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How to Hire a Web Developer

Key Takeaways

1. Research from the US Census Bureau informs us that e-commerce sales reached nearly $900 billion in 2021 and have been growing steadily since 2011 at a rate of 16% annually.

2. Today’s time-pressurized clientele want to conduct pre-purchase research, make purchasing decisions, book, order, and/or purchase all through the customer website.

3. The right web developer will have all the skills to build and market your web presence in a short space of time, much faster than you could if starting from scratch.

4. Web developers work online and the best way to find one on either an employment or freelance basis is to search online on sites such as Linked-in, Upwork, Fiverr, Toptal, and Guru.

5. Data from arc.dev and Upwork (2 online freelancer marketplaces), suggests that you can hire a web developer for about  $15 to $80 an hour depending on what technologies they use, how in demand they are, and their experience level.

Hire a web developer

Research from the US Census Bureau informs us that e-commerce sales reached nearly $900 billion in 2021 and have been growing steadily since 2011 at a rate of 16% annually.

In the UK, internet sales now represent 27.9% of total retail sales. This trend toward e-commerce sales is being replicated throughout the world. E-commerce sales include more than just online e-tailers like Amazon, but traditional bricks-and-mortar businesses with a huge online retail arm like Walmart.

Today’s time-pressurized clientele want to conduct pre-purchase research, make purchasing decisions, book, order, or purchase all through the customer website.

But building a web presence is a complicated process and requires advanced web skills and industry know-how.  Ideally, you should hire a web developer to do this for you, rather than attempt to do it in-house. Here’s why.

Why hire a web developer?

  1. Speed to market. The right web developer will have all the skills to build and market your web presence in a short space of time, much faster than you could if starting from scratch. Using a web developer should therefore accelerate your return on investment and potentially offset the cost outlay.
  1. Stay focused on core business. Content management systems like WordPress make it easier for non-technical people to launch a website themselves. Even so, there is a steep learning curve associated with going it alone that could distract you from your core business. Hiring a web developer to take care of this will enable you to stay focused on your central business objectives.
  1. Advanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) skills. If you hire a good web developer, they should bring with them up-to-the-minute SEO skills, along with crucial industry insider knowledge. SEO is about building a website using specific ‘on-page’ marketing techniques such as content and keyword optimization, Google’s featured snippet, and incorporation of rich media such as video and audio to improve search engine rankings versus the competition.
  1. Deliver game-changing functionality. Modern websites are so much more than a simple collection of well-designed web pages. Functionality is now a key differentiator and is crucial to converting visitors into customers. Cost calculators, automated quote tools, price comparison widgets, virtual reality, video, booking systems, shopping carts, and online payment are examples of functionality that enhance the visitor experience and make them more likely to make a purchase. A web developer can ensure you excel in this area.
  1. Sales funnel optimization. When you hire a web developer, they can optimize your sales funnel which means maximizing the visitor-to-sales ratio, e.g., the percentage of visitors to your site who make a purchase. Sales funnel optimization requires expertise and experience in website usability.

How to hire a freelance web developer

If your website presence requires a one-time project with minor ongoing maintenance and updates you may wish to engage a contractor or otherwise non-traditional worker, rather than take on a web developer as a full-time employee. Freelancers are happy to work on a project-by-project basis and sign up for a nominal yearly maintenance retainer.

Freelance web developers vary in quality and price and so seek recommendations and get competitive quotes before making your final selection. Most developers will have a tiered price list for you to work from based on the number of pages, the volume of content, and desired functionality. This can make it easy for you to choose a freelance developer who meets your needs and budget, following which you can enter a contract for services. Ideally, you should favor developers who have worked within your business niche before as they will bring a huge upfront benefit of industry experience and know-how. They will understand your business and jargon which generally should lead to smoother communication. Ideally, you would price projects on a fixed price rather than hourly basis as this helps keep the project tightly focused on deliverables and eliminates the risk of cost overruns.

Video: Findability on How to Hire a Good Web Developer

How to hire a web developer as an employee

If your website needs quite substantial ongoing maintenance, updates, and improvements, you may wish to hire a developer as an employee. However, web developers are accustomed to being able to work remotely due to the internet-based nature of their work. You may need to consider offering flexible working options and attractive benefits to web developers to attract talent away from the more flexible freelance market.

Also, if you are hiring a web developer to work on their own, they’ll need to be a bit of an all-rounder, having excellent skills in most of the following: 

  • Dynamic website creation skills, including HTML, Javascript, CSS, and JQuery for front-end work and Perl, Python, Ruby, PHP, Java, ASP, and/or ASP.net for server-side work.
  • Ecommerce functionality skills, integrating shopping carts and online payments technology
  • Web hosting
  • Information security
  • General website functionality
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Content Strategy
  • Sales funnel development and optimization

Project management skills are also important as it is unusual for one person to possess all these skills to an expert level, and the web developer may need to outsource some of the work and manage suppliers effectively. Customer service skills are crucial too as your web developer may need to liaise effectively with non-technical colleagues to bring the project to completion.

Where to hire a web developer

The top 5 places you can hire web developers are:

  • LinkedIn – Employees mainly – can hire freelancers too
  • Upwork – Freelancers mainly – can hire employees too
  • Fiverr – Freelancers mainly
  • Toptal – Freelancers mainly
  • Guru – Freelancers mainly

Thanks to remote working, you can hire a developer anywhere in the world, if you set up the appropriate legal framework. Off-shoring used to be a laborious process, but these days companies can quickly hire developers offshore using a professional employer organization. India is a great place from which to hire a developer using a professional employer organization. Not only do they have a strong supply of homegrown talent, but many graduates also return to India after being educated in top universities in the US and Europe.

Conclusion

Horizon has considerable experience hiring and managing employees and freelancers in offshore operations. Therefore, if you are hiring web developers anywhere in the world, whether freelance or as employees please get in touch.

Data from arc. dev, (an online freelancer marketplace), suggests that you can hire a web developer for about  $61 to $80 an hour depending on what technologies they use, how in demand they are, and their experience level. It’s worth doing some industry pay benchmarking though because internal compensation data from Upwork suggests you can hire a web developer for between $15 and $30 an hour.

Web developers work online and the best way to find one on either an employment or freelance basis is to search online on sites such as Linked-in, Upwork, Fiverr, Toptal, and Guru. These sites make it possible for you to engage a freelancer within a few days or even hours.

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