I’ve had a lot of people ask me ‘What should I be looking for in a Web Developer?’ so I decided to put together the following email to help people moving forward with their online projects.

When looking for a Web Developer or Development Team there are a few key skill sets that a person new to the online marketing world or a business owner should keep an eye out for.

Some of the key programming languages and understanding should include PHP, MySQL, Java Programming, C++, HTML, CSS and Javascript. It is also equally important that your web developer has knowledge in SEO (search engine optimisation) and keywords to allow your website to be found by potential clients. An additional aspect you need to think about is if you also need additional graphic design work done on top of the behind the scenes coding. Quite often the ‘coding’ skill set is separate to someone with a creative and graphical frame of mind, so in most cases it is best to have these two tasks done by two separate people with the different skill sets. A lot of the time people will find that they have someone with great creative and graphical skills but none of or very little of the required behind the scenes code knowledge or vice versa.

You want a developer that is comfortable in developing in one of the 3 following frameworks including WordPress, Drupal or Joomla; reason being is because these are Open Source software. For most business’s I would recommend WordPress as a good starting point. This means that basically as a business owner, you are never locked in to any 1 hosting company or developing company because the framework is free and able to be moved amongst majority of providers. On the other hand, people can get their website hosted on a framework created by their local web developer but when their business or personal needs outgrow the capabilities of the local host; they are simply trapped, without any option to just move their website away to another provider. It means a complete rebuild and loads of extra money. When we look at the reverse; frameworks like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla have a collective group of 1000’s of developers worldwide all working towards making a bullet proof platform, not to mention constantly developing plugins for frequently required aspects of a website including but not limited to a gallery, members area or social media integration that are usually available for free or at a FRACTION of the cost that your local developer would charge to develop from scratch.

One more money saving aspect. Every time you need your website updated; including such miniscule changes as just a few words changed or 1 image changed it will cost them at least $50 with each change, not to mention the 7 to 14 days wait that’s involved. With the constantly evolving nature of both online and offline business it is necessary as a business owner to have the freedom and access to edit and change their website on the fly. With a website built on one of the three previously mentioned frameworks anyone with simple computer knowledge can easily learn to change and edit the content on their website as easy as changing a simple word document; without any coding knowledge.

One of the other major benefits with these frameworks when done correctly, is that the code is clean and easy to read. This gives Google and other Search Engines the ability to easily read and understand what your website is about; giving you a higher chance of being found by potential customers.

If you had any questions around looking for a web developer I hope this has helped out or at least armed you with a few questions to ask when you start looking. If you have any further questions in relation to this subject please don’t hesitate to ask me. You may also be interested in our post around mistakes businesses often make when getting a new website.