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How to Hire a Web Developer: What Skills to Look For And Where to Find Them

Maria Petit

Having a website is putting out a piece of your brand, and of course, you would want this piece to be of high quality and to run smoothly. Therefore you will want to hire the best web developer, but how do you know which one is the best for your business? There are so many skills and specialties that web developers can have! Not to mention, there are countless places you can find web developers. 

How do you know which one is the best for your business? In this blog post, we will help you figure out what skills to look for in a web developer, and where to find them!

The Birth of The Virtual Address

Not all of the great inventions came out from garages! 

In fact, it was the European Organization for Nuclear Research, a.k.a the CERN, where the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) resides, the one who witnessed the birth of the web.

The history of web development starts in 1989 with Tim Berners-Lee, a British scientist, who by that time, was working at the CERN. The first website was created in 1991, and for sure, web development has come a long way since then! 

In the early days of the internet, web development was a fairly simple process. Websites were typically made up of only a few pages, and they didn’t need to be very complex or interactive.

Screenshot of the recreated page of the first website (Image: CERN)

Nowadays, web development is a lot more complex. Websites are expected to be much more user-friendly and visually appealing than they used to be. They also need to be able to handle a lot of traffic and be secure against cyber-attacks. 

This is why web developers need to have a wide range of skills in order to be successful. And this is also why it can be so difficult to find the right web developer for your business!

But, fear not, we are here to help you out! 

What Is Web Development?

Web development is the process of creating, building, and maintaining websites. It includes web design, web content development, web server configuration, client-side scripting, and network security configuration.

Web development is a collaborative process that involves web designers, web programmers, a webmaster, and web content creators working together to create and maintain websites. And, each role is important in creating a successful website.

We know the concept can be a bit confusing, so let’s put it in another perspective! Think about web development as building construction. Like any construction project, web development requires careful planning, attention to detail, and skilled workers who are experts in their field. 

The following analogy will help you understand the web development process: 

Web Developers = Architects

A web developer is responsible for the way a website looks and how it works. They are responsible for the front-end (what you see) and the back-end (what goes on behind the scenes) of websites. 

Web developers usually specialize in either front-end or back-end development, but some can be full-stack developers, meaning they will be able to do both!

Web Designers = Interior Designers

They are responsible for creating the overall look and feel of a website. Web designers use their artistic skills to create designs that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also user-friendly. User experience (UX) is a big part of web design! 

In order to be a successful web designer, it is important to have an understanding of color theory, typography, and layout principles. 

Web Programmers = Construction Workers 

Websites are built using programming languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Web programmers use these languages to turn web design into a working website. They are also responsible for adding functionality to the website, such as contact forms and shopping carts. 

Webmasters = Building Inspectors 

After the website is built, webmasters make sure that everything is working properly. They test the website on different browsers and devices to make sure that it is accessible to everyone. 

They also monitor the website for security breaches and take measures to prevent them. Also, they are responsible for ensuring that the website is available to users 24 hours a day.

Web Content Creators = Furniture Makers

Websites need to have well-written content in order to be successful. Web content creators are responsible for creating the text, images, and videos that make up the website. They also take care of SEO (search engine optimization), which is what helps people find the website when they use a search engine such as Google. 

In order to create a successful website, all roles must work together closely

It’s a clever analogy, don’t you think? 

Now that we clearly know what web development is, let’s keep going!

What Is a Web Developer?

A web developer is a professional who specializes in the development of websites. He or she works with a variety of web-related technologies, software programs, and web programming languages, including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 

As we said above, most web developers are responsible for the coding, design, and layout of web pages. He or she may also be involved in mobile app development or web applications

Programming languages for web development

As the demand for web applications continues to grow, web developers are becoming increasingly essential to businesses of all sizes

In some cases, a web developer may also be responsible for the maintenance and updates of an existing website. A web developer typically possesses strong skills in computer programming, computer science, and graphic design. He or she must also have a good understanding of user experience (UX) principles. 

A web developer is like a mix of a web programmer and web designer!

While a degree is not always required to become a web developer, it can be helpful in terms of obtaining the necessary skills and knowledge. There are many different types of web development degrees available, including associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. 

A web developer can either work in-house for a company, they can be self-employed and work remotely, or be part of a web development company.

Choosing Between A Freelancer, An In-House Web Developer, Or A Web Development Company

When it comes to hiring web developers, you have a couple of options: you can either hire a freelancer, an in-house web developer or go full-force and hire a web development agency.

Of course, all of them have their pros and cons, and the best option for you will depend on your specific needs. Do you have a one-time project? Or do you need regular maintenance of your website? Let’s find out.

