How to Determine Who to Hire To Be Your Next Ideal Web Developer

Critical Benefits and Drawbacks You Need to Know About Different Web Developer Types

I get asked to do website estimates a lot and sometimes it’s downright heartbreaking to hear about the struggles and challenges entrepreneurs and business owners face when trying to find the right web developer.

Too many times I hear about people who feel they were ripped off by their previous webmaster and are very reluctant to hire someone new for fear of the same thing happening again.

Some of these people decided they better do all the work themselves, struggled terribly trying to literally learn a whole new profession. They end up calling me out of sheer frustration that nothing is working and things are worse off than before.

One time I was having a conversation with someone on a completely unrelated topic and he asked me what I did, when I responded he blurted out, “I hate web developers.”

I cringed.

I’m sure this happens in every industry where there are people who are really great at what they do, some who do enough to get by, and some who only THINK they know what they’re doing!

The web development industry is no different.

If you are unhappy with your current web developer or are in the process of finding someone that you can trust and depend on to fulfill your web development needs, this article will provide some valuable tips that will help you find the perfect complement to your team.

The first thing to get clear on is exactly what kind of help you need.

When hiring a web developer, first get clear on what kind of help you need:

There are many different types of “web developers” out there and making the wrong choice can be very costly. So be sure you understand “who” you are hiring first and then your selection process will be much easier from there.

Here are four common types of web developers:

The WordPress VA (Virtual Assistant)

This person has figured out WordPress pretty well. They know how to install a WordPress theme (either free or purchased) and can make some modifications to that theme to help match your brand colours. They will have a good understanding of what plugins are available to match your needs as well.

Benefits: Usually hiring someone for this work charges less per hour than a fully qualified web developer. Putting together small-sized sites are their specialty.

Drawbacks: Often WordPress is all that they know and rarely do they know HTML or CSS to customize your website for any extra bells and whistles that you want to have.

Often purchased themes are so rigid that even moving an element from one part of the page to another is impossible to do with this type of limited knowledge.

When to hire them: You would want to hire a WordPress VA when you are not interested in a fully branded/customized website. You realize that any customization options are limited and you basically get what the theme preview shows aside from some colour, text and image changes.

You would also want to make this choice if you are already well versed in marketing strategy, copywriting, and branding and can simply tell your VA what needs to be done. Anticipate them having limited knowledge in some or all of these areas.

The Programmer

This person is what I lovingly call a “techno geek”. We have a few of these people on our team and we would not be able to be as successful as we are without them!

The Benefits: They know programming inside and out. They live, eat and sleep programming.

The Drawbacks: They can most definitely build you a fully functional website, no problem. But don’t expect it to look pretty! Branding, copywriting, design layout and marketing are rarely found in their list of skillsets.

You will probably need to hire someone else to help with those areas if you are not fully versed in them yourself.

When To Hire Them: You would want to hire a developer of this caliber if you have a complex website in mind that needs to be customized to fit your needs. Whether it’s an eCommerce engine, membership site or a database-driven tool, a fully trained and experienced programmer is your best bet.

The “All Round” developer

This again is a single person who has built enough websites to have a pretty good understanding of the bigger picture. They are what is called “a Generalist” where they have enough skills to be able to design and develop a decent website.

The Benefits: Having one person have knowledge in the different areas needed for web development is a big plus.

Usually this person has enough programming acumen to be able to handle most customizations and challenges that come up and will not need a plugin for every functionality (which will bog down your site’s performance).

They also are knowledgeable enough about branding and visual design that your site visitors will enjoy the experience of being there.

The Drawbacks: Even though they may appear to know a lot about web development, it’s impossible for one person to be really good at everything. It’s rare to find a really good designer also be a good developer (they do exist but they are a rare breed.) So you will still need to be, or have someone else on your team who is, well versed in online marketing and copywriting to help offset any weaknesses the person you hire has.

When To Hire Them: If you are lucky enough to find someone who has these skillsets AND is dependable, then you will have a great asset on your team. You will need to be aware of what their limitations are so that you can offset those areas with other people on your team.

The Web Development Agency

There several different types of web development agencies and for the sake of this article, I’ll focus on the kind that we are, a boutique web development and digital marketing agency. (If you’re looking for a big name agency that only multi-billion dollar corporations use, you wouldn’t have read this article to this point anyway!)

The Benefits: A boutique web development agency is not a one-man show. They are a team of professionals who can offer, as a collective group, all of the different areas of expertise that your business needs from a marketing perspective.

These areas generally include:

Brand Identity Design

Website Design and Layout

Copywriting

Online Marketing / Lead Generation

Video/Audio Editing

SEO

(Note some agencies only have 2 or 3 people on their team so be sure to ask questions to find out what everyone’s expertise is and if any skillset is lacking that you require.)

The other big benefit to using a web development agency is that they are very knowledgeable in your brand, your positioning and the message that you want convey to your ideal clients.

With every request you give them, they will already know what is needed and can discuss options with you to create something for you that is a perfect fit for your needs.

This avoids you from having to know what is needed yourself and also have to ensure other people on your team remain consistent with your brand message and design so you can focus more on what you do best.

The Drawbacks: Depending on who you find, the price point might be outside of your budget. Do your research: ask for and talk to referrals to help you decide if they will deliver what they promise. If they have a good reputation for being on time and on budget, then the extra costs will balance out in the long run.

When to hire them: Hiring a boutique web development agency can be one of the best things you can do as a new business. Doing this will assure that your new venture will get going on the right foot right off the bat. You will save a lot of time and money in the long run if you make this initial business investment.

