By: skylinegridadmin - Published: 28th February, 2015
You hired a great developer: here is what you need to do, to get your money's worth.
In my experience as web developer, i have seen clients evolve at an exponential rate, as they grow increasingly aware of new technologies. It s an exciting change from only five, ten years ago, prior to the mobile and responsive design revolution.
It s 2015 now, and users who are looking for local businesses, rely on mobile search much more frequently than they do on desktop devices. The trend is so popular, in fact, that i find myself not needing to even bring up responsive design as a feature, when discussing a new project: finally, mobile responsive design has entered the street lingo.
Having said that, other problems still remain that need to be addressed, to allow for any project to be in track, without hiccups. It all starts the moment you begin looking for a developer that fits your requirements.
If it s time to redesign your website, it s also time to ask yourself three questions:
- What kind of developer i need?
- How much do i need to invest in a redesign of my site?
- How long will it take to built my new site?
First: Who are you going to call?
The kind of developer you need depends on several factors strictly related to your business. If your business is primarily online, a developer with a strong grasp of e-commerce and payment processing is ideal.
Hands-on experience with known integrated payment processing platforms, like Authorize.net, Stripe or Amazon Payments is crucial, to build an application that supports all major credit cards, and the ability to choose the payment provider with the lowest rates.
If your business requires to build strong relationships with your customers, you should consider a developer with experience in building sites that integrate user account registrations, or social networking sites. Experience creating live chat applications, instant messaging, and other similar features should also be part of the resume.
Brick and mortar
The food industry is one category that has been on the forefront of catering to local customers, even more so in the digital age. Popular national franchises allow customers to place food orders online, from their phones, tablets and laptops, and pick up their food on premises, without the wait.
Such technology is not only used in the food industry, but in many other scenarios in which placement of online orders both at warehouse level and within a store is necessary to offer competitive service.
If this situation applies to your business, you most likely need a developer familiar with WebPOS devices, such as web-enabled ticket printers, and other devices designed to interact directly with online forms, such as warehouse sensors that can notify availability of stock merchandise in real-time.
Special offers, Gaming and Sweepstakes
It s ever so common for retail stores, both online and with a physical presence, to offer prizes or discounts, in exchange for an organic boost in popularity.
If your business offers these type of promotion, you should consider a professional with experience in the development of web-based games, as the knowledge involved in developing engaging gaming application can be very comprehensive when it comes to promotional aspects of a website.
How much, but most importantly: How much??
Every web developer charges a different hourly fee, commensurate to individual experience, skills set and portfolio. However, depending on how long a professional has been in business, he or she will have developed a way to estimate how long a typical project can require for completion, and create an appropriate package pricing.
Going over budget
This is the last thing you want, but it will happen if you are not careful, and if you don t pay attention to the quote you are given.
A quote might go over budget for reasons primarily related to the clarity of the quote. If the quoted price is suspiciously low, or the itemization is not clear, it s time to sit down with the developer one more time and go over the details of the project again, to make sure you get exactly what you are asking. Most importantly: you need the assurance that the project will not go over budget for reasons beyond your understanding of the contract.
What if going over budget is unavoidable?
The only acceptable situation for going over budget is if the developer is given new instructions by you or your team, that were not previously discussed as part of the initial quote.
For example, if the initial quote describes a simple e-commerce website, that is what the developer will build for you. Let s say at some point during the work, you come to the conclusion that it would be ideal to have a blog integrated into the site as well, the developer will have to provide an additional quote for extra work, and expect a deposit commensurate to the amount of work newly added.
What about graphic assets, like a logo, images or illustrations?
Every web designer has a different policy about the supply of graphics for a web project, but as a general rule, the cost of generating graphic assets for a web project should be factored into the quote.
The only instance in which separate billing is in order, is if the purchase of stock images is required, post proper request of authorization to make the purchase.
This is the aspect of every web design project, in which frequent communication is essential.
Deadlines are crucial, and a professional will know better than pushing them for no valid reason.
Regardless whether a client establishes a deadline or not, i make it a point to provide a timeframe estimate of how long i expect to work on the project until it s done, and it s always a good idea to stick to that timeframe, whether it s optional or not. Turns out, it s never optional.
The bottom line:
In the end, communication and clarity from the start is key to the success of any project, no matter the size. The smallest, most basic design can turn into a headache, if due diligence is neglected.
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