Choosing the Right Web Developer
As youíre setting aside your budget for the new website, we strongly encourage you to choose your web developer carefully. You want someone who knows exactly what theyíre doing... who has done what you need a hundred times before. You want to avoid the trap of choosing a web developer based strictly on a low price. An inexperienced developer will generally give you a price based on a lack of knowledge of what theyíre getting into. Ninety percent of the time, that newbie will not be able to finish or to deliver what they had originally promised. Itís not a fun place to be, either for the now-seriously-sleep-deprived web developer, or for the frustrated, paid-up customer.
Who Not to Choose
In my experience in the web development business, I have run into a surprising number of problem developers, some of whom are downright unethical. One web developer that I know of routinely buys for himself domain names that local companies in his geographic area will obviously need (like the name of the local shopping center). He then permits those companies to use his newly acquired domain names only if they hire him as their web developer. If they acquiesce, however, they have only tasted the beginning of their trouble.
Make Sure The Web Developer Has Expertise in Each Area That You Require
Make sure you choose a web development company with a broad enough base of specialists to be able to correctly handle every specialized requirement of your website. Itís like that old saying... "If all you have is a hammer, then everything starts to look like a nail." Donít let a graphic artist try to do your programming... your website will suffer for it. Make sure that, in each area, the right person is doing the job.
Make Sure They Assign You a Project Manager
You should have at least one significant on-the-phone or in-person conversation with the company you choose. Remember that the web development company should be guiding this process, and should be extracting every bit of vision that you have for your site, after signing a Mutual Nondisclosure Agreement, of course. They should also be correcting you and sometimes redirecting decisions for your site. You do not want a "yes man" on this job. You want, and need, someone who is listening carefully, envisioning the results, figuring out how to make it happen, and when necessary, repositioning the ideas that you present to get you into the right groove for the direction in which you actually need to go.
Also make sure that the web development company gives you a Project Manager to act as your one and only point of contact. Your Project Manager needs to be handling everything related to your website, including the hosting arrangements, database decisions, affiliate signups, and so forth. He or she needs to be running interference for you whenever necessary, and be coordinating the work of every member of your web development team. You donít ever want to get caught in a finger-pointing contest when something doesnít work correctly. By coordinating through a single Project Manager who is capable of properly interpreting your needs and sharing them with the various team members, youíll wind up with a web development team that works well together and that creates the right end result.
Make Sure the Paperwork Adds Up
Finally, as you choose your web developer, make sure that their proposal and contract are complete. A bullet list is not a proposal, and an email is not a contract. A truly professional web development company will have proper documents and well-planned contingencies.
This material is Copyrighted. All rights reserved. Linda C. Uranga-Norton,
President and Founder, Urangatang Web Design. To obtain reprint
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