We can imagine how you feel when you decide that you need a website and a presence online but have no idea where to begin. Some companies do not seem to have any projects in their portfolio that meet your needs or some just want a few thousand £££s and it's mindblowing. So here is our five tip guide to choosing the best one (hopefully we'll be at the top of all of these criteria!):
You may be wondering why this is the first one we've placed in our guide... It is honestly the most important. If you and the people who are going to create your awesome, cool, modern and amazing website do not understand each other then there is no chance of it ever happening (or at least easily). Good communication means that you can understand where your project is at and how it is progressing while your developer understands your needs and requirements.
If the people you are talking to are claiming to have worked on the biggest and best projects with all sorts of high quality companies yet have no evidence or links to this work then there is clearly something not adding up. Not only is it important to see the work they have done to ensure they're trustworthy and have experience but to see the skill and work they are capable off. The greatest part of a portfolio is the website and logo itself, although the company will have its own style if they have no work you like or that is in the area you want then they will most likely not be able to replicate it for you!
Be aware of companies which charge too much or too little. If they charge too much it does not necessarily mean you're getting what you pay for, it could be a scam or they may just be overcharging you. If you know your project is relatively simple then anything below £1000 should be good; if it's going to be competing with the very best then expect above £1500. On the other hand, ensure that you're not being tricked into paying very little for very little work, if most companies are charging £200 and someone offers £50 the chances are you'll end up with only a quarter of the work.
What extra services are they offering you? It's nice to know they're going to design and code your website for £200 but are they including a logo, banners, graphics, hosting? If they're not that price could easily rise by the hundreds. Most companies offer special deals with half price logos or free 6 months hosting within the price you pay. It might mean you have to pay half of the money before any work is done but it's better than have to pay 3 times the initial amount you thought at the end.
So the next three mini tips are just ones that you can put all together. From the first time you contact them; take a note of how long they take to reply... One day? Awesome; but check to see if this changes over time, does it slow down? You do not want a developer who decides after working really well for a week on your project to hardly move the website forward after that. The next thing to check is the team, is it a one man team? Or more? It does not follow the pattern that more is better but ensure that the team or person is fully capable of fulfilling the work you require. A final one, which may only apply for us, what does it say in their about section? Does it seem like they're purely doing it for money... Or because they enjoy it?
So that's our 5 tip guide to choosing a web developer (or freelancer or agency). We hope it helps with your decisions!