In-House Web Developer 

An in-house web developer is someone who works full-time for a single company. Hiring an in-house web developer can be a great way to ensure that your website is always up-to-date and running smoothly.

Here are some pros and cons to help you make your decision:

PROS: 

  • You can build a strong working relationship with your web developer. 
  • They will have a deep understanding of your company’s needs. 
  • They will be available to work on your website during regular business hours. 

CONS: 

  • They may be more expensive than a freelancer. 
  • You will need to provide them with office space and equipment. 

When hiring an in-house web developer, it is important to consider both your needs and your budget. Be sure to define the scope of the project before beginning the search, so that you can find a developer who is a good fit for your company. Once you have found a few qualified candidates, take the time to interview each one to get a better sense of their skills.

Freelance Web Developer 

Hiring freelance web developers can be a great way to get your project done without breaking your bank account as freelancers tend to be way more affordable. However, it is important to keep a few things in mind when hiring someone to work remotely on your website.

It’s important to do your research and make sure that you’re getting someone who is reliable, competent, and professional. Keep these tips at hand:

  • Check their portfolio. A good web developer will have a strong portfolio that showcases their skills and experience. Make sure to take a look at a variety of their work, not just their most recent projects. This will give you a good sense of their range as a developer and whether or not they are the right fit for your project.  
  • Ask for References. When you’re hiring a freelancer, it’s always a good idea to ask for references from past clients. This will give you an idea of their work ethic and whether or not they are easy to work with. 
  • Get a contract. Before hiring anyone, always make sure that you have a signed contract in place. This will protect both you and the freelancer in case there are any issues with the project down the road.

Let’s wrap up the first two options!

Web Development Company

The most expensive option around here! Web development companies can offer you a comprehensive solution for your website needs. If you have the budget for it, working with a web development agency can be a great way to get access to a team of skilled professionals. 

When looking for a web development company, make sure that you do your research and only work with the one that can handle the scope of your project.  You need to make sure that they are able to handle the size and complexity of your project. 

Once you have found a few companies that you think would be a good fit, take the time to interview each one. This will give you a chance to get a better sense of their capacity and avoid any unnecessary expenses to your company.

Freelance or company? Which one fits your needs?

Define The Type of Web Developer You Need

All web developers share some common skills and responsibilities, they typically specialize in one of two areas: front-end or back-end development, but you will also encounter a full stack developer.

Front-End Developers

A front-end developer is responsible for the design and layout of web pages. He or she works with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create user interfaces that are both aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly. A front-end developer must have a good understanding of UX principles and be able to translate them into web designs that meet the needs of the user. 

Back-End Developers 

These web developers are responsible for the functionality of web applications. They work with server-side technologies such as PHP, Ruby on Rails, and ASP.NET to create web applications that are able to store and retrieve data from a database. A back-end developer must have strong problem-solving skills and be able to debug web applications. 

Full Stack Developers

Full stack web developers are capable of working both on the front-end and back-end of web applications. He or she possesses strong skills in all areas of web development, from design to programming. A full stack web developer is often considered the “jack of all trades” because they can handle every aspect of web development, from start to finish. 

A full stack web developer is more costly, but they require less collaboration. As a result, it can help you save time and money by speeding up the process.

Hard Skills of a Web Developer

Hard skills are the technical abilities and knowledge that you need to perform a specific job. They are often specific to a particular industry or sector. 

First and foremost, a web developer should be proficient in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. These are the three most common programming languages used for web development. A good web developer will be able to code in all three languages and will know when to use each one. 

  • HTML or HyperText Markup Language is the standard markup language for creating web pages and web applications. HTML is used to structure the content of a web page, and CSS is used to style the HTML elements.
  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a style sheet language used for describing the presentation of a document written in a markup language. CSS is primarily used to style web pages written in HTML and XML, but can also be used with other markup languages. CSS can be used to style all aspects of a document, including the text, colors, and layouts.
  • JavaScript is the language of the internet for many reasons. It is easy to learn for beginners and has been around for a long time. JavaScript is also versatile and can be used for many different purposes. For example, JavaScript can be used to create games, calendars, and maps. In addition, JavaScript can be used to improve website speed and security.

In addition to these three main coding languages, a web developer should also have a working knowledge of server-side technologies such as PHP, Ruby on Rails, and ASP. 

These hard skills are usually learned through formal training or education, such as a college degree or professional certification. They can also be acquired through on-the-job experience. 

Soft Skills of a Web Developer 

As a web developer, you need more than just the hard skills of coding and programming. You also need to be able to communicate effectively, work well in a team, and solve problems creatively. These so-called soft skills are essential for any developer who wants to be successful in today’s competitive market.

Effective Communication 

This is essential for any web developer. You need to be able to explain your ideas clearly and concisely, both in writing and in person. 

This includes being able to understand the needs of your clients and colleagues, and being able to convey complex technical information in a way that non-technical people can understand. Good communication skills will help you to build strong working relationships, win new clients, and get gigs!

Teamwork 

As a web developer, you will often be working in a team environment. This means you need to be able to collaborate effectively with others. You should be able to share your ideas openly, take feedback constructively, and compromise when necessary. 

This includes being able to take direction from others, as well as being able to offer constructive criticism when needed. 

Time Management

Web developers need to be able to manage their time effectively. This is especially important if you are working on a project with a tight deadline. 

You should be able to prioritize your tasks and work efficiently without compromising the quality of your work.

Creativity 

This is another important soft skill for web developers. As a developer, you will often be faced with problems that have no obvious solution. In these situations, it is important to be able to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions. 

Finding the Right Web Developer for You

Although there are many web development companies that you can hire, finding the right web developer for your project can be a challenge. 

The first step is to identify your needs. Do you need a web developer who specializes in eCommerce? Or are you looking for someone who is experienced in developing responsive websites? Once you know what type of skills you need, you can begin your search.

There are many places you can look for web developers! Let’s check them out.

Upwork

When it comes to finding a web developer, Upwork is one of the best places to start. On Upwork, you can connect with a global network of talented freelance professionals who can get the job done right.

With Upwork, you have the flexibility to hire exactly the right person for the job, and you can communicate directly with your freelancer throughout the project to ensure that everything is on track. Plus, Upwork makes it easy to get started by providing all the tools and resources you need in one place. 

Fiverr 

Fiverr is another freelancing platform, similar to Upwork. This platform is a great option for finding a web developer. On Fiverr, you can browse through the profiles of thousands of freelancers and choose the one that’s right for you. 

On Fiverr, you can find a web developer who is willing to work on a project at an affordable rate. Plus, with Fiverr’s user-friendly platform, it’s easy to get started and find the perfect freelancer for your needs. 

PeoplePerHour 

PeoplePerHour is another freelancing platform where you can find web developers from all over the world. One benefit of PeoplePerHour is that all of the freelancers on the site have been vetted, so you can be sure that you’re hiring a qualified professional. 

In addition, PeoplePerHour offers a variety of tools and resources to help you get the most out of your freelance work. 

Toptal 

If you’re looking to hire the top web developers in the world, then Toptal is the place for you. Toptal only accepts the top three percent of developers into their network, so you can be sure that whoever you hire will be among the best in the business. Plus, with Toptal’s rigorous screening process, you can be confident that your web developer will have the perfect skills.

The downside of Toptal is that its services are not cheap. However, if you’re looking for the absolute best web developer out there, then Toptal is worth the investment. 

Job Boards

Another great way to find web developers is to post your job on a job board. This will allow you to reach a large number of potential candidates all at once. Plus, with a job board, you can easily filter through the applications to find the best candidate for the job. 

Some of the most popular job boards include Indeed, Glassdoor, and Craigslist.

Networking Events

Networking events provide an opportunity for web developers to connect with others in their field and exchange ideas. These events typically involve a series of presentations or panels, followed by time for attendees to network with each other. 

Networking events can be a great way to learn about new trends in web development, meet potential clients or employers, and make valuable connections. 

Social Media

Social media can also be an effective way to find quality candidates for open positions at your company. Posting job descriptions on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter can help you reach a wider pool of potential applicants. 

And since many web developers are active on social media, posting their projects and skills, this is an ideal way to connect with the perfect qualified candidate for you!

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Web Developer?

Depending on the scope of the project, the cost of hiring a web developer can vary greatly. For small projects, such as a simple website or blog, you may be able to find a developer who is willing to work for a fixed price. However, for larger projects, such as an e-commerce site or custom web application, you will likely need to hire a developer on an hourly basis.

In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50-$200 per hour for web development services

Other factors that can affect the cost of hiring a web developer include the developers’ experience, location, and availability. 

When budgeting for a web development project, be sure to get quotes from multiple developers so that you can compare rates and find the best value for your needs.

Final Thoughts

Being ready to hire a web developer is a big decision that will require lots of work but can reap great rewards. It may seem daunting, but with the right process, it can be easy to find someone who meets your needs and budget. 

Hiring a web developer doesn’t have to be difficult. By knowing what skills to look for and where to find potential candidates, you can easily find the right person for the job. So get started today and find the perfect web developer for your next project!

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