If you already have an existing business and website but area ready to step up to the next level, this is the time to bring in an agency that can help you with not only the “doing” but also the strategizing to ensure you get to where you want to be without wasting a lot of time, money and energy.

You will also want to look for an agency when you want someone on your team for ongoing, consistent support. After your website is built, you will want someone you can contact at any time for website updates, creating new campaigns, doing SEO work etc.

My final piece of advice is to be sure you do your research on who you approach. You want to find someone with experience and skill who will partner with you to help you build your business.

Unless this is what you’re looking for, you want to avoid programmers and developers who only do exactly what you tell them. Having someone who can offer ideas and suggestions and be a part of your team to be a valuable resource when needed may be more ideal for you.

References are very important in this industry: Always ask to talk to their clients to see what their experience was working with the developer.

Be aware of those that claim to be developers when in reality, all they learned was how to use a “do it yourself” software like WIX or Weebly.

The quality of your website – both in design and in how it is coded – is very important on many levels. Ensure the person you hire understands how to design and build a quality product for you. Otherwise, you will most likely be faced with going through the whole process again in a short period of time once you realize your site is doing you more harm than good by turning off your potential clients instead of attracting them!

Susan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.

Are You Ready For This Year’s Black Friday?

Everyone is always busy running after this or that deal. It’s the busiest day of the year and for good reason- there are irresistible deals calling from the left, right and centre. There’s much commotion alright, but that is nothing compared to all the gains you get.

Black Friday is mainly about fashion and electronics. But the key word is mainly. That means it can be extended to other products and services, too. For example, you will find it easier to get Glasgow airport parking promo codes and other services during this time.

This year, Black Friday falls on November 25th. That is about a month from Christmas and a great time to get whatever you can for the December holiday. Normally, the day marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping period.

As things have been changing with the coming of the internet, so has Black Friday. Earlier, the shopping was done traditionally� offline. Just in 2014, hordes of shoppers stormed Currys PC world and Asda, placing the two companies ahead of the flash sales volume-wise. A couple of fights erupted, unfortunately, as everyone tried to clench the biggest deals.

2015 was much different. The retail store aisles were for the most part empty as most people chose to shop online. There was 60 percent more shopping and this led to sites like PC World crushing a number of times.

What to Expect This Big Friday

If you have been observing the participants of Back Friday, you might have noticed that most are retailers of electronic products. That seemed to have been less of the case last year. There are expected to be more of such this November meaning services like Glasgow airport parking promo codes will be in abundant supply.

Last year’s exodus from offline to online shopping caused most websites to crash. That can be annoying if you cannot wait to get those juicy deals. But was the first the shopping bonanza took place online to that degree and most retailers were caught unawares.

This year, everyone knows what’s coming and they are prepared. Your shopping will be smoother with little downtime time if any.

How to make the most of this Year’s Black Friday

Apart from keeping all your gadgets charged up and ready to bust the doors of cyber retailers, simply plan ahead. It’s easy to just jump on any deal that flashes before you. But to make the most of the event. Make a list of what you actually want. Remember, you are still spending money and you want to see it put to good use.

But You Don’t Have to Wait Till November Always

There are still lots of products and services that you can get discounts on throughout the year. Although the sales may not be as big as on Black Friday, they’re still worth it. For example whenever you need vouchers like Glasgow Airport parking promo codes, you could always go to the Parking at Airports website, anytime of the year.

Secure and Reliable Applications From a Web Development Agency

A business is all about business processes and an integration plan to integrate the internal components of an organization. Business automation is the core behind every accomplishment that a business house achieves. A web design agency deals with all the web development needs right from analysis to final development. To turn vision into the reality, several agencies are offering their services to the diverse client across the world. The domain of the web development revolves around major segments including:

A. PHP Web Development
B. ASP and ASP.Net Development
C. E commerce Development
D. Custom Web Programming

A standard web design company usually enjoys extensive experience in providing professional web services for their global clients. They have a professional track record of successfully completing the projects of different sizes and strength. These companies capitalize on their accumulated experience in developing full-cycle web development services ranging from core business analysis, consulting and project implementation. Web development segment of the agency deals in a core set of web application development services including:

A. Web Application Development
B. Application Migration and Porting
C. Application Re-engineering and Enhancement
D. Application Audit and Testing
E. Application Maintenance

These agencies provide dedicated web developers to the clients who design and develop web applications according to the individual business needs. They start their process with detailed requirement analysis of the website followed by comprehensive database design. These professionals are expert both in the back-end design and front end design as well. In the front end design they use Adobe Illustrator, Macro-media Flash, Dream weaver and Photo shop. In the very same manner these agency use several high-end and advanced tools to develop front end of the web application. These tools include.Net, Ajax, ASP, Java, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, PHP and C# etc.

Robust and secure web applications are the demand of the time. This is why an agency works in the close coordination with the business houses to understand their business requirements. They decide to use the platform accordingly. Usually these company works on two platforms according to the clients’ preferences. They choose either Microsoft Technologies like.Net or Open source technologies like PHP etc. Both these technologies have their own advantages and cost benefits.

If you are in search for a web development company, you need to be cautious and alert. Hiring a web development company is a tricky decision and requires good amount of research and analysis about the service provider. Keep a checklist with you depicting all the needs that you want to get accomplished by the agency. Discuss the type of web application you need from the service provider. Ask the agency about the process they follow to accomplish the project within the given time frame. The most important thing that you inquire is the cost they charge for the development. Compare several websites at a time to get a quote that suits you well.