How to find a good developer for your website.

Lazy programming lacks foresight and will inevitabily cause you problems down the road.

Choosing the right programmer is probably the most important decision to be made when creating a website. Having a knowledgeable webmaster is like having a translator on a foreign business trip - unless you speak the language, it's a must have.

To help make sure you're hiring the right developer for your website, here are a few things you should find out before bringing them onboard.

Developers: What do they know? Do they know things? Let's find out!

Not all developers are creating equally.

The languages, tools, and processes your web developer use will have a significant impact on the cost and quality of your website.

Knowing how to use the right tool for the right job (and knowing how to use it well) is important to the health of the overall development process: You need someone that will produce results, not extra work.

Here are a few things you should learn before hiring a developer:

What languages are they fluent in?

Sp3@k G33k? Being fluent in the vital web programming languages is a must have to be considered professional. The beautifully designed, feature-rich websites you see around the net are not made with just one or two languages. They combine 3 or more languages that work together in unison to provide the end experience that you see.

HTML, CSS, and Javascript are the 3 most popular web languages, and every site uses them (with the exception of Javascript, though most site's still use it quite a bit). The first two are the structured languages - the ones that shape and style your site. Javascript is an actual programming language, and is used for essentially everything that you can interactive with.

These are only the most basic languages that any programmer or web developer you hire should be fluent in. Proficiency with server side scripting (such as PHP or ASP) will be needed to use advanced elements like databases and content management systems (CMS).
This article was written in 2014. Since then, NodeJS a emerged as a JavaScript powered back end (server), making PHP optional.

How easy are changes?

If you want to change the look of the site, will you have to edit each page for the new site design? Simplicity in programming is important, and knowing how to keep it simple is complicated.

If your programmer has used PHP (or other server-side scripting) correctly, updates will be a breeze. Otherwise, you're looking at a lot of headaches - for both you, and your web designer/developer.

Proficiency with server side scripting (such as PHP or ASP) will be needed to utilize advanced elements like databases and content management systems (CMS).

Does your web developer use responsive web design?

Responsive Web Design (or RWD) is a must have for today's Internet climate. There are literally thousands of different screen sizes out there. Having a flexible web site that uses a fluid-style layout and media queries properly ensures that your site is consistently appealing to all of those screen sizes - not just the ones that you and your designer/developer is using.

Does their code look messy?

Update: Things have changed greatly since the early days of web design. Clean source code is nice, compresed production code is better. You'll probably never see the developer's real source code unless they only know how to do things manually. Good developers now use automated build steps.

Bad programming will cost you big as the site grows.

Most designers aren't developers (and visa versa), but having a good web developer is more important to your project. Design and features are easy to change as long as your development process is on point.

Although these questions are important safe-guards from being taken advantage of, they are not fool-proof. If you would rather take the safe route, give me a call! I'm an experienced web developer that wants to help make building your website as fun and worry-free for you as possible!

If there's ever a problem, or even if you just have a question, I'll be happy to help you every step of the way towards becoming the owner of a fantastic custom website!

Get in touch with me to talk about your project!

I really enjoy making sites and web apps - hire someone passionate for yours!