5 tips for finding the right freelance web developer for your business idea or startup
So you’ve got a small business or startup that could benefit from taking a technological leap forward, but you need the right developer for the job..
This technological leap could be a better Content Management System for your blog, to streamline the guest publication process, or maybe an internal communication software that is proprietary to your company, or maybe you just need a simple website that draws internet traffic in to learn more about your product while also boosting your ranking in Google search results? Unless you’re a software or web developer by trade, most of these tasks can be time consuming to learn and require a great deal of trial and error to create, which poses an obvious chokehold on your business development. When I first built Millennial Moderator from the ground up, I spent days learning how to write code and although it's a skill I'm grateful for, I wouldn't want to go through that again today. Sometimes, hiring the right freelance developer is the quickest solution, but there are several important things to ask yourself first, in order to preserve your piece of mind and your bank account.
1. Start by narrowing down what your project needs
If you’re involved in a startup or have a business idea that involves technology solutions, it’s easy to get caught up in all the fantastic features that can bring value to your users. Often however, the more features you incorporate, the more costly your technology work will be. In many cases, multiple product features can actually be a detriment to user experience, as they can get confused and miss the overall intent of your product. This is especially important in the world of app development, which I've found can be quite costly if not properly thought through. There are a variety of ways to calculate the potential total cost of building an app, in-fact there are even calculators on the web like this one that gives a rough projection of what your potential costs could be.
Start by taking your application idea or small business need and narrow it down to the basics, while leaving room for it to scale in the future. Freelance web developers are (usually) very specific with expectations. If you're feeling iffy about a particular aspect of the project, gather the team and decide if this feature is truly needed now, or it can be added later. Removing unneeded features from your concept will not only save you tremendous cost on developer labor, it will also make your product cleaner and more user friendly.
2. Hire a web developer through a remote job marketplace
There are literally thousands of ways to hire web developers online, especially for short term projects. Fiverr for example, prides itself on being the easiest and most common freelance hiring website for web development work- and their quality of developers has been improving since I used them back in 2016 (just be sure to read the ratings and reviews). Remote job marketplaces like Fiverr offer a diverse lineup of specialists who vary from beginner to expert, from extremely affordable to not quite so. I recommend contacting freelancers who strike your interest to learn more about their experience, as well as to give them a project rundown to see if they are up to the task, prior to officially hiring them for the gig. Always ask them to show their previous, example work!
There are tons of marketplaces online for hiring freelance web developers, for example Fiverr (previously mentioned), Reddit and Upwork. You can check out some of our partner sites who also offer freelance web development work, in our directory. I too, am available for basic web development work, which you can contact me about on my website (also built from scratch).
3. Hire an experienced web development team
Technology changes quickly, which means you need to find a web developer that knows the cutting edge tech, as well as the direction in which it will go in the coming years. Not doing so could mean your product become obsolete sooner than later, and most freelancer workers are only able to be hired on a one-time basis. On the other hand, hiring a freelance team (they exist) means you get various individuals supporting you over a period of time, just be aware that admin costs could be incurred if continual support is needed. Each individual on the web developer team likely has their own relative skills/experience as well, which means you get a well-rounded solution for your business needs and; in that, you get more value for your dollar. Coderiders is one such technology service company that really does it all, from basic website landing pages to IT consulting and mobile applications. Even if you don’t yet know what exactly you need, a team like Coderiders can very easily identify your pain points and provide exact solutions for what will take your business to the next level.
4. Recruit freelance web developers from schools and group meet-ups
Using technology to find freelance developers is great, but often times the personal connection is missed in these digital interactions and, depending on how closely you want a developer to be involved in your company, this could be a vital step in choosing the right freelancer. For example, awhile ago I ran into the creator of the Mayo app, who then referred me to a few other developer colleagues who were looking to be co-founders of an app. Because of this personal referral, I was able to establish a relationship built on real life connection, which made the conversation of web development much easier, dynamic and less sales-feeling. Take that, digital culture!
Students and community tech members are usually much more inclined to work for less (I dare not say free) because despite their incredible ability, they have no prior experience to show in their portfolio. What might seem like a highly specialized job to you, might just be the first bullet point on a young developers resume. You can find freelance developers at school functions (think hiring fairs), conference events, group meet-ups (meetup.com) and more.
5. Ask friends and family for web developer connections
Lastly, don’t underestimate the network that your friends and family have, especially if you associate with any sort of professional in your line of work. Got a Linkedin? Good chance that some of your connections have ties to web developers. A friends friend might very well be looking for freelance dev gigs and would be much more likely to help you out versus a random stranger online. Friends and family allow us to be much more open with what we’re looking for as well, in terms of finances, so it’s easier to relay your budget and financial concerns with them, rather than a stranger. When I first started doing freelance web development, I got my first web design gig through a personal friendship, which I wrote more about in this Mod.
At the end of the day, freelance web developers can be expensive if they’re not the right fit for your team. If you’re a multi-million dollar organization, then maybe you can headhunt a former CTO and pay big bucks for them to revamp your secret-formula software. But if you’re more on the startup side of things like the rest of us, you have to get a bit creative with how you source your labor, especially while the stacks aren't rolling in! Be smart and always compare prices! Shoot me a note if you have any questions or want to have some web development work done, I'm always happy to help when I can.
If you found this Mod useful, you might also like to read about how much it costs to build a mobile app (on average). Please share this Mod with your friends and family by using the social media icons below. Any comments or questions? Let us know on Twitter!