Need help building a website is a smart business move. However, finding the right person you can trust with your website can be difficult. There are many ways to find help, but the best way to collect several is bids is to use a few online sites that are created to help web developers and business owners connect. Use the following steps to connect with a company you can work with, is within your budget and has your best interests at heart.
Step 1. Figure out what your really want to have.
A clear understanding of what your goals for the site is and its importance for your success is the first step in the process. Many web developers will ask you right off these two things. If they first ask you about your budget, you may wonder who do they care about more, you or themselves.
The clear understanding is achieved by looking at your competitors, talking to friends and family, understanding your target audiences, and your own intuition. Websites have to work for their owners, not for the developers.
Step 2. Pages on your site.
Even if you don’t know for sure if the pages you want to have are the right ones, the list you give to the bidders will put them all on the same page as you. When you receive their bids, look over the list, see if they have made suggestions, look for ones that you think to yourself, “that’s a good idea” these are the web developers that are thinking about you. The bids you receive that have several other pages outside of you list and are not really a big deal to you, may be the bidders that are upping the price.
Step 3 Know what features you want.
Many times this is left for the web developers who are doing the bid to come up with. Many simply will not share. Too often it is because they are not hired, but their ideas were used. So give a list of somethings you were thinking about, such as a large banner with text on the home page, an image slider in the sidebar, your social icons on the top of every page, a contact form on the contact page, a button to request to be on an email list, a call to action button, etc.
Step 4 Post your needs
There are a few reputable sites where you can post your request for a web developer. Below are a few to consider
Web companies bid on the opportunity to talk with you. To do so, they are paying anywhere from $15 to $65 per bid. Therefore, be as informative as possible. For example, If you mention type of business, ie, e-commerce selling guns vs Informational site about animal care, you will help the web developers bid on potential clients that fit their own background and experiences.
If you built your site on Weebly then mention it. You may get bidders who are very comfortable in working with different platforms like Weebly, WordPress, Shopify, Joomla, etc.
Step 5 Responding to bidders.
The companies above will send you an email notifying you a web builder is requesting to bid on your site. You will receive the names of the web developer, their contact information, including their website, email and phone number.
Do your research. Look at their website, look at their portfolio, their address, their vision, their stories. If you can associate with them, then you might want to look at their Google Business listing for reviews. This is where the most accurate and diverse reviews are posted, If you like what you see, then accept the request.
Step 6 Talking to the web developing companies
You can either wait for the web developer’s email or call or reach out to them.
- Do they ask you about your business, or vision?
- Are you talking to the owner, the developer or an account executive?
- How big is the company? In other words, how many different people will you be talking to? Who is really doing the work on the website, Who is going to talk to you about the look and feel of the site. In other words, will you want be really what you get?
- Where are they located, though their address may be in one area, they may be an outsourced company located in another country. Though there is nothing wrong with this, but if you can talk to someone in your language, and during your own waking hours, then you might want to pay attention to location.
- What do offer?
- How soon can they start and when will the project be finished?
- Are they willing to work with you?
- Do you feel you can trust the company?
Let’s say you have a site that needs a few tweaks. Otherwise, it works great, if the person you are talking to says, “You need the site on a different server, the platform it was built on is wrong, and it will take two weeks, it will cost $75/hour and they are located in another country.
You may want to take another look at their site.
You need a new website, you have one, it has done a great job for you, but it’s outdated. The site has 6 pages, it was built in HTML/CSS and you would like to be able to update the content and images, you also want it to be responsive. You’ll be updating the content and some of the image. You may or may not add a new page. You also would like the SEO updated.
- How long would it take to have your website rebuilt? A few days, provided you have good images, the content is ready and you are able to answer questions. If you are told a month, then ask yourself do you have a month to wait? Do you want to wait a month?
- If you are told the site has to be moved to another server, you might want to rethink if this company is for you.
- How much should a website cost? If you are told more than $1200, then it is too much, even with basic SEO work done on the site.
When you make your decision, be sure to stay in control and if there are any up charges, make sure they are needed. Most of all, listen to your instincts.