A Step-by-Step Guide to Learning How to Hire a Web Developer

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 1, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Web developers can help to ease stress or frustration when you're creating or maintaining a website. Web developers have a strong working knowledge of technology and internet applications. Understanding a web developer's role can assist you in hiring a strong candidate for web development. In this article, we identify what a web developer is, explore how to hire one, discover what skills are important for a web developer, compare a web developer and a web designer, and learn about the various benefits of hiring a web developer.

What is a web developer?

A web developer is a professional who develops software applications and creates and maintains websites. Web developers use a variety of complex coding and programming languages to translate commands into instructions that computers can understand. Depending on their expertise, developers may specialize in specific areas of development. A web developer may specialize in front-end, back-end, or full-stack work. Typically, large projects require the collaboration of several developers.

A front-end developer focuses on the parts of a website that people see and interact with, while a back-end developer handles the code that controls how a website loads and runs. A full-stack developer works on everything. Here are a few examples of the primary responsibilities of each web development specialty:

  • Front-end: Front-end developers write the code that implements a client's website design. An important part of their job is to make sure that all the colours are in the right places, especially concerning text, background, and headings.

  • Back-end: Back-end developers write the code and programs that run a website's server, database, and applications. Creating different programs requires an understanding of each of the languages the various programs use in clear and profound detail.

  • Full-stack: A full-stack developer understands front-end strategies and back-end processes. Full-stack developers typically supervise big projects for large web development companies.

Related: Ten of the Most In-Demand Coding Languages for Your Career

How to hire a web developer

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to hire a web developer:

1. Establish what the project involves

The first step in hiring a web developer is to identify the tasks that you may assign the web developer. The two fundamental details of website development are design and functionality. A website's design development can include redesigning logos and headers or adding special effects. The website's functionality may involve adding a shopping cart, customizing menus and sliders, or changing the website's management panel. The type of project you're working on can determine whether you hire a front-end or back-end developer. If you're opening a new website, you may hire a single full-stack developer for the entire project.

2. Make a list

Make a list of important details and job requirements to help you save time during the hiring process; it helps you to determine whether a candidate is suitable for the job. A list of vital project information may include setting your expectations for both the candidate and the web development project, an estimate of the number of required work hours, a clear description of all the primary duties that come with the job, and realistic goals and objectives set within a specific timeline.

3. Compare freelance and full-time web developers

Whether you hire a freelancer or a full-time web developer depends on the details of your project. For smaller, on-time web development work, you can hire a freelancer. Freelancers can provide a cheaper alternative to hiring a full-time developer. Once the freelancer completes the tasks you discuss, they move on to another project. You can re-hire the freelancer in the future to complete other tasks for your site.

If you require someone to maintain the site consistently, you can hire a full-time web developer. Hiring a full-time developer for long-term projects can be more cost-effective than regularly interviewing and hiring multiple different web developers. It's also more efficient to hire one person for extensive projects as it limits the confusion caused by explaining previous changes to every new hire. For example, if you're creating a daily news site that requires extensive work, routine changes, and a lot of different content, then a full-time developer is the more practical option.

4. Browse job boards

Online job boards are a great place to search for web developers. Job boards are also a beneficial resource to research what the average web developer charges for their services. If you're looking for a freelance web developer, there are specific freelancing job boards that are also available online. Here are a few additional resources that you can use to find and hire a web developer:

  • Social media platforms

  • Job referral sites

  • Online job marketplaces

  • Developer conferences

  • Online forums

  • Paid advertisements

  • Professional job recruiters

  • Job agencies

5. Clarify job details

When posting a job, writing a job description, or conducting an interview, it's important to make sure you're providing candidates with all the essential information. This also helps the candidate understand whether they're suitable for the role prior to applying. During the hiring process, it's crucial to have the following details readily available:

  • Personal details: Introducing yourself and the brand can give the candidate an overview of who you are and why you're looking for a web developer. Talking about your goals and aspirations can also give the candidate insight into your personality and how you like to present yourself on the website.

  • Project summary: It's critical to be clear and concise with what you want out of the project. Discuss the specific characteristics of the project so that the web developer can better visualize and understand what the project entails.

  • Website information: It's beneficial to both you and the candidate to review key information about the website, such as design guidelines, colour schemes, logos, and software.

  • Ideal hire: If you're looking for the best person for the job, you can specify the level of experience you're seeking and ask about the candidate's previous work experiences.

  • Timeframe: Candidates can get a good idea of the time required to plan and complete the project if you provide them a set timeline.

6. Interview web developers

The last step is the interview process. Conducting a thorough interview is also a crucial step in determining if the candidate can meet the expectations of the role. Here are some suggestions when interviewing web developers:

  • Bring visuals: Web developers may benefit from seeing exactly what you want the website to look like. This can mean creating mock-ups or bringing examples of similar websites.

  • Assign a task: Asking a candidate to complete a minor task or test can give you a better understanding of their skills and abilities.

Related: Popular Web Developer Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

Essential skills for a web developer

Learning how to hire a web developer involves understanding what skills make a strong candidate for the job. The following is a list of important skills to look for in a web developer:

  • Technical skills: Technical skills help people perform mechanical, technological, mathematical, and scientific tasks.

  • Computer literacy: Computer literacy refers to the ability to understand and use computers and related technologies effectively, with skills ranging from basic use to complex programming and problem-solving.

  • Attention to detail: Providing attention to detail means finishing tasks while being attentive to all details, regardless of the size or complexity of the task.

  • Problem-solving: A problem-solving process involves defining a problem, determining its cause, identifying, and prioritizing ways to solve the issues, and implementing a solution.

  • Creativity skills: Creativity is the ability to come up with or recognize new ideas, alternatives, or possibilities.

  • Analytical thinking: A person with analytical skills can analyze information, solve problems, and make quick decisions.

Read more: Web Developer Skills: Definitions and Examples

Web developer vs. web designer

Web developers and website designers have several similarities. For example, both careers specialize in website development and use similar tools and skill sets. While there are similarities between the two jobs, they each handle very specific aspects of web development. Web design handles the aesthetic appearance and operation of the site, while web development takes the design and turns it into a functioning interactive website.

The primary goal of a web designer is to create a visually appealing and user-friendly website that allows easy navigation and increases visitor retention. A web developer builds and maintains the website structure. Web designers stay up to date on the latest trends, best practices, and standards for building and designing a website. A web developer understands the latest coding languages and new programming software.

Read more: Web Designer vs. Web Developer: Definitions and Differences

Benefits of hiring a web developer

Here's a list of benefits to hiring a web developer:

Speed and performance

Professional web developers code websites with greater performance and speed. Their significant experience and commitment contribute to their ability to code a responsive and compliant website. They also provide a quick turnaround time.

Better branding

Web development professionals understand marketing tactics. They can develop a design and logo that differentiates a business from competitors. Web developers can focus on the originality of the design to boost brand recognition.

Industry consistency

Web developers typically have experience working on various platforms with a variety of industries. Professional developers can use their experience and knowledge to make all elements of a business, brand, or establishment more inviting, receptive, and competent. The web developer also understands the importance of meeting industry and niche requirements.

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