Finding a web person is not a scary prospect

But it can be if you don’t quite understand
what you can ask for from a web developer.

KitchenBut it’s not that odd of a process.

Let’s say you want a new kitchen.  How do you get one?

(Aside from selling a kidney to pay for it, I mean.)

You talk to a people. You find pictures. You get estimates. You figure time lines. And, because somebody will be in your house with your stuff, you decide if you like and trust them to do what they say. AND you check references. (At least you should!)

You probably never have installed plumbing or a counter top, (and even if you had) you’ll certainly ask questions like, “How long will I be without my sink?”

That’s just common sense.

But if you’re taking about the internet… whoa that’s different. Wait, Is it?

child as web developerIt can be a bit scary because it can feel like everybody but you understands how computers and the internet work. Heck, 4-year-olds play computer games. So how hard can it be?

So you can be forgiven for being a bit leery of fessing up that you really don’t understand anything more than how to read email and watch cat videos on YouTube.

But look,
finding a web developer follows exactly the same process as finding someone to redo your kitchen.

Talk to people—friends or colleagues who have a website as well as the developers you find. Find examples of sites you like. You get estimates. You figure time lines. And you decide if you like and trust the person you talk to. Check references.

Maybe you worry you wouldn’t understand what the web developer was saying,
or maybe he’ll think you’re stupid…. so why ask?

Here’s why: In the beginning, the goal is just to figure out if you can communicate with this person.

  • Does WebPerson make you feel like you’re taking up too much time?
  • Or imposing?
  • Or like you really shouldn’t be asking these questions at all?

So ask some questions that you DO understand.

There are no right answers here.  But when you ask questions and you know you’ll understand the answers, you’ll gain confidence to ask other questions that might have more complicated answers.

How about just asking some simple questions like:

  1. How long is the WebPerson’s longest continuing relationship with a client?
  2. Does WebPerson remain in contact with old clients? Help them out if they get stuck?
  3. But if at least one relationship was long, what was special about it?
  4. How /big is the biggest site he/she worked on?

Pay attention how this person treats you when they answer. Were you comfortable? Treated respectfully?  These things matter.

I’ve written a short paper called 7 Questions to Ask When Interviewing a New Webmaster/Developer/Designer/WebGuy

Fill out the form below, and I’ll send you the whole list

  • Are you sure you spelled it right?
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Is my web designer going to get me a real website?

Did you ever get one of these shirts after somebody’s vacation.  “My mom and dad went to Hawaii and all I got was this lousy t-shirt?”

I recently found a note like that in the comment section of my survey about working with a web developer. (The note is changed slightly but not in essential content.)

I’m tech challenged. I hired a web designer: Wonderful and talented. Took several attempts to get my essence and energy. I finally got a design I liked for style reasons. She called it a “mock.”

Then I found out that there really was no site there, just a pretty picture of what my site WILL look like, if I pay more money for a web developer to write the code. Boy am I frustrated.

There is no test to determine if a person is called designer or developer.

This seems to be a fairly common problem. You want a new website design. So it makes sense you’d look for a designer, a person who can figure out your look, or brand, and decide where all the pieces of your website should go. That’s what designers do. They design.

The designer might think s/he’s done after sending you the picture.

In that case you’d also need a developer who can slice up the image to put it into a workable format to use on line. Your designer may work with a developer (code writer) regularly and may pass you on to that person. Or perhaps the final, coded website is part of what you bought.

There is no test to determine if a person is called website designer or website developer. And there is a pretty murky line between the two anyway.

  • Some people call themselves designers because they figure out where the pieces of your website go and put them there.
  • Some people call themselves developers because they figure out where the pieces of your website go and put them there.

Confusing, huh?

So here’s the bottom line:

Ask the person you’re thinking about hiring about their end product.

  • Will there be code behind it? Or will that be a separate process?
  • Will they find the developer or will you?

Either answer is OK. But you have to know going in what you’re paying for to avoid surprises like the poster above.

You sure don’t want to agree to pay a bunch of money only to find that you didn’t get what you thought you were paying for.

Make sure both you and your WebGuy are on the same page.

Signup for my newsletter and I’ll send you  7 Questions to Ask When Interviewing a New Webmaster/Developer/Designer/WebGuy.

  • Are you sure you spelled it right?
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Then ask the questions!

And let me know how it works for you.