I'm always asked if I know a good Web developer and how much they charge. Here's a quick guide to finding a developer, from cheapest to most expensive:
- Student. Contact art schools or local colleges and see if they have a Web design program. Sometimes students can create a site as a class project for credit, or they'll charge a nominal fee to build their portfolio.
- Independent Web developer/designer. A designer who works independently often has experience, affordable rates and the time to work more closely with you.
- Small Web development company. A firm with less than 10 people can often charge competitive rates while providing you with the benefit of several experts in their fields.
- Midsized to large development firm. With larger design shops, you begin to pay for overhead. Many large firms won't even speak to you unless you're ready to spend $250,000 or more on a Web site. You are buying prestige and reputation.
You can also find developers through local computer user groups, advertisements in local papers, articles in trade magazines and by looking at other sites and inquiring who designed them.
Aliza Sherman is an entrepreneur and author of Cybergrrl: A Woman's Guide to the World Wide Web (Ballantine Books). She is currently working on her next book and new company.