The Art of Choosing Website Developers

Choosing a web developer to build your website is similar to hiring someone to perform particular tasks in an organisation. Thus, just like hiring somebody for the first time, the trick towards getting the right fit to perform the task is to ask the right questions because the wrong questions or irrelevant question is going to spell disaster for your future website!

Hence, in order to get the interview process right, you have to learn a thing or two about web development yourself and have the basics at least anchored into your mind. Here are some questions that are critical towards hiring a web developer.

What is your preferred Content Management System (CMS) and how long have you been involved with it?

This question is a qualitative question and the answer requires you to be able to balance the pros and cons of it. This is because a variety of additional factors come into play such as having a more or less distributed amount of experience stretched across MySQL, CSS, PHP and HTML could be a plus point despite the fact that the candidate is less familiar with a CMS of your own choice.

For instance if the potential candidate only has 6 months’ worth of experience with your chosen CMS, but has years of experience with HTML and PHP, it would mean that this candidate will be able to manoeuvre his or her way through the challenges that your website might pose.

Compared to an individual who has had 2 years of experience with a single CMS, but has not experience with any of the others, the first candidate would probably be the better option. Nevertheless, in the event that you are unsure about making a decision based on the response for the first question, the subsequent questions might help you eventually decide.

The subsequent question posed would sound something like “How many CMS web sites have you actively worked on?

For the most part, this is also a tricky question as some sites are bigger and more complex than others, thus although it is good to shortlist the ones who have done a few different types of sites, don’t overlook those who have worked on complex sites as they might actually have more to offer.

Then comes the question which assesses the competency of the developer in customisation and the question should naturally be, “How good are you with customising templates?” and although most would respond that they ‘know how to customise templates’, the point to remember here is that the more you deviate from an original template design, the more difficult it will be and the more time it will take for the developer to deliver.

Although, it is not recommended to stray too far off the original template structure, it would be good to hire someone who has the relevant experience to pull off customisation without missing a beat!

Last, but not the least, you have to know about how competent are they pertaining to server environments, as winding up on server environments that are not CMS friendly could pose serious issues for your site in the future (However, this rarely comes up these days due to WordPress or Joomla as the development takes place on servers that are hosted by companies that specialize in managing CMS websites.


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