I’ve seen offers for $200 for a site built on Wix where you don’t pay till you are 100% happy. I’ve heard rumors of someone offering $25 for a WordPress website!? What?? You’d need to build 3 sites per hour to make a decent living doing that!
On the flip side, websites can cost $20K, $30K even $50K. That’s not even an e-commerce website.
So why is there such a difference?
Unfortunately, it’s because there is no governance to becoming a ‘web developer’. There is no bar exam equivalent for web development, and with platforms such as Wix and Squarespace where ‘you don’t need to know code’ to build a website, so any pleb can start offering to build websites. I wrote an article about the different ones called “Should you use a website builder for your business website ”
It’s like trusting anyone who drives to service your car. They might know what they’re doing, but more than likely they’ll do more damage than good.
1: Ask for previous website examples
This is an obvious one… I think. Any decent developer will have examples of their work and they should be proud to show you. It’ll either be client websites they have built or their own projects they have worked on. Either way, they will have some work to show off.
Ask questions like, how long did this take to build? What languages did you use? What was the budget on this project? If they reply with details you don’t understand, ask them to explain it. You’ll easily spot if they know what they are talking about or not.
I find if people have difficulty explaining the complexities of what they do, then they probably don’t understand it themselves.
2: Test the work examples they give you
Now, I don’t expect you to inspect the code, but here are a couple of tools you can run a website through to check some simple standards.
GT METRIX – Go to the site, whack in the URL of the site to test and click Analyze. This will analyse the site and give you a very easy to understand rating system. A’s and B’s are really good, C’s OK but any less than that you should ask for an explanation 🙂
AM I RESPONSIVE? – I love this tool. 1: It shows you what the site looks like on different screens and 2: It shows it well, so you can easily get sexy screen grabs of sites you’ve built 🙂 Same instructions as before, add in the URL and click GO!
These simple tests will show you that the websites they’ve built are to a good standard. You wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it eh?
Both these tests need to pass for your website to even be considered for ranking by Google. Check this out for some more details about SEO.
3: Shop around
Get a few quotes, talk to a few developers and make a decision based on how you interact with them. You’re going to be working with them for a long while so make sure you trust them and get along with them.
Web projects always go on longer than you expect so it’s very important to get a web developer that you can communicate with. You’ll also need to communicate ideas that you have for your site, so its good to have a web developer that understands your business and can come up with creative solutions on how to get your ideas across on the website.
Once you get a few quotes you’ll be able to get a good feel for what the correct budget is for the project. You’ll also pick up some knowledge about websites and what to look for going forward so you can make the best decision for your project.
This is how I get 80% of my business so trust your friend’s recommendations. If you don’t get a recommendation from a friend you can easily just get in touch with people who have worked with a developer before. The examples they give will be businesses that you can get in touch with.
That’s all there is to it. It’s really good to do your research and build a long term relationship with someone who is basically, in charge of your online presence.
Hope this helped you out, but if you want to have a call to discuss working together then I’d be more than happy to!