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I recently had yet another conference call with a potential client that was beyond frustrated with her experiences with past web developers. As a result, this client is very nervous about moving into any sort of contract with another web developer. As a marketer and web developer this really frustrates me. Clients should not have to be put through these experiences that involve frustration and many times a financial loss. In the end, business owners remain unhappy with the product they are given and the good guys like us, get a bad reputation.
The story is pretty similar with many of our clients. Their knowledge about web development is pretty limited and typically, they aren’t very computer literate. Dealing with this sort of thing is just one of the many hats they must wear as a business owner and they reluctantly deal with it. They don’t know what they should expect from a new website, how long it should realistically take or even what questions to ask to begin with. They wait for sometimes more than a year to get their new website up, only to get a website they are really unhappy with or one that doesn’t even function properly. Many of our clients had been through variations of this scenario multiple times until they found us.
So that you don’t have to go through all this frustration and spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a product you aren’t happy with, I want to share a few tips that you can use in your search for a web developer. Granted, there are no guarantees, but hopefully this will make for a better experience for you.
Keep in mind that from our perspective, some clients are difficult to work with. Sometimes a website can take months to finish because while we kindly request needed content, we occasionally just don’t get it. This can be because the client gets busy with other things, an emergency comes up or their business changes in a new direction and we need to start from scratch. There could be lots of reasons for this. To get the best and most timely results, make sure your web developer isn’t waiting on you for anything to finish or even start the project.
More likely than not, you have a vision in mind for your website, you’re excited about it and expect it to look a certain way. It’s important to, in as many ways as is possible, relay this vision to your web developer. We always ask for examples of websites that our clients like, what they expect to appear on the home page, the style they like – we really try to get inside their mind about this vision or idea they have. Your web developer should want to create a website that you are excited about sharing with everyone.
If you are ever concerned about the quality of work or even the commitment that your web developer has for your business, ask them for a mock up. We gladly provide a sample of what your website could look like if you hire us. This usually involves developing the home page and maybe a few other pages, depending on the scope of the project. This is also a really great jumping off point and opportunity for the client to give feedback and talk about what they want.
I also think as a marketer and web developer, that it is really important for us to educate you as the client. Whomever you work with should be willing to answer any and all questions, give you ideas, brainstorm with you and help you to understand this whole process and what it means for the development of your business.
In the end, this relationship between you and your web developer will hopefully be a long one and a happy one. As you talk with web developers about your project, select one that is willing to work with your expectations (which should be realistic), your budget and your goals. If you feel deep down that a working relationship with this person might not work, it really is okay to say ‘no’ and move on to the next one.
If you ever need a consultation about web development, please contact us - of course, it’s free.
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A web developer should have some web development skills to put in his development to make a website more effective and user friendly. The tips you provided to boost a web developers skill are really very helpful for the beginner web developers. Thanks for updating
Thanks for reading Mr. Robert!
Thanks for those tips! The things you mention in here are really great and helpful for hiring a web developer.
Great article! As I am trying to find a reliable programmer I can relate as I have made LOTS of mistakes. One thing that would be helpful to get insight on is the skill set to expect from a developer (not a designer). One mistake I have made is if someone says they are strong in Word Press it does not mean they know how to code a site. THe level of technical depth (ie do you have proper progamming skills) is the thing I focus on now.. Any thoughts on this in terms of skills/education?