Hiring a Web Developer to Manage Your Site? BBB Offers Five Tips to Consider

September 11, 2013

Whether running a big business or a one-man shop, a strong presence on the Internet is important to stay relevant and competitive in today’s marketplace. For this reason, Better Business Bureau (BBB) shares tips from BBB Accredited Business Cityscape Design Studio, on how to enlist the help of a qualified web developer to help ensure a website’s functionality and effectiveness.

Web developers have become more relevant as technological advances continue to impact the way consumers interact with businesses. Nowadays, consumers are not only looking for convenient ways to shop online, but also a well-rounded user experience that includes ease of use and visual appeal.

BBB Serving Central, Northern and Western Arizona provides more than 680 Business Reviews for local companies offering web design services; 111 of these companies are BBB-Accredited. So far this year, BBB has received over 33,000 requests for information on businesses in the web design industry and processed 38 complaints; 90 complaints were processed last year.

To help businesses select a web developer they can trust, BBB offers five tips from Greg Kruel of Cityscape Design Studio:

1. Have a plan. Before the first meeting, take time to think about your company’s wants and needs in terms of website functionality. What is your grand vision? Look at other sites to help illustrate your vision. The better your explanation, the better the developer can plan and execute a functional web site.

2. Listen to the developer’s ideas. After sharing your plan, listen and consider the developer’s suggestions. As the expert, he or she will know the most effective way to deliver your desired outcome. The developer’s enthusiasm in the project can also be a good indicator of the type of work to be performed.

3. Add strategically. Often times, developers get over excited about projects and suggest additional items you may or may not need. Make sure additions bring value to the user experience. If you feel the developer is trying to increase the price of the project by recommending items you do not need, look elsewhere.

4. Consider maintenance. With any website comes maintenance. Ask the developer upfront if you’ll be trained on how to use the site, if you will be able to make changes yourself, and if there are any limitations in terms of content. All this information will be beneficial to know at times when you need to change text, add pages, update products, or add new items to the site. Also, ask if the website can be transferred to another developer in the future.

5. Don’t pay everything up front. Some developers ask for full payment upfront and then fail to complete the project. It is common practice to require 25 to 50 percent up front, and the rest after key milestones or when the work is complete.

Remember: Don’t be afraid to ask “interview” questions, just like you would when hiring a full-time employee. Ask for references, examples of “live” sites, and credentials.

About BBB of Central, Northern & Western Arizona 
BBB is an unbiased organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. In 2014, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews® on more than 4.7 million businesses and 11,000 charities, all available free at bbb.org.  Incorporated locally in 1938, BBB Serving Central, Northern and Western Arizona is supported by over 11,400 BBB Accredited Businesses. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, free business reviews and charity reports, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust.