Six steps to hiring the best web developers

So you want to hire a web developer? Do you need a web developer or dedicated web development team? What about your project size? Do you want to add a contact form to your landing page or develop a sophisticated client-side web service with cloud hosting integration? You see, there are many questions to be answered as well as options to choose from. If you don't have all the answers yet, do not despair.  

In this article, you will find a step-by-step guide on how to find a web developer for your project and get it done without spending over budget. 

Let's start. 

How to hire a web developer in 6 easy steps

Below, we have gathered the most common steps for how to hire a good web developer that will suit small, medium, and big-sized web projects. 

Step 1. Specify your business challenges

All web development projects are different, and without knowing your project size and goals, it is hard to give you clear guidance on which web developers will suit your project the best. At the very beginning of your search, you need to decide what kind of web development project you need a developer for: 

  • A simple web project includes building a simple website, or integrating additional features to the existing one. These features might be a contact form, a CTA button, a new template design, a subscription button, and so on. 
  • Medium web projects include various project types, including the development of static or dynamic web apps, online stores, and other services that require integration of third-party services such as CRM, CMS, databases, chatbots, APIs, and others. 
  • Large-sized web projects refer to projects such as an online video streaming website or social networks that require, not only a bunch of sophisticated technologies, but also integration with cloud hosting servers to store all their user data. 
  • Others projects, since project scope and situations can vary.     

At this stage, you also need to define your specific business challenges, i.e., the reason you need to hire a web developer. Our experience shows that customers are looking for a web developer in the following three cases: 

  • You want to build a project from scratch, which is a common scenario for existing businesses and start-ups. The main goal for start-ups is to enter their niche as soon as possible so, they  need to hire an outsourcing web development team to save time and money. At the same time, existing businesses that want to automate some business processes may choose between in-house or a dedicated web development team. 
  • You need to extend your in-house team with an extra specialist to help you with an ongoing project. In this case, you can choose among hiring a freelance web developer, or outsourcing a developer through a web development agency for some particular period.  
  • You want to use technology which nobody in your in-house dev team has experience with. Unless you want to wait for your developers to learn it, you can hire a web programmer from an outsourcing agency who already knows said technology. 

Step 2. Decide on the developer's skills 

There are three types of web developers. Front-end, back-end, and full-stack developers. What is the difference between them? Let's see. 

  • Front-end developers make changes to the front of your site, i.e., the part of the website visitors interact with. You can hire such developers to change the design and layout of your website slightly. Still, consider that there is a difference between a front-end developer and web designer. Web designers are more visually creative, focusing on user experience. They create the website layout, color scheme, and other visual elements to be used. Web developers turn the website design into fully functional websites using HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, Node.JS, ASP.NET, React.JS, Angular 8, Vue, and other technologies. 
  • Back-end developers are responsible for website structure, hidden behind the front-end, i.e., how your website works. You might need some specialist if you want to improve your website's speed, integrate third-party services into the site infrastructure, or solve technical issues. In most cases, back-end developers use such technologies as PHP, Python, Ruby, Java, and databases, including MongoDB, SQL - MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, and others. 
  • Full-stack developers are experienced in developing both the front and back-end of websites. Such specialists are becoming popular among start-ups that have limited resources. While full-stack developers have a higher hourly rate, compared to previously described developers, it is cheaper to work with such a specialist than hire front and back end developers. 

Now it's time to get down to business and start searching for the right developer. 

Step 3. Finding necessary specialists

When you are looking for web programmers for hire, consider that you hire a technological partner who will become a part of your business for several years, providing your project with ongoing technical support and implementing further website improvements. Thus, you need to hire web developers very carefully. 

Choosing between a freelance web developer and  a webdevelopment team to hire

But where to find a web developer?

To hire a freelancer, use one of the following websites: 

  • Upwork is the most popular job marketplace for finding freelancers. The site has many useful tools, including time tracking, automated payment per achieved milestones. 
  • Freelancer.com is another site to find a remote worker that comes with online chat, a milestone payment, and other useful features.
  • Guru website has become a job marketplace for three million freelancers. The site includes different payment options as per milestone, per task, or hourly. 

To hire web development team you need a slightly different approach, so search on the following websites:

  • Clutch is a B2B review platform, where customers share their experience in working with development companies. The site has search filters as well as a rating system. Therefore, you can not only find the right team but get an idea about its strong and weak points. 
  • SoftwareWorld is a review website that makes lists of top-ranked developers on the basis of customer reviews and location. The site also highlights the primary industries the web development team has experience with. 
  • Tech blogs, like the one you are reading, where web development teams give handy tips to their future and current clients, sharing their expertise in development. If you find their articles useful and relevant for your industry, do not hesitate to contact them. 

Step 4. Check out the web development team's expertise 

How to choose a web developer? Let’s find out. Before hiring web developers, you evaluate the experience of the web development team and find out whether they can cope with your requirements for your upcoming project. Thus, before filling in contact forms, it is always a good idea to check the team's portfolio to find out more about their previous projects. Besides this, you can check the company's profile on Linkedin, Behance, and Dribble networks. If the company's expertise satisfies your business needs, you can get in touch with the team and start discussing your project. 

What to look for when hiring a web developer? Before signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), you also need to check the soft skills of your web developers since they are essential for the project's success. The set of crucial soft skills includes:

  • Communication is vital in order to be on the same page with the development team. Besides, effective communication and sharing expectations will result in less misunderstandings, clearer project requirements, and features set.    
  • Teamwork is essential, especially for a large and complex project, since it involves, not only developers, but also designers, project managers, QA managers, business analysts, and other team members. 
  • Proactivity, since it is always great when a developer can give feedback about technological solutions, share thoughts and suggest improvements during the project development process. 
  • Approachability and Helpfulness are essential, because, if a developer cannot approach other team members and ask them about something, a small problem may turn into a big one. Thus, the developer's skills in building a rapport with others results in more fruitful cooperation.  

The best way to validate the soft skills of web developers is to conduct a video interview with a developer, or ask one to make a video and talk about himself, or explain how to deal with a complex technical task.

Step 5. Select a working model 

Depending on the complexity and scope of your web development project, you may choose among the following models of cooperation: 

  • The project-based model is popular among start-ups or well-established businesses that want to accomplish a small web development project. This model includes a predefined scope of work and established timeframes. Also, the web development team is responsible for all project management as well as the choice of technological solutions. In this business model, all responsibilities are on the web development team. 
  • A Dedicated Team business model works great if you need to implement complex functions to your website, such as cloud storage integration, or AI Chabot development, but want to save time and costs on hiring in-house specialists. As for controlling the project roadmap, you can do it individually or pass the project's decisions to your dedicated web development team. As for the responsibilities of the project's success, they depend on the project management's process side. If PM is on the side of the customer, they have responsibility for the team. 
  • Outstaff or Extended team is the best option for developing big projects while staying within the project's budget. Also, for active cooperation, you'll need to have an in-house CTO and project manager, since with outstaff model, you will be responsible for tasks assignments, progress management, and leading web developers from the technical management side. In this business model, all responsibility, validation and control are  the customer's. 

different outsourcing web development models

Step 6. Choose a payment model 

If you decide to work with a single web developer or web development team, you will need to pay them a salary every month, like regular workers. The same is necessary for both outstaff and Dedicated team working models.  However, for a project-based working model, you can choose between:  

  • Fixed price paying model, which is the best option for small web projects with a clear scope of work and time frame. 
  • Time and Material, known as Pay as You Go, is used for small, medium, or big- sized projects when the scope of work, as well as the time frame, is not so easy to estimate. This paying model includes paying the hourly rate of each developer based on actual time spent on development. 

hiring best web developer

[The App Solutions cooperation models]

After this stage, you and your web developers can start the discovery or inception phase of the project and create functional and nonfunctional requirements for the project MVP

best web developer to hire

[The App Solutions workflow]

In a nutshell

Whether you need to make small changes to your website, build a web app or complete social network with cloud storage and many third-party integrations, you can easily find a web developer for hire. 

By following our guide on how to find a web developer, you can not only select the perfect candidate for your project but also choose the best working and paying models. Furthermore, don't underestimate the importance of the web developer's soft skills, since they impact your project's success. 

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Daria Dubrova

Content Marketing Manager