If you need a website built for your business or your old site redesigned to keep up with the changing online world, the first thing you need to do is find a skilled, reliable developer. To help you weed out the hacks and find someone who can help your business succeed, ask these five questions.
1. Do you build responsive sites?
This is one of the first questions you should ask a developer. If the answer is no, then you can end the conversation and not waste any more time. It is estimated that nearly 7 out of 10 people globally will have access to a smartphone by 2020. This means that mobile traffic will only continue to increase over the next few years. If the developer you are wanting to work with doesn’t build responsive sites, you need find a different developer; having a responsive site is crucial to remaining relevant in an increasingly mobile online world.
2. Do you have a portfolio of your work?
If the developer you are considering has passed the first question, the next thing you will want to do is check out their portfolio. You will want to see examples of their previous work as well as look at their own website when determining if you would like to work with the developer. You can determine a lot of things from their portfolio. Their design style, the UI and UX functionality of the sites, and quality of their work are just a few things that you will learn.
3. Do you build custom websites, or do you use pre-made templates?
There is nothing wrong with websites that are strictly built from templates, but sites that are built from templates can lack features that you might want your website to have. You will want to understand the differences between sites built from templates and fully customized sites. Once you know what you want, this is an important question to ask your developer because if they only build sites from templates, they might not be able to deliver exactly what you're looking for.
4. What are your SEO practices?
If the developer looks a little perplexed by this question and can’t give you a straightforward answer about what they do for search engine optimization (SEO), then that developer won't be your best choice. There are simple best practices for SEO available in many places on the internet, so your developer should be able to tell you what they typically do for a website. If your site isn't built with SEO in mind, you risk ranking low on search engines making it harder for your audience to reach you.
5. Are you getting results?
If the developer is getting results for the other websites that they have built, then they're likely a good bet. Your website is one of your most important marketing and sales tools, so you need to make sure that the person you hire is going to be able to help drive traffic to your site and that the site will be capable of converting visitors into leads and, eventually, paying customers. If you are going to pay someone your hard-earned cash, you need to make sure you are getting a return on your investment.