7 Things to DO Before Hiring a Web Developer

CC Image courtesy of owlpacino on Flickr

When you build your dream home, you need to spend an amount of time coming up with a blueprint. It’s pretty much the same thing when you’re putting up a website– it takes a lot of careful thought and planning.

In web development, misunderstandings and unwanted experiences occur because of lack of planning. This is applicable both in the part of the business man and the web developer. It sucks but it happens. And when it does, it often leaves a bad taste in your mouth and, at worst, puts your business on hold until you find that perfect web developer.

In this article, I’ll let you in on the 8 things you need to do before you hire a web developer. Check it out:

Set some goals

I’m sure you already have an idea of what your website’s goals are since you’ve already chosen to work on a website that makes you money. But it would really help if you can spend time and ask yourself these questions so you can really nail in some specific goals:

What is your primary reason for putting up a website? What do you want your site to do? What will be the indicators that will let you know that your website is successful?

Write down your answers

Once you get to answer those questions, you’ll soon have a clear picture of what kind of website do you wish to put up and it will be easy for you to communicate these objectives to your preferred web developer and set expectations straight.

Define your market

Along with coming up with goals for your website, comes the need to define your audience. That means thinking up of the people you want to work for or work with. That also includes some demographics like age, gender, location and stuff.

Make sure you share these thoughts to your web developer too, since it can be a crucial asset to your website development – from the buttons you need to the functions they represent.

Design your logo

Logos, though seemingly a small part of your business, is actually something very important. It’s literally that regalia that your business stands for and, depending on how you want to look at it, a red flag for your competitors and a beacon of hope for your audience.

In any case, make sure you hire a designer to create your logo for as low as $150. Before you start working with a designer for a logo, make sure that you download my Logo Design Questionnaire and answer the questions provided.

Create a website wish list

Speaking of competition, you may want to make a list of websites whose features you want to implement on yours. It’s so you can have something to model from and you don’t need to think of anything new to come up with a good, functional site.

List down the features

After going through these websites, make sure you take note of their features and what services provide these features. Do your homework and find out if there are alternatives to such, preferably those cheaper or more efficient – should depend on your budget, really.

Prepare content

Now, you’ll want to prepare a content plan for your website. My two cents? Refer to your keyword research set and find out your audience’s questions – you should know most of these because you have to put yourself in their shoes.

Once you’ve done that, get at least 10 or 20 posts ready before launching your website(if you are putting up a blog). In the long run, you could hire a writer or just keep writing yourself.

Come up with a budget

Now, drawing the example we had earlier, websites are a lot like houses because they also have a range of costs that come along with them. What you’d want to do to be effificent in terms of maximizing your website is to come up with a budget.

So get to work with your web developer on agreeing with a reasonable budget. Ask if the specs of your website matches your budget. If not, be ready to either trim down the features that you want your website to have, or add a couple of dollars to get what you you want.

That’s about it for things you need to do before you hire a web developer. I took the liberty of creating a questionnaire that pretty much covers everything on the list.

You can download the my Web Development Questionnaire here.