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Choosing The Right Web Developer

Determine which developer is right for the job by taking a look at their work.

Everyone is recommending a Web developer for you, from their next-door neighbor to their wife's nephew. How do you compare one developer to another to determine whom you want to hire to build your site? Here are a few tips:

  • Referrals. Getting positive referrals is helpful but only if the referrer has actually worked with the developer. Being related to them isn't a quality recommendation.
  • Portolio. Experience each potential developer's Web designs online, not on paper. Designers more familiar with graphic design than Web design might print out attractive designs but lack online experience. You want to go through each Web site they've worked on in detail, not simply glance at it.
  • Proposal. Is their proposal clear, easy to understand and concise? A solid Web development contract can be less than 10 pages and still be effective. Make sure everything discussed is in writing and the document isn't filled with Internet jargon. Check for hidden costs and fine print.
  • Use your gut. Does the developer take time to make sure you understand everything? If not, find someone who does. It's your money. Spend it wisely.

    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.