What are 10 important questions to ask any web developer before hiring them?

What are 10 important questions to ask any web developer before hiring them?

Written on: 09/03/2023

You may have hired a web developer in the past, or perhaps this is your first time. But what do you really need to know before metaphorically jumping into a bed with a web developer? This blog will give you 10 must-ask questions (and reasons why you ask them), to help you avoid crappy developers, and only get the very best out of your upcoming project.

What is your experience in web development?

It is important to find out about a web developer’s experience before hiring them because it gives you an idea of their skills, expertise, and capabilities. A developer with more experience is likely to have faced and overcome a wider range of challenges, and have a deeper understanding of best practices and techniques for web development. They are also more likely to have a portfolio of completed projects and references from satisfied clients, which can give you greater confidence in their ability to deliver the desired results for your project. In addition, experienced developers may be able to offer insights and recommendations based on their past work, which can help you make more informed decisions about your own website or web application.

Can you show me some examples of your previous work and provide references?

Reviewing a web designer’s portfolio before hiring them is important because it provides tangible examples of their skills, creativity, and design aesthetic. A portfolio is essentially a showcase of a designer’s work, highlighting their strengths and areas of expertise.

By reviewing their portfolio, you can see the range of their abilities, such as their proficiency in using different design tools, their ability to create responsive and user-friendly designs, and their knowledge of current design trends.

In addition, seeing examples of their previous work can help you assess whether their design style aligns with your vision for your website or web application. It can also give you an idea of their approach to solving design problems, which can be an important consideration when evaluating potential candidates.

Overall, reviewing a web designer’s portfolio can help you make a more informed decision about whether they are the right fit for your project and can deliver the design results you are looking for.

What is your approach to creating a website or web application?

Understanding a web developer’s approach to building a website is important because it provides insight into how they work and their process for creating a website or web application. It helps you to ensure that the developer’s approach aligns with your own vision and goals for your website.

When a web developer shares their approach, they can describe the specific steps they take to create a website, including planning, designing, coding, testing, and launching. They can also explain how they work with clients throughout the development process, including their communication and feedback mechanisms. This information can help you understand what to expect during the development process and whether the developer’s approach will work for your project and your needs.

Additionally, a developer’s approach can impact the quality of the final product. By understanding their approach, you can assess how well they prioritize factors such as usability, accessibility, and search engine optimization. You can also evaluate whether they have a process for quality assurance and testing to ensure that your website or web application is functional and free of errors.

Overall, understanding a web developer’s approach to building a website can help you evaluate their capabilities and determine whether they are the right fit for your project. It can also help ensure that your project is completed efficiently and effectively, resulting in a website that meets your goals and objectives.

How do you ensure that your websites are optimised for search engines (SEO)?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an important part of the web design process. SEO refers to the strategies and techniques used to improve the visibility and ranking of a website in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Incorporating SEO best practices into the design of a website can help improve its visibility and ranking on search engines, which in turn can drive more traffic to the site. This can be accomplished by optimizing on-page elements such as titles, descriptions, headings, and content, as well as by implementing technical optimizations such as mobile responsiveness, site speed, and site structure.

SEO is important because it can significantly impact the success of a website. A website that is well-optimized for search engines can attract more visitors, generate more leads, and ultimately lead to more sales or conversions. By incorporating SEO into the web design process, designers can create websites that are optimized for search engines from the ground up, resulting in a website that is more likely to achieve its intended goals.

What is your experience with responsive design and cross-browser compatibility?

Making a website responsive is important for any business that wants to provide a positive user experience for its website visitors. A responsive website is designed to adapt and adjust to the user’s screen size and device, whether it is a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. This means that the website is easy to use and navigate, regardless of the device the visitor is using to access it.

The importance of a responsive website is increasing as more and more people are using mobile devices to browse the internet. In fact, mobile devices now account for over half of all internet traffic. If a website is not optimized for mobile devices, it can result in a frustrating experience for visitors who are forced to zoom in and out and scroll horizontally to view content.

A responsive website can also improve the website’s search engine ranking. Google and other search engines prioritize websites that are mobile-friendly and responsive in their search results. This means that a website that is not responsive may not rank as well in search results, which can result in less traffic and fewer leads or conversions.

Overall, making a website responsive is important for any business that wants to provide a positive user experience, improve its search engine ranking, and ultimately drive more traffic and conversions on its website.

How do you ensure that websites are accessible to people with disabilities?

Making websites accessible to people with disabilities is not only important but it is also a legal obligation in many countries. Web accessibility refers to the practice of designing websites and web applications that can be accessed and used by people with disabilities, including those who have visual, auditory, motor, or cognitive impairments.

Ensuring web accessibility is important for several reasons. First and foremost, it is a matter of social responsibility and inclusivity. By making websites accessible, businesses can ensure that people with disabilities can access their products and services, which can help promote greater independence and autonomy for people with disabilities.

