Choosing your web developer is a VERY important part of your journey to an AWESOME website. It can be a very difficult process if you don’t know what to look for in a developer.

First thing’s first: The difference between a Web designer and a Web developer

It’s all in the name. A Web designer creates the design for your website, the ‘look and feel’ of your website. What your menus will look like, what your headers look like, the colours and fonts of your website. This will give you a JPEG or design file, there is nothing on the web yet, no functionality, no nothing.

A Web developer takes the Web DESIGNER’S design and implements it. They bring the design to life by adding functionality with code. This is the process where they physically “build” your website so you can view it in your browser and interact with it. Developers make the menus “clickable”, makes the sliders slide, the contact forms send emails etcetera.

First impressions

If we could give you some advice, “cyber-stalk” that company/freelancer a bit. See what they are up to, who they did work for recently… here are a few things to look out for:

Things you need to consider before hiring your web developer:

  • Does the developer have experience working with websites with similar functionality to yours?
  • Do they have enough knowledge to make your site mobile-friendly (responsive)?
  • How long will it take to complete your project? Will you have to wait months?
  • Do they have enough knowledge to test browser compatibility and how to fix it?
  • ALWAYS ask to see some of their previous work if there is no sign on their website.
  • Would be able to make changes to my site myself? Sometimes it is not really possible for you to customise everything on your website yourself if  it is complicated, but if you can’t edit most of it yourself, then you should reconsider
  • Always try get more than one quote from professional companies/freelancers, just to see if you are overcharged or not
  • Can they provide you with training or support if you would need it?

Questions you should have answers to before hiring your web designer:

  • Does the designer have experience designing sites like the one you want?
  • Can they design your mobile site as well?
  • Do they know enough about web design to know which web fonts to use on your website?
  • Can they implement all the design rules on your website?

You should see your website as an investment. It costs money to maintain and it costs money to update.  Keep in mind that web designers / web developers will have examples on hand of websites they did in the past. Make sure that you are not hiring a “basement”-developer, because in the end, you will have to pay double, because you will have to pay another web company to fix the mess he/she created.

Look out for these signs, and if you see them, R.U.N.

  • Your emails, messages and calls are not returned.
  • The price is under R3000
  • Your web designer/developer is related to you, it is a bad idea to get involved with family
  • If it is difficult to get a hold of the developer.
  • The developer doesn’t have a website
  • Their website is horrible and they have a bad logo
  • They don’t have a portfolio of active websites that they can show you

Be Picky. And if you find an awesome web developer / web designer / web company, stick with them – even if it costs you a little more, because you will be paying for quality. You absolutely get what you pay for.

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