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Choosing a Web Developer - The Complete Guide

Do your Homework Before you go to a Developer

If you want an accurate assessment of what your Website will cost, you must have a clear idea about what you need. Take some time to answer these questions before you talk to a developer.

Article from Sitepoint.com


1) How will my Website function?


As an online store where actual product is sold

As an online brochure to inform the consumer about your company or services

As an online community

As a combination of these

2) What will my Website look and feel like?

What will my site communicate through its appearance? Will it be light and fun, hi-tech, or business-like and professional?

3) How many pages, and what specific sections, does my site need?

Consider the inclusion of at least these basic areas:


Home

About

Products/Services

Order

Contact

Resources

Newsletter Subscription

4) What is my budget?

Be reasonable: if you only have $500, you won't get much out of your Website. But some smaller, more affordable designers will gladly design a small business Website from between $700 and $2500.

5) What is my project deadline?

Are you pressed for time or do you have several months to play with? If you need your site in a hurry, you may be able to speed up development if you’re willing to pay a premium.

6) Will my site require any specialized programming?

If you need a shopping cart, database or contact form, make sure your developer has the skill set to meet these requirements.

7) What level of assistance will I need with my site’s development?

If you know in advance how much, and what kind of help your project requires, you can confirm that the developer you’re considering can (and will) provide the level of service you need:


Do you require full site design & concepting?

Do you have the concept and just need it created into HTML pages?

Do you simply need some new graphics and a site makeover?

Do you have an existing logo or will they need to create a new one?

8) What do I like?

Create a list of URLs for sites you like, and note what you like about each one, and why it appeals to you. Then show this to your designer to give them a better idea about what you’re after. This can also help them provide a quote and concept visuals to match your vision.


Where to Look for a Web Developer

Once you’ve identified your project requirements, you start searching for the ideal candidate to develop your Website. Where should you look? Try these hotspots.

1) Web Developer Directories

A developer directory offers searchable listings of Web developers. Simply type in your project specs, price range, and technical needs, and you’ll be matched with developers who meet your criteria. Try:


http://www.econstructors.com/

http://www.comparewebdesigners.com/

http://www.webprosnow.com/

http://www.codecranker.com/

http://www.aaadesignlist.com/

http://www.web-design.com/

2) Authors of Web Development Articles in Online Communities

Visit online communities and you'll find articles written by some of the most savvy, cutting-edge designers. If you read their articles, you'll get insight into who they are, and their level of experience. Just check the author's bio at the end of the article to find out their contact details.


http://www.sitepoint.com/

http://www.webdeveloper.com/

http://www.webresource.net/

3) Get a Referral

If you see a Website you like, or know someone with an online business, ask them who their developer was.

4) Go Local

Let your fingers do the walking through the yellow pages, or search the local Yahoo directories for your major metropolitan area. Here, you’ll be able to find a developer located in your local geographic area.

5) Search Engines

Search your favorite engine with appropriate keywords: Web developer, Web site design, Web designers, Web development firms etc.


Get Started!

Since your Website will represent your business online, it's crucial to find the right developer to help you create it. A customer-friendly Website with attractive graphics, a clear marketing appeal, and easy navigation is critical to your online success.

With appropriate preparation, a little luck, and some stringent searching, you’ll find a designer with whom you can work to make your online dreams a profitable reality!

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