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How do I hire a web application programmer that is professional and in the price range of a small internet startup?

I am looking to revamp my online auto listing website. I want something that is capable and handles refined searches like Autobytel,, Car Soup etc. But I do not have the personnel or time to program this myself. I need a web application that is customizeable, but does not tie me to a single developer or service provider.

There's a few ways:

1. Find websites that you like and keep these in mind.

2. Ask your business associates about who has done their websites and for recommendations

3. Your local chamber of commerce should be a good source for you and they probably have one or two IT experts who they know and who can help you as well.

4. As you look for someone, make sure you have their references and before exchanging money or signing anything both of you have a clear idea of what you want done, when and how.

Some website programming can be quite expensive and extensive so make sure you know what you want and have clear goals.

Ramon Ray,
Editor and Technology Evangelist,