Moreover, making websites accessible can also improve the user experience for all users, not just those with disabilities. For example, adding captions to videos can benefit not only deaf or hard-of-hearing users but also users who prefer to watch videos with the sound off. Similarly, providing clear and concise content can help users with cognitive impairments, as well as non-native speakers and users with low literacy levels.

Additionally, making websites accessible can also have legal and financial implications. In many countries, accessibility is a legal requirement for public websites and failure to comply can result in legal action and financial penalties. Moreover, making websites accessible can improve the website’s search engine ranking, as search engines prioritize accessible websites in their search results.

Overall, making websites accessible is not only a legal obligation but also a social responsibility and an opportunity to improve the user experience for all users, regardless of their abilities.

What is your process for testing and debugging websites?

It  is important to ask a web developer about their process for testing and debugging websites. Testing and debugging are crucial steps in the web development process, as they help ensure that the website is functioning properly and is free of errors before it is launched.

A web developer’s testing and debugging process can vary depending on their experience, tools, and methodologies. Some developers may use manual testing methods, such as clicking through the website and checking for errors, while others may use automated testing tools to identify issues more efficiently.

It is important to understand the developer’s process for testing and debugging to ensure that they have a solid plan in place to identify and resolve any issues that may arise during development. Additionally, knowing the developer’s testing and debugging process can help you understand the timeline for the development process and manage your expectations accordingly.

A good testing and debugging process can also help ensure that the website is launched on time and is functional from the start. This can help prevent potential issues that may arise after launch and reduce the need for ongoing maintenance and support.

Overall, asking a web developer about their process for testing and debugging websites is an important step in the hiring process. It can help you assess the developer’s experience and capabilities, as well as ensure that they have a solid plan in place to deliver a functional and error-free website.

How do you handle website security and protect against potential threats?

Website security is very important for several reasons. First and foremost, websites can be vulnerable to a range of security threats, including malware infections, hacking attempts, and data breaches. A compromised website can result in data loss, financial loss, reputational damage, and legal liability, among other negative consequences.

Moreover, website security is important for building trust with website visitors and customers. Websites that are secure and protect user data can help establish trust with visitors and customers and encourage them to share sensitive information, such as their contact details, payment information, or personal data. On the other hand, websites that are not secure may deter visitors and customers from sharing their information or engaging with the website.

In addition to the potential risks to data and reputation, website security is also a legal requirement in many cases. For example, websites that handle sensitive information, such as e-commerce sites or healthcare websites, may be subject to industry-specific regulations and compliance requirements.

To ensure website security, website owners and developers should implement a range of security measures, including:

Installing SSL certificates to encrypt data transmitted between the website and the user’s browser

Implementing strong password policies and multi-factor authentication

Regularly updating software and plugins to patch vulnerabilities

Conducting regular security audits and vulnerability scans

Implementing firewalls and other security measures to protect against attacks

Overall, website security is very important for protecting user data, building trust with visitors and customers, and complying with legal requirements. By implementing strong security measures and regularly monitoring and updating their website, website owners and developers can help protect against security threats and reduce the risk of data loss or other negative consequences.

What is your experience with website hosting and server management?

It is important for a web developer to have knowledge of website hosting and server management. Website hosting refers to the process of storing website files on a web server and making them available to visitors via the internet. Server management involves maintaining and optimising the server’s performance, security, and stability.

While website hosting and server management are often handled by separate teams or service providers, a web developer’s knowledge of these areas can be beneficial in several ways:

Optimising website performance: A developer with knowledge of server management can optimise the server to improve website speed and performance. For example, they can configure caching settings or use a content delivery network (CDN) to reduce page load times.

Troubleshooting website issues: In some cases, website issues may be related to server problems. A developer with knowledge of server management can help troubleshoot these issues and work with the hosting provider to resolve them.

Improving website security: A developer with knowledge of server management can help implement security measures, such as firewalls or SSL certificates, to protect against security threats.

Reducing downtime: A developer with knowledge of server management can help ensure that the website is available and accessible to users by monitoring server uptime and addressing issues quickly.

Overall, while website hosting and server management are not typically part of a web developer’s core responsibilities, having knowledge of these areas can be beneficial for optimising website performance, improving website security, and reducing downtime.

What is your pricing structure and what does it include?

Finding out how pricing works is vital. It isn’t just how much it costs, but it is important to know when you need to make payments (is it 50% up front, 50% on completion, or is there another payment plan in place?), and how pricing is impacted by your needs. Once you agree a quote, it is usually fixed in place, but what if you need to make amendments to your project, or the scope of work.

It is really important that you understand the ramifications of all of this in advance. Make sure you know how many revisions you get in the design phase, how long things will take, what penalties are in place for missed deadlines (on both sides, by the way! Deadlines work both ways!)

Wrapping up

These are 10 really great questions to ask any web designer or developer before engaging with them. If you have satisfactory answers to all of the above, then you are probably on your way to making a good decision. But if anything sticks out to you as a red flag, then it is important to trust your instincts and maybe look elsewhere.

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