgeable or someone who didn’t realise how much they didn’t know. Here are some items on a checklist you can use to make your decision with.
What Type of Professional is Needed?
The first decision to make is exactly what type of professional is needed.
- Website Designers establish the layout, text, graphics and navigation of the website. They may work with a graphic designer who will create the fonts, graphics and colours.
- Website Developers write the code to implement the design.
- Internet Marketers use SEO (search engine optimisation) to increase targeted traffic to the website and generate conversions.
What Sort of Website Will it Be?
It will be easier to choose the best web designer or developer once the basic information about the type of website has been determined.
- If a CMS (Content Management System) will be needed, WordPress is the most common choice. Other options include Drupal, Joomla or Business Catalyst.
- Any framework can be used if a CMS isn’t necessary. The site could be built on PHP, .Net, ASPX or another framework.
- A developer or designer with expertise in WordPress, for example, would be the obvious choice for a WordPress website.
If You Don’t Know, Hire Someone Who Does
It is extremely difficult for someone whose core expertise is not web design or development to evaluate an applicant’s technical ability. There have been stories of unscrupulous web designers/developers who claimed credit on their resumes for projects that they didn’t work on.
Get a recommendation from a technical expert who understands outsource web development.
Hire a project manager who will be able to evaluate the credentials and expertise of the web designer/developer. A project manager can also ensure that your vision of the website and the developer’s are one and the same.
Hire a web development firm who will be able to provide all of the necessary services.
Pay a Fair Price
A high hourly rate does not always equate to superior skills, but money is still linked to skill more often than not. It’s unlikely that someone charging a low rate will have the experience required for a big project. A very good developer or designer earns about $100,000 per year while an extraordinary one can command $250,000.
Trying to save money at the beginning of the project by hiring someone without the necessary experience can result in a nightmare at the end. Someone who has never handled a large project may not even realise how much over their head it would be.
Have Developers Pass a Code Test
If you don’t know code yourself, it may sound strange to test applicants on code, but help is available.
- The “FizzBuzz” test only takes a few minutes for a good developer to complete. If the developer is being hired online, ask to share the screen during the test. If the test is not completed within five minutes or the developer refuses the test, continue to the next developer.
- A service called “PaidCodeReview” can review a developer’s code. If the developer isn’t up to the work, the sooner this is discovered, the better.
Once a qualified candidate seems to have been found, ask for and check references. After all, your website will represent your business. Even minor malfunctions will drive away business.
- How do the websites of past clients compare to the website to be built? Are they more or less sophisticated?
- How relevant is the designer’s experience?
- Search for the developer on search engines, LinkedIn and relevant forums. One bad review is not necessarily a job-killer, but a pattern should never be ignored.
- One of the most important criteria to look for when it’s decided to outsource web design is communication skills. Does he or she have a track record of good customer service and responsiveness? Being left in the dark by the designer is not a good thing.
- Have someone knowledgeable prepare a list of questions regarding things that could go wrong and how it could be handled.
- Ensure that the finished code will be clean and properly labeled, so that someone else would be able to step in and work on it.
Finding the right web developer or web designer will pay enormous dividends. A fully functional website that satisfies the needs of the owner can offer a substantial ROI. It’s not an easy process to outsource and hire the right person, but is well worth all of the effort.
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