Effective web developers know their craft inside and out. They have the ability to turn ideas into reality and create long-lasting assets for business owners. With so many independent developers posting on job boards, how do you determine which developer to use? The answer might surprise you.
While quick turnaround time is convenient, a developer’s ability to design a site that supports your goals is more important. You want a developer that will take the time to answer your questions and understand your project in-depth; a developer that will tell you when your ideas don’t support your goals. If your developer doesn’t challenge at least one of your ideas, you should find someone else to work with.
You’re not an expert website developer
An expert has specialized knowledge and skills the general population doesn’t. Web developers don’t achieve expert status by watching YouTube videos on how to tweak a WordPress theme. They can work with other people’s themes, but they don’t need to. They’re not limited to WordPress, either. They’ve spent years learning how to create websites from scratch, and always incorporate best practices and standards into their projects. The end result is a high quality, custom website that supports their clients’ goals.
Bad ideas sound great but won’t support your goals
It’s the developer’s job to create a website that supports the client’s goals, even when the client has to be talked out of some bad ideas. An idea is bad if it’s impractical, intrusive to users, or doesn’t serve a definable purpose.
Whether an idea is bad is relevant to the individual project. For instance, an image-centric layout using a masonry grid is fantastic for a photographer’s website, but not practical for an autobody repair shop. An autobody repair shop should display images, but those images should be placed within the context of content. A masonry grid doesn’t support sites that require rich content.
You may not know how to achieve your goals
Even with clear goals, you may not know what features will support those goals. For example, a website with a chief aim to capture email addresses needs a signup form, and a phone number at the top of the page might dilute the number of sign ups. Phone calls are great, but not when you’re trying to build your list.
On the contrary, when a site is designed to generate phone calls – like this workers’ compensation site – a phone number at the top of the page is essential. If this website provided an email signup form instead, they’d lose clients to another business with a prominently displayed phone number. The context of urgency is that people injured on the job need immediate help. They aren’t going to wait for an email reply.
Good developers know if they implement bad ideas, their client will struggle to meet his or her goals and will end up blaming the developer.
Criticism will save you
Norman Vincent Peale said, “The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” A developer that critiques your ideas isn’t trying to dismantle your creativity. They’re trying to save you from making a mistake you’re not aware you’re about to make.
Clients often want site elements for the wrong reasons
Developers know that clients often request specific features for the wrong reasons. For example, a client that owns a self-storage facility might see that business is down, and request a colored background and larger text. In their mind, their vacancies can be filled by making the website more colorful. It sounds logical to the client, but the developer knows they actually need a solid marketing plan, not a brightly colored website.
Developers see the bigger picture regarding the role a website plays in the success of a business. That’s what they aim to produce. More often than not, the websites that do support the success of a business aren’t fancy at all.
A developer that challenges your ideas wants you to win
A developer that challenges your color scheme and typography requests is simply trying to protect you from failure. If your developer doesn’t challenge any of your ideas, they’re probably just trying to earn some money and call it a day. In this context, even if you get exactly what you want, it’s not going to be helpful for your business. It’s worth investing the time to find a developer who won’t be a pushover and give you everything you want.