Hiring a web developer: 5 mistakes to avoid

how to hire a developer

Web development services are as relevant as ever these days. As more businesses move to the digital sphere every day, competent websites are at an all time high demand. An increase in need, however, also means that more companies that offer these services, establish themselves.

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In this article I’ll offer some simple, but valuable advice for business owners out there, on how to avoid hiring a web developer that’s sloppy and incompetent. These 5 tips are coming from my own experience, so they may not coincide with other similar articles.

Things to consider when hiring a web developer:

Their knowledge of SEO, Social Networks and basic marketing principles

When you’re hiring a web developer for your site, no matter what it’s purpose is – a blog, a platform for collecting leads or direct sales for your e-shop is has to be designed in a “smart” way. And I mean not only in the sense of user-friendliness and simplicity (that’s also important), but outside factors like social media and SEO.

SEO is absolutely crucial these days. that’s how people search for products and services – Google and other search engines. So, you need to rank well. No matter how cool and awesome the company’s print designs look. Ask them straight out – What kind of SEO strategy do you implement for client websites?

If they don’t give you clear examples of their previous SEO results, DO NOT hire them. Unless you want to spend a ton on ads, just to get at least some traffic to your website.

Ability to make responsive websites for mobile and tablet users

Yes, this is also important. In fact most of your visitors will probably arrive via mobile device searches. According to data, more than half of sales worldwide are happening through tables and mobiles. So, as a business owner you want to maintain a competent mobile version of your website as well.

Be sure to ask for, if not already mentioned by the company that you’re considering, to build you a responsive website. This type of site is designed to automatically adapt itself in accordance to the device that your visitor is using and display your sites’ most valuable features.

If you’re a business owner this is absolutely VITAL if you don’t want to lose any sales. So, before hiring, ask the company about your sites’ adaptability. This will ensure that you don’t regret the work results after your collaboration is over.

Capability of designing a website for heavy traffic

It doesn’t matter if your niche is small or you just started out with your e-shop. Eventually you’ll get to the point where your websites’ abilities of handling a large number of users will be tested. So that is why you need a strong website, that’s capable of running smoothly no matter the traffic circumstances.

Imagine that you’ve just launched a successful marketing campaign that got a lot of people arriving on your site. And just as the numbers really start to grow, the website either slows down dramatically, or completely shuts down.

Trust me, I’ve heard stories from colleagues who have hired incompetent companies before. “Oh it must be your hosting plan!”; “Everything seems okay on my end!” And the excuses keep coming in…

While it’s true that hosting has a role in your site loading speed, it’s actually the least important factor in that regard. A developer MUST create a website that’s clean in code and technically optimized, with no issues loading content and other parts of your website.

The best way to test if a company can in fact do this is to ask for a testimonial from previos clients. I’ll discuss this in my next tip.

They can link you to their previous clients for testimonials about their work

A number of web development companies have sections on their sites called testimonials/reviews or other named in another variant. This is where the client’s give their feedback about the company and its services.

The problem with these subsections is that the reviews can be easily faked. It’s not uncommon for companies to fill their testimonials category with illegitimate and overwhelmingly positive reviews about virtually everything they’ve done in the past.

The best way to test your doubts is to ask the company directly about it and express your interest in contacting their previous clients for questioning. If their hesitant – that should be an automatic red flag for you. Be extremely wary of such companies.

Competence in website development in any CMS and with a CMS

A Content Management System is great for simplifying website administration and performing basic functions like: uploading content, posting blog entries or adding new products to your shop.

No matter if you use Joomla, WordPress, Prestashop or any other variant – an experienced developer will set up your site on one of these platforms so that you have full control of your website in the future.

Imagine this:

You’ve just got your new website developed. After some time, you realize it needs some extra tweaks – more product categories, a change in description and so on. In other words – a few simple changes.

You contact your developer just to get an answer that it will take a week or so to make these updates and will cost you extra fees. Since you don’t have CMS on your site, your hands are completely tied to that imcompetent company you just hired. Things stall, and your website slowly uses opportunities to make a sale.

Yes, such things can happen.

That’s why it’s especially important to question the way your site will be developed. Ask for an easy to navigate CMS like WordPress for example, and you’ll have more control over what direction your website will go in the future.

Summing it up

Hiring a web development company can be a tricky, so you must remain wary of the dangers of an incompetent team. You don’t want to lose valuable traffic or sales just because your site has a messy code, or clamp it in the hands of those who made it.

Keep in mind these tips, and I’m sure you’ll find the best people for your site. Good luck!

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