Maybe you’re looking to hire a web developer, but you’re not quite sure how to separate the wheat from the chaff. Or you may already have a web developer but aren’t sure how good they are. I’ve got you covered. Keep reading for my proven tips on how to know if a web developer is any good.
Let’s face it – programming is hard, and keeping websites running smoothly over long periods of time requires the wisdom of experience. While you may be able to find a developer with 3-5 years experience who can solve one or two of your problems, it’s doubtful they’ll be able to solve all of them and manage your website/server for you. 10 years is better, 15-20 is great. Make sure your developer has a life-long commitment to programming. It’s not a casual career choice. Ideally, they’ll be self-taught from an early age.
Remember, the longer your developer has been in the game, the more situations and techniques they’ll be familiar with. The further they’ll have branched out into related roles. If you can find a developer with graphic design experience who can also configure and manage your web server, run your ad campaigns, manage your projects, SEO, and who focuses on user experience, hang onto them! A programmer is great, but a jack-of-all-trades who can wear all the hats and manage every digital aspect of your business is worth their weight in gold.
A great developer can solve any problem, or find someone who can. They thrive in the unknown and unexpected, and the chance to adapt to any situation is crucial. If your developer or agency’s answer to “can we do this?” is ever “no”, find a new developer. The right answer is always “yes”. This means that they’re ready to adapt to any of your needs, learn new skills, and problem-solve.
As with any relationship, communication has the power to make or break it – so it’s a facet to pay close attention to.
When working with an agency, you can often be assured that your calls will go answered during business hours, 9-5, M-F. You can also be relatively sure that nobody will answer or help on nights, weekends, or holidays.
Working with a freelancer, they’ll have more flexibility to respond outside of business hours. This comes with the trade-off that they won’t have a backup team to jump in when they’re away. Some people appreciate this flexibility, while others prefer the rigid schedule and reliability of an agency.
Whichever you choose, it’s important that your develop or team is responsive in a timely manner. This is especially important with your urgent issues. Ask your developer if they have a rush delivery charge, and how quickly they can respond, on average, when you send them an URGENT email.Get some assurance they can address these within 24 hours, and other issues within 48-72 hours in general.
Another way to know if a web developer is any good is if they’re friendly! Don’t forget that people skills and a good attitude can be just as important as technical chops. You’ll want to find someone who gets excited about your ideas. Someone who can take your goal and run with it, passionately coming up with creative solutions and rising to challenges. A can-do attitude is crucial here as it can be the difference between almost any idea being possible, and any idea being shot down quickly. Find a friendly, cheerful, optimistic developer with vision and passion. This is a great basis for an amazing long-term relationship.