If you are not comfortable with technology, you should be afraid of a website developer. When you explain the details of your website with full passion, they get the idea of work and your capacity. This is mostly done at subconscious level in every field which does not have fixed parameters of evaluating work. Example, how do you judge, two UI design quantitatively or the quality of code. These are not in your hand if you do not know the fine details of the trade.
When I say, being comfortable with technology, I mean you have done a bit of coding yourself. It is articles like this that comes handy when dealing with developers to present a picture of someone who knows what he want. Let’s look at some simple steps you can follow to make sure that the web developer does not cut corners:
This is the most important part which even the developers learn the hard way. They take the work seeing the money and on time of delivery find the client clinging to the document as if their life depends on it.
Make sure, you have documented your requirement or their delivery properly and are as concise as possible. Don’t be shy in referring other websites and telling the developers upfront, that you need something exact in a particular website.
You will be asked to pay some advance for the work and if not, assume fairly that the developer is new in the line and is yet to learn a lot. Hopefully, don’t get to teaching him how to handle clients.
Always make the payment process in stages. Stages may include, signing of agreement, finalization of UI design, first look of website, testing and handover. The stages will vary as per the type of website being developed.
Never make more than 25% of payment as advance.
Sign some legal papers covering the deliverable and the terms of payments. Remember. Most of the developers are loose cannons and the legal paper will keep them on lease.
This is the trickiest part of the whole deal and I’ll be covering this in more detail in another article. In short, ask them specifically what language will they be using and specifically for backend. If the developer says of using platforms like WordPress, Wix or any other ready made templates, ask yourself whether you are going to scale up (Bring new functions) in near future. If the answer is yes, chances are it might not be a good idea to go with the template and you need to get a second opinion.
Don’t get baffled by the long list of languages the developer might talk of. Keep calm and ask them about the back-end panel which you’ll get.
Many clients forget about this aspect and eventually it comes back in the middle of the project when you get the first glimpse of the work. Check the previous work of the developer and you can also ask for a discount for getting the UI done by someone else. Add some more money in the discount and look for a good UI designer and discuss your requirement with him. Bring him on board for consultation and a second opinion on the aesthetics of website.
This might increase the budget a bit but it will be more than worth it and you’ll be thankful to the UI designer.
Family and friends
When the developer puts the website on his server for you to see, share the link in network and get their opinion. Everyone will have something to tell. Listen to their opinions carefully, and work on them.
Make sure, your website looks good on mobile and other devices. You can check the same by either pressing F12 on keyboard once you open the website or selecting inspect on right click on website. There after you will see an option of selecting the sizes on top center. Playing around it will give an idea of how the website looks on various sizes.
Making a website mobile friendly is a simple task requiring few lines of codes that are copied for various sizes also known as media queries. Control U on website which will take you to the website’s source code and search for “@media”. If you don’t find anything, the developer has not made an attempt to make it user friendly. You might also want to do this in a css file which may be linked to the website where the media queries might be written.
Checking the mobile responsiveness is really simple. Open your website in a browser and press F12 or right click and click on inspect. We have referred the below website we are currently working on as reference.
You will see a panel like this:
Click on the second icon from left which reads “Toggle Device toolbar” or click Ctrl + Shift + M and the view will change as shown below.
At the top of the panel is input section which says “responsive” with some figures next to it. This is basically the dimension of the device and the view shows how it will look on them. You will need to play with the left figure to check on different sizes.
You can also switch the bottom horizontal bottom pane to vertical to get a full view and is also advisable while testing the website. Click on an icon “:” and a panel drops down where you can select the view as you like.
For this, we will choose a vertical right panel. You should start with the highest figure lets say 1920 px and then go all the way down to 320px for small sized devices. The snapshot below shows how the website looks when the device width is 1920 pixels which is for big screens.
Below snapshot shows for 320 pixels and in between these two sizes you can cover 95% of sizes.
Simply feed in the smallest figure ( 320 px ) and press the up arrow and see the changes as it might look on sizes as they change.
Tip 1: Whenever, you see a range of size where the website is not looking good, note it down and share with your developer
Tip 2: You have to perform this exercise for all different parts of website and may take up to a day.
Some websites have forms to b filled by prospective clients which will drop in your mailbox. Check that these forms are simply not for aesthetics and actually work. If the developer says they’ll work once the website is on server, put that in the final handover point.
On Page SEO
Ask the developer to put in on page SEO which are few lines of simple code and don’t pay extra for that. Check my blog for more details of on page SEO where each component has been explained nicely.
Building the website is half the work done and the remaining half is marketing it. Of all things you would need a nice blog for digital marketing. Ask for a blog section and a back-end panel. While negotiating for the blog, ask them to use a readymade template available online but don’t ignore the blog.
Better, ask the website developer for a blog on wordpress. Most servers have wordpress based applications built in and you can choose one. Look for a section called Web Applications on your server and especially if you are on godaddy. It will have wordpress in it which can be used for building the blog.
Keeping these things in mind, you need not be afraid of the website developers and can get your work done with minimum hassles.
Yo Creativ develops websites and applications for clients and makes sure that the clients do not have to worry about the above points. For instance, on page SEO and mobile responsiveness are complementary whether they ask for or not. Our team tests the website through a maker checker system to make sure the forms are directed to emails and other issues. While starting the work, we make sure strong documentation process is followed for future clarity.
Feel free to connect for any requirement.