In today’s digital world, having a live website is basically a digital shop front for your brand. A website is so much more than a domain name and a few pages of text, it’s a tool for delivering your marketing messages, offering an insight into your brand as well as providing potential customers information about your products and services 24/7.
Far more cost effective than many traditional forms of marketing, your website provides the online presence your business needs in a world that is heavily focused on digital mediums and instant information.
Gone are the days where potential customers are willing to wait by the phone for information about your business or walk in and have a chat about your offering, having a digital presence opens up the world to your brand and provides an incredible amount of opportunity for reach and expansion.
We’re all guilty of ‘Googling’ a business to find out more, and if your business doesn’t have a solid online presence with a quality website, you could be missing out on some serious opportunities.
WHAT IS A FREELANCE WEB DEVELOPER?
In layman’s terms, a web developer is programmer who specializes in developing web applications such as websites that are run over HTTP.
Web developers are clever folk and know how to create, code and develop websites with features and functions that act to promote your product or service, or even sell your products via a shop front style website.
A web developer is usually a technology and programming loving individual that will work with a website designer or a graphic designer to create websites that not only look incredible but are highly functioning and drive results for your business.
IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A WEB DESIGNER & A WEB DEVELOPER?
In a word, yes.
A web designer is responsible for the look of your site, the ‘prettiness’ and design if you will. Web designers don’t always know how to code and focus on using graphic design software to create graphics and layouts that will give the site a look and feel that works for the brand and the business.
On the other hand, the website developer is responsible for the actual performance and the back end of the site such as programming languages and database management systems that help to provide a responsive and fully functioning site that gets the best results on the web.
If you’re lucky enough you’ll be able to find a developer that can do both, however not all web developers are jack of all trades and some only focus on the one development discipline.
HOW DO I FIND THE PERFECT WEB DEVELOPER FOR MY NEEDS?
Once you have created a brief for your project it’s important to set up a job post for your freelancer that covers all the information for the project and targets the best web developer for the job.
Take some time out and consider exactly what you want out of the project and include information in your job post such as:
Business information - tell potential web developers about your business, what you offer, your industry and what you are trying to achieve out of the website.
Outline what you need done - do you need a completely new bespoke website created from scratch or are you adding in an extra few pages and incorporating some extra plugins to your site. Be super specific about what you need done.
Add a time frame - do you need it yesterday? Be clear if the job is urgent or needs to be done in record time. If your website is currently offline but the developer you hope to use isn’t available for a week they won’t be a perfect match so be clear about when you need the work done and the level of urgency.
Specific requirements - this is where you will outline if the web developer needs to be proficient in particular programming code or if they need design experience. Add in as much info as possible about what the minimum requirements are from the web developer to ensure this is clear from the get go.
Once you’ve placed your job ad you can sit back and watch all the bids and proposals come in from amazing web developers all over the world.
Any good web developer worth their weight in gold will send some examples and even a portfolio so now is the time to start wading through all the proposals and determining who is the best fit for the web design brief.
TRAITS OF A GREAT FREELANCE WEB DEVELOPER
Just like you would when you’re looking for your dream partner, creating a list of traits or characteristics for your perfect freelance web developer is a clever way to set criteria when deciding on a freelancer for your project.
We’re not talking about having blue eyes and a fit physique, characteristics you might want to look out for in a freelancer web developer could include:
Able to work to a brief and independently - this is important as more often than not, your freelance web developer and the employer are usually not sitting in the same room let alone the same country so being able to work to a brief and independently without supervision is key.
Aware of the latest web trends - no one wants a website that is old fashioned or behind the times. Engaging a web developer with a passion for the latest web trends is important and allows you to create a website that is innovative and forward-thinking (and hopefully more engaging for your target audience).
Happy to study and update their skills - using a designer that is constantly updating their skills and keen to learn is important and allows businesses access to an individual that is top of their game and able to perform tasks that are cutting edge and progressive. No one wants a developer that is stuck in their ways, so finding someone who is up with all the latest programming releases is important.
Understands SEO - your web developer should be a SEO king (or queen) and be focused on SEO in web development. Ranking high on search engines is the Holy Grail for websites and your developer should be up to speed with all the ways to get SEO performing.
Knows at least one programming language - they don’t have to know every programming language, however your web developer should be able to at least know PHP for sites such as WordPress. The more languages the better, however as long as they know the language you want to use on your website you’re onto a good thing.
HOW DO I FIND THE BEST WEB DEVELOPER FOR MY PROJECT?
If it’s possible, start your web developer on a small project or task and test them to see if they are up to scratch. This allows you to outlay a small budget to see if their skills suit your project and if their style suits your business as well.
Finding someone that works well with your business can be a challenge and even some of the best freelance web developers are a poor fit for some businesses so do as much research as you can before you award the project, chat, share portfolio examples and outline expectations ahead of awarding the project.
Your brief will have the deadline, mandatory elements and any essential information, however it could be a good idea once you have found the freelance web developer for your needs to create a clear timeline of tasks so you have complete transparency.
Finding a web developer with not only the skill set but the right aptitude will ensure you find the right freelancer in the selection process. If your developer has a love of learning and the know-how and drive for new technologies they are more than likely going to be a welcome addition to your project.
Alternatively, if you interview web developers that aren’t developing their skills and come across as a bit of a stick in the mud, you’re probably barking up the wrong tree when it comes to finding the best web developer for your needs.
Take the time to research, review and finally decide on your web developer and always provide open lines of communication to ensure your job is firing on all cylinders and you get the best website developed for your business needs.
READY TO HIRE AN AMAZING FREELANCE WEB DEVELOPER? HERE’S HOW.
Finding the perfect web developer doesn’t need to be confusing. If you’re looking for a talented web developer that has the experience, knowledge and passion to create innovative and responsive websites you’ve come to the right place.
Freelancer.com makes hiring the best talent easy! Whether it’s graphic design, copywriting, website development or data entry you’ll find the perfect match for your business needs. Post a project today, and receive bids within seconds.