Before starting the discussion of hiring good web developer, we should have knowledge about web development. Web development is a process of using HTML to build actual pages, optimizing graphics for the web and producing rich media such as flash and streaming media. Conceptualizing and planning out the site not comes under web development, this work relates to web designing. So do not confuse yourself between them.
Need in context of size of organization:-
Large and small organizations have different characteristics, different culture, different structure and different financial objectives. If you are running a small organization and your main functions depend on online system. Then you should hire a web developer. Because small company has not very much specialists, so communication and leadership skills are needed to work with developer. On the other hand large organizations always need a good and skilled web developer.
Hiring of web developer is not a big deal, if you will hire web developer under this frame work
- Planning phase
- Evaluation phase
- Selection phase
First of all prepare your business case for the development of website. It means that analyse what is your requirement?
Do you need to design or develop the website or both?
After this decision identify your goals and objectives. Time is saved when you have clear objectives. There are two things whether you are starting a business or running a business. You require complete website when you are starting a business. On the other hand you need some functionality when you are running a business e.g social media, links to Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Expand your needs and translate them into requirements. Identify users of website and interview them. Gather and prioritize your requirements according to priority of users. Users requirements are as important as your objectives. Create a working document defining all of your requirements.
Then determine your price according to your budget. Cost and benefit analysis are very important at this stage. Expect quality only if you have sufficient budget. If you do not have knowledge of price, then make effort to gain knowledge about price in market through magazines, newspaper and your friends.
Characteristics of interactive website
- Contact us
- Site map
- Text only option
- Subscription email list
- Links to other sites
- Search options
- Online forms
- Members only section
- Interactive questionaires
- Interactive polls
- Downloadable files
- Printing option
- Bookmarking option
Website looks interactive if options are present in your website. Interactive means you can easily communicate with your user and with those people who are directly link with your business.
Perform tender process to evaluate effectiveness of webdeveloper. Research possible webdevelopers in market. You can find them by following resources:
- From people you know.
- From facebook or any other social network.
- Through google search.
- Through online markets.
Eliminate the unsuitable developers to create a possible long list. Some developers are not according to your needs in respect of cost and quality. So eliminate them first. Issue a request of information to these long list of vendors. And gather responses from these developers.
Rate developer against your needs. If two developers have same type of skills analyze the strengths and weaknesses of these vendors. What skills are required?
- Can hand-code HTML
- Can handle cross browser optimization
- Dynamic HTML
- Cascading style sheets
- Familiarity with CGI forms
- Can deploy XSSI, JSP, ASP, Dynamo and Cold Fusion
- Familiarity with SSI(Service Sides Includes)
- Working knowledge of CGI Scripting
If two web developers have same type of skills as highlighted above, then decision will be based on experience. Experience is mostly divided into three levels.
- Junior level: Experience of one website
- Medium level: One year experince of commercial websites, knows function of codes, can visualise the website and tell what it will take to complete, experience naming conventions and setting file structures.
- Senior level: Two years experience of large scale commercial websites, experience as lead developer.
You can further reject the developers on the basis of knowledge and experience to create shortlist. Notify all rejected developers and handle any disputes.
Then issue a request for proposal to shortlist developers. Request for information and request for are two different things. RFI is issued to gather an information. On the other hand RFP is a complete document that outlines all the project requirements you have outlined. It normally includes.
- Title of project
- Brief summary what you need to accomplish
- Your objectives point by point
- Constraints scope, quality ant timing
- Options considered
Gather RFP proposals from developers including quotes. And request for demo, you can make decision easily if demonstrations fulfil your requirements . If demonstration does not fulfil your requirements you should revisit analysis from evaluation phase. You need to screen out quality at this stage by following these steps
- Get reference from previous clients how well he or she produced the website. But it does not give the whole picture of quality, you need to identify the role of developer in developig the website.
- There should be clean and well organised HTML code. You can check this by looking at HTML source code of URLs sample.
- You should be provided a URLs of previous work. This is equivalent of portfolio.
Select the best matching option that best fits your needs. Obtain final approval from board or any other authority. Once again notify all rejected developers from shortlist and avoid miscommunication. Then notify the winning developer and negotiate the contract. Before signing the contract consult an attorney, then sign the contract and get agreement in writing due to lagal reasons. Contract in writing form is more valid than oral form.
This process will take time but it will also help you to hire a good and skilled web developer.
About The Author
Nouman is an ACCA student. Nouman worked as consultant and accountant in audit & consultancy firm. He wrote blogs as freelance blog writer in topics related to information technology, accounting, business analysis and finance.