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How to Hire A Web Developer for Your Small Business

Updated on Dec 14, 2018 3694 views
How to Hire A Web Developer for Your Small Business

Looking for a web developer?

Hiring a great web developer could be that difference your business needs to have a good online presence.

Web development is one of the most sought-after skills especially in the 21st century with new technologies that allow brands to interact well with their customers.

Hiring a web developer could be a really critical hire because the person will be the one to represent the face of the company online. So, it is really important to find the right person that can bring the company’s dream to a reality.

Now the big question is how do you get a great web developer?

Finding the right web developer may not be easy especially if you are not tech savvy. Since your company’s online presence is an important marketing tool, and you want to give your customers the best experience with your business. Then finding the right person that will drive your company’s goal and interest is key.

You don’t need to worry about how you can hire the best web developer. This article provides you with the tips to hiring great web developers for your business.

Before we talk about the tips to hiring a great web developer, it is important to have a good understanding of who a web developer is.


Who Is a Web Developer?

Basically, a web developer is a computer programmer that specializes in the development of applications relating to the World Wide Web or distributed network applications, which typically run protocols like HTTP from a Web server to a client browser using associated programming languages like HTML/CSS, C#, PHP etc.

A web developer usually deals with the back end of a website or application and how it will function at the front end. A web developer is different from a web designer. A web designer is more concerned with the aesthetic effect, design and outlook of a website.

A web developer does quite a difficult task because they have to take the language we understand, say English and translate it into a language that the computer understands.


Qualities of a Web Developer You Should Look Out For

Hiring a web developer, there are some qualities you should look out for. These qualities will help you hire a great web developer to move your business forward:


Problem Solving Abilities:

The ability to troubleshoot and solve problems is one of the important skills of a web developer. Hiring a web developer based on experience is important, but the ability of a web developer to concentrate and solve problems that may arise in the course of performing his/her task is necessary.

When you are trying to hire a web developer, you should not pay too much attention to the person’s basic information. You should rather look out for how the person was able to solve problems in his previous employment. Was the person able to revamp an existing website and made it better? Did the person create new tools that brought in more revenue for the company? These are the questions you should ask yourself when you want to hire a web developer.

During the interview section, ask them to describe their process of resolving a difficult problem. Every good programmer should be able and glad to run you through the process since problem-solving is the core of web development.



The world of tech is an ever-changing world, and so is it for web development as a career. Looking at years past, we can say that the skills that were very important than have become obsolete. As the years go by programming languages advances, and it is equally important for you to look out for web developers that easily adapt to trends.

So instead of focusing on a developer skill set, you should focus on how they can stay on the cut edge and move fast with programming trends. You should look out for web developers that keep up with industry news, and belong to a professional network. Your company needs a flexible web developer that can be open to change to open the company up to new technological possibilities.


Attention to Details:

Web development is a job that requires one to pay a great deal of attention and concentration. Since a web developer deals with programming languages, then paying attention and making sure the company’s online goal is achieved is key.

Many online users are usually sensitive about how a website functions. I.e. how long it takes to load. Most online customers can abandon a web page if it takes quite a long time to load which can make a company lose many of its customers. So hiring someone that is keen on little detail will surely make that difference.



The best web developers are creative and innovative people that believe that there are many ways through which a problem can be solved. A good web developer should be creative enough to know what approach to use to create a web design that will best work for different types of businesses.

When hiring a web developer, you should look out for creative web developers that can not only create a user-friendly website that will generate more leads for the company but someone that can also create strategies for solving problems that may arise.


Good Collaboration Spirit:

Even if you run a small business, and you need just one programmer, you should look forward to hiring someone that can collaboratively work with you and other members of the team. A web developer should be able to work and collaborate with the digital marketer, copywriter, or others that may also work on the back end of your website.

Building a website requires a lot of testing, so a web developer should be someone that collaboratively work with others to achieve organizational goals.


Passion and Honesty:

Many people think that being a web developer is about writing codes. Yes, web developers write codes, but web development goes beyond writing codes. A good web developer is someone that is passionate about the job.

Many people become web developers for different reasons, but the most important characteristic of a good web developer is passion and honