Second thoughts abound all of the time. When you make a major decision be it buying a home or car or opening a business you have that nagging thought in the back of your head wondering if you made the right decision. For business owners another important decision is developing your website. You want your site to be done right the first time and within the specified timeframe and budget. So, how can you tell if you are hiring (or have hired) the right web developer?

What Can And Cannot Be Done

You have a vision for what you want your site to do. A good web developer should be able to map out that vision to help you make it a reality. If the person that you are working with tells you that parts of your vision cannot be done you should consider working with someone else. That is not to say that everything can be done, there are some things that even the best web developer cannot do, but reasonable things should be easily handled.

Now what the developer says after something is not possible could be just as important. For experienced web developers they may tell you that something cannot be done on the budget available for the project or because the way your site is or will be configured. That is a lot different than not being able to do it at all.

Most of the time when a poor developer says that something cannot be done and leaves it at that it means that they do not know how to do it and have no intention of learning how.

Updates

Updates happen, sometimes quite frequently and the last thing that you want to have happen is for an update to break a website. Now, even with the best developer that can happen but by using a good web developer the risk of that is significantly minimized. If your developer cautions you to not update your site unless something stops working they did a poor job creating your site. 

Updates do more than just add features, they also fix security holes. By not updating a plugin, a theme or your WordPress core you risk some very serious consequences. It may also mean that the site was built using plugins to compensate for a lack of coding skill. This creates a house of cards so to speak because if the site depends on plugins a change to one of them may topple the whole thing.

Too Many Plugins

Speaking of plugins it is easy to use them to create all kinds of fun things on a website. They can do all kinds of things but some of what they can do could be easily done by coding it into the website. If your designer has a plugin for that they may not have a good understanding of how websites work and they probably lack an understanding of how to code.

Each plugin on a website uses a certain amount of resources and each of these add to the amount of time it takes for a page to load. If a page takes too long to load visitors will go somewhere else. Some plugins are fine but if you need your hands and toes to count the number of plugins installed, you should consider working with a good web developer instead.

At the same time if your developer does not have page load times in mind you should work with someone else. Also if they are not optimizing images for the web or other simple things that decrease your page’s load time they are not helping you.

After The Site Is Built

After the site is finished did your developer teach you how to use it? WordPress is generally intuitive but knowing some of the ins and outs can help to avoid many issues. By teaching a client how to use their site they will be able to make blog posts and create new pages themselves. That is the client at that point will be doing the work for themselves and will be in control of their site.

Some less than reputable developers lock the dashboard so that the client will have to contact them to do the work. This brings them more work and thus more revenue. If your developer does not give you administrator access to your website, you should work with someone else. It is your site and you should be able to make changes to it when you want to, especially if you know how to.

Cost

You’ve undoubtedly heard the saying that you get what you pay for and that is true with web development. Hiring your cousin’s friend for that bargain basement rate may look good on the bottom line but it may not be good for your website. Chances are if you are getting a too-good-to-be-true rate you are either hiring someone who does not have the proper experience, is using you as a test subject or is scamming you.

There is always a chance that you are getting a diamond in the rough. You could be that person’s first client out of college and they want to get started with their career but that is probably not going to be the case with 99% of all of these. There is a going rate for web development in the industry and with that you are getting the experience and skill that comes with it.

How can you find a good web developer? The easiest way is to ask questions when you meet with them so that you know where they fall in the above categories. Ask for references and speak with their clients. Many will have examples of their work on their website. Also check their reviews on social media. Do your homework on your web developer because making a poor decision can cost you. 

If you choose to contact Nicely Done Sites we can go over all of this with you so that you know exactly what will happen. We will be honest with you as to what can and cannot be done within your budget and how much it will cost. You will also have full control of your website when it is done. We want to be as open and honest as we can with all of our clients so you will know what to expect.

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