If you are having a thought about placing your business on the web, your second thought will probably be about finding a web developer to help you. On where to find a web developer for your project and how to say the right one for you, we will be speaking in this post.
Table of Contents
- Define Your Project
- What Kind of Specialist Do You Need?
- How to Determine Developer's Skills
- The Cost of Hiring Web Developers
- Where to Find Web Developers?
- Making the Right Choice to Hire a Web Development Team
Define Your Project
What is it in your mind you want to build? A website or maybe a web application? Before we go any further, let’s figure out what means what.
A website presents a set of web pages under the same domain name, which content users can see and read but not change in any way. For example, if you have a door business, you will be able to provide customers with every piece of information about every door on a website through images, text, and price tags. So a website usually resembles a magazine being mostly of informative nature.
A web application in its basic form is a piece of software that does not need to be downloaded and installed on a device. Instead, it is accessed through a web browser. Web applications allow for various manipulations with their content as users can interact with it directly. For example, YouTube allows to upload videos, and Wikipedia enables users to create and modify pages. To handle user requests, you will need servers for the web app.
Websites are generally simpler and faster to build compared to web applications. Once you define what is it that you need, learn who will be working on your future project.
What Kind of Specialist Do You Need?
To find web developers for startups and established businesses, you need to take into account several nuances as a set of skills needs to be applied to create a website.
Designer vs Developer
The words ‘design’ and ‘development’ are frequently thought synonymous: by designing a website, people often mean developing one. However, a web designer and web developer are usually two different people who nonetheless go hand in hand.
A web designer is a person who is not working directly with the code. Instead, their job is to create a graphic prototype that later a developer turns into an actual web page. In other words, the designer prepares a project so that the front-end developer knows what to do accurately to the pixel.
Front-end vs Back-end Developers
The front and back ends can also be referred to as the client and server sides. In fact, the two do not have to be opposed as both are essential for a website or web app that is functional and eye-pleasing at a time. No website or web application that suggests registration and data storage can do without the server-side, or back-end. The simplest contact form has a back-end behind it so that entered data is sent where needed. Also, work on anything cloud-related is always the back-end developers’ prerogative.
The question that may arise is why hire frontend and backend developers when one person has the skills of both and charges less? It all depends on your request on one hand and the developer’s skills on the other. The more complex the solution, the riskier it is to opt for a full-stack engineer since one person’s expertise is hardly enough for building a fintech web platform or a social network. However, a full-stack developer may be a good choice for relatively standard assignments like creating a business webpage featuring a contact form.
How to Determine Developer's Skills
As a customer, when asking a web developer or a team of developers to build a website for your business, you hope they are professionals and their work does not need to be double-checked. Unfortunately, it is not always true, and a poor-quality website will not do any good for a business. Luckily, there is no need for an entrepreneur to dive too deep and study code to estimate the developer’s skills. See what to look for when hiring a web developer.
Wherever you find a web developer, they should have reviews from previous clients. Otherwise, you can request contacts of clients from the developer. Reach out to clients if possible and ask whether websites built by this vendor perform well and if any unclear moments were present during the cooperation.
If we’re speaking about a web development company, most of them have profiles on Clutch, the biggest web development agencies listing. The good thing about Clutch is that every review from clients is subject to moderation before it is published. The Clutch team verifies the identity of clients and thus does not allow for fake reviews or ones from competitors.
If the vendor of interest has links to the active websites they made in their portfolio, take your time and check them through. Do they perform well? Do you like their overall outlook?
In case you already have a website and want to improve it for some reason, you can request a code audit (third-party code review) service from a web development company with relevant expertise. This service will point out the weaknesses of the website and highlight the code’s shortcomings.
The Cost of Hiring Web Developers
Factors affecting your website cost are the following:
- The number of professionals involved;
- The duration of work;
- Vendor’s location.
For each, there are opportunities for you to save money. But before using them, evaluate risks.
Risk 1: Assigning a full-stack dev on a complex project. Returning to the point of choosing between front-end and back-end versus full-stack developers, we can not but touch on the cost of either option. Businesses frequently prefer hiring a full-stack developer because it is cheaper than paying two people specializing in different domains. However, the full-stack developer’s workload is something that is frequently disregarded.
In case you want to build a web application with an elaborated backend and hire a full-stack developer for that, there is a higher risk of human error because of an overly broad spectrum of the developer’s tasks. As a result, the Quality Assurance step may reveal more bugs which improvement can take a while and, consequently, raise the project’s cost if the Hourly Pay model is applied (about this and another payment model we will be speaking further).
Risk 2: Starting big instead of testing the idea first. Web developers’ time is what business usually pays for. The more features you add at once, the more you pay, and there is no guarantee all of them are necessary to verify the product idea. Developing a minimum viable product featuring only key functionality will save you time and money and pay off faster so you can elaborate your MVP at any time.
Risk 3: Choosing the cheapest option. Rates charged by web development firms from around the world differ significantly. For example, Indian developers charge $25/h on average while rates of those from the USA can reach $250/h. But there are lots of options in between: for example, we at Anadea charge $50 per hour of our work. To simplify the challenge of finding a good web developer offering satisfactory conditions, you can select several appealing companies based on reviews from clients and request a project estimate from these companies. It is tricky to make such an important choice based on the price alone, so try to approach choosing a vendor from different angles.
Hourly Pay vs Fixed Price
Whether you work with a freelancer or a team from a website developer company, they can accept payments based on one of these models. The conditions of your cooperation have to be agreed on before the development onset and consolidated officially.
The hourly pay, also known as the time and materials model suggests there is an approximate project duration but overall, it depends on how quickly the developers complete their tasks. This is the model we practice at Anadea. Our clients value the hourly pay method for these reasons:
They do not pay the whole price or even half of it upfront but only a small initial payment, and the rest is charged upon each new feature completion.
This approach allows for more flexibility in the project. If you find yourself wanting - or not wanting - a certain feature in the middle of the development process, it is always negotiable since the price is not rigid.
Under the second, the fixed price approach we mean that the company and the client agree on the cost of development at the start. The fixed price method allows clients to plan their long-term spending, it is clear and predictable. However, the client may expect the project duration to be longer than it will be when agreeing on the price and overpays in the end. To this, add the fact that companies usually want half-price before actually taking on the development.
Where to Find Web Developers
There is a plenty of options where to find website developers. Consider these before scouting for the right one.
If you find a web programmer on a freelance platform like Upwork, Fiverr, Hired, etc. you cooperate with the specialist directly, without intermediaries as a web development company. You can also meet web developers on GitHub and StackOverflow, specialized platforms for the developers' community. Choose this option for short-term projects or individual features. As freelancers are usually working on multiple assignments at a time, they will hardly dig into one only project which can negatively affect the quality of the final deliverables.
One popular option for many developers to find a job or an assignment is LinkedIn. Advanced filters and info about users’ previous experience allow finding a good web developer open to work and contacting them directly. On LinkedIn, developers form communities to find jobs by region (e.g., ‘European IT Network’), technologies (‘Remote Ruby on Rails developers’), etc.
For long-term work on a feature-reach web project, it is safer to work with a pre-defined team of developers from an outsourcing company rather than form a supergroup of freelancers. The work of engineers employed at the same company is well organized by Team Leads which provides for a streamlined development process and complete focus on your project.
Explore Reliable Platforms
Anyone wondering how to find a good web development company knows about Clutch. This website that we mentioned earlier can be used not only for verifying the experience of a specific company but also for meeting one. Clutch allows finding the right team of web developers based on your desired area of company’s expertise, technology stack, and location. Apart from Clutch, there is a number of other software companies' listings like TheManifest, GoodFirms, Wadline, TopDevelopers, and more. Mind that many of them offer companies paid promotion, so not every top-listed web development business is there only because of their brilliant work.
An unobvious but working option is checking out professionals that show off their work in all kinds of online awards and competitions. Many companies and individual web developers submit websites they have built on Awwwards, w3awards, CSS Design Awards, and other platforms alike to get recognition and find clients.
Making the Right Choice to Hire a Web Development Team
Based on all of the above, we can highlight some key points to pay attention to when choosing a web developer.
Portfolio. Website developers interested in being noticed should know how to present themselves. The vendor’s portfolio has to be easily accessible and the websites they designed should be available and functional.
Reviews and references. Collect as much information about other clients’ experiences with the developers as possible, preferably from different sources, or request the clients’ contact information directly from the vendor.
Conditions. Is the developer or a company clear about pricing? Who owns the product code? Who is responsible for what in the team? All of these have to be clear and permanent for your own protection. Feel free to ask the vendor all questions you have to avoid confusion.
Whoever you choose to work with, mind these pieces of advice. Hope your undertaking will be a success! Before you leave, check out the examples of our stellar web projects.