In this day and age, every business needs a website. It doesn’t need to be high-tech or even look very good. At the end of the day you need an online presence because people DO and WILL search for you.
Here is where you have two options, you could build one yourself or you could find someone to build it for you.
Keep in mind though that when you get a website developed it will require some personal involvement. You will take on the role of project manager, as it is your sole responsibility to ensure that your vision is achieved.
Let’s go through the most important things you need to be aware of if you intend to get your website developed.
Research, Research, Research…
Before you even consider speaking to a web developer you NEED to know EXACTLY what you want on your website. This is important because if you don’t know what you want, chances are the web developer isn’t going to know either!
The best way to figure this out is to see how other businesses have done it. Look for similar websites in your niche and write down all the things you want, don’t want, like and dislike.
Is this an ecommerce store?
Do you want a newsletter subscription?
What graphics do you need?
Will it have a contact form?
Once you know everything that you need, break the website down and list what is needed page by page in point form. This will help the web developer to figure out how much the project will cost and how long it might take. Accompany these notes with a few sample websites and some rough sketches to illustrate the intended layout and you are ready to proceed to the next step.
Finding The Right Person
Before we proceed it must be stressed – DO NOT RUSH THIS PROCESS.
When you start to interview suitable candidates, just about every single person will tell you that they can do the job right. Just be careful as some may just want to do the job as quickly and cheaply as possible.
Therefore it would be advisable to request portfolio work and references from potential candidates. Don’t be shy, if they are professionals they will have a myriad of websites and clients, which they will be happy to share with you.
Be sure to look through their portfolio thoroughly, it will give you an idea about the developer’s level of skill and attention to detail.
Generally, You Get What You Pay For
The cost of each developer will vary depending on the amount of skill and experience they have. If you are happy to settle with a very basic website then do not hesitate to go with a cheap developer. If you are a little bit more ambitious then you may want to spend the extra money, it will be worth it in the long run.
Try to avoid paying by the hour as this could lead to your developer taking their time or finding reasons to keep clocking in hours. Also, be sure to negotiate milestone payments to avoid your developer running away with your money.
Keep In Mind…
Your role in this job doesn’t end here. Throughout the process you should be looking over everything the developer does to make sure it is getting done right. Look over your website regularly and list the issues you encounter. Do not be afraid to ask them to fix things that have not been completed properly.
Remember that it is your responsibility to convey your vision to the developer, so do everything you can to make this communication as effective as possible.