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Questions to Ask When Hiring a Web Developer

It's a crazy world out there, and it's hard to know who you can trust. Not everyone is trustworthy and not everyone is qualified. There's something cool about living in a world full of DIY-ers. The creativity seems to be never ending with people who find joy in learning a new craft. While there are things in life that are great DIY projects, we are here to tell you that web design and development is not something you want to delegate to a DIY-er. You need a website that has the potential to convert viewers to customers while maintaining SEO best practices. 

There are several things that should be considered when choosing your web developer. However, two categories come above all else:

  1. Ownership of your site and accounts
  2. Technicalities of the platform and SEO

Website Ownership

Picture this…you've finally decided to purchase your dream car. You make the big purchase, and you're proud because it took a lot of your time and money to get to this point. You drive off the lot with your new car, but you leave a key with a stranger and give them your address. Now this stranger has everything he or she needs to take your dream car without even asking. Doesn't make much sense, does it? Here are some questions to ask!

Do I have full access to my website?

Simply put, if your business has a website, your business should also have admin access and credentials. If you don't have full access to your website, there's the potential that a developer or third-party could: 

  • Take full ownership of your website
  • Block you from making any changes
  • Threaten to shut your website down
  • Demand money for the return of your website

This mistake could cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars, and we have seen many business owners struggle through this. When choosing a company to design and develop your website, ask them upfront what their policy is when it comes to your website. Is it really your website? Or are you renting it from a landlord that could choose to kick you out with little to no notice?

Am I able to create user credentials and delegate access?

You may need to allow a third-party to have access to the administrative side of the site. This is perfectly okay! However, make sure you create a separate login ID and password for them. This will allow you to regulate the access they have and prevents them from having too much power on your website. The most important point to take away from this is do not distribute your password for admin access to third parties. We sincerely hope you work with companies and people you can trust, but it's always better to be proactive instead of reactive.

Will the contact form or any client-related correspondence go to my email address?

If you have any email addresses or contact forms on your website, make sure the email address being used is going directly to the business owner or someone within the business, and not an external party. Be sure to test that it actually works when the site goes live! This will help you make sure you're seeing everything you need to see and gives you another portion of control over your own business and website.

Will I be involved in the creation of my Stripe or PayPal account? 

Many people find that an e-commerce website is exactly what they need! To do this, you need to have a PayPal or Stripe account that is under your name. This is a business transaction and should go directly to you – not your web developer or a third party. You shouldn't be afraid to protect yourself, your business, and the money you're earning. If anyone tries to tell you otherwise, we highly suggest you look elsewhere. 

The Technicalities of SEO & Website Development

You want to find someone you can trust, but you also want to find someone who knows what they're doing. Web development can be a pandora's box if someone doesn't have the experience or skillset to develop your website properly. Here's some more questions you should ask when looking for a web developer!

What software do you use and support?

There are hundreds of software options to choose from, but not all of them are good options if you're looking for a highly functional website.

Here at TRS, we prefer Joomla! because of its ease of use for our customers, but also because the purpose of its creation was to build rich, scalable websites with the option to add features, such as a blog, as opposed to a blogging platform that could be stretched to act like a website. There are many technical details that have guided our specialization as well, such as how the system's code is written and how the database is structured. Just because you are the most popular does not mean you are the best. Joomla! is not the most popular (though there are millions of sites built with it), but we believe it is a superior product and would be happy to discuss the details. Would you rather have a cheap fast-food chain restaurant burger, or a high-quality steak prepared by a chef? (For the vegetarians out there - Organic roasted, fresh-picked, root vegetables vs. microwaved bag of frozen veggies.)

Are your hosting services private? 

Hosting may seem as simple as choosing the cheapest option, but it's not quite that easy as it affects more than you might think. While free hosting may seem tempting, it can likely slow the load speed of your website and could ultimately affect your ranking with Google. Quality hosting is like living in a gated community, you know who is residing in your community and you don't have nearly as many security concerns. It's worth it!

Will my site be backed up regularly?

You never know what might happen to a website. We all like to think the worst won't happen, but this mindset could cost you time and money. Have you ever delayed backing up your phone because your device is completely fine? However, an accident happens, and you drop your phone in water and it no longer works. Now you've lost all your contacts, photos, and other important information. It will never happen to you. . . until it does. This is why we recommend regular site backups. Whether an employee accidentally breaks your website or malicious activity occurs, you're covered.

Does my website come with an SSL certificate? 

SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer, and this keeps your connection secure. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but Google uses this as a sign of credibility. 

Each of these things is important to the functionality and credibility of your website. At Technical Resource Solutions, we offer secure hosting, which is monitored and stored in a secure area. If you purchase hosting through us, it also includes regular website backups, and an SSL certificate. We feel it is our duty to include all of this in the hosting price as a means of protecting your company.

Why We Do It

We truly want to see our clients succeed. We're saddened when we hear of unkind and unethical web developers taking advantage of their clients. We hope this blog will help educate you on what you should look for when you're researching web developers.

We're always excited to build a new website, so if you have any questions or would like a quote, please contact us.

We're here to help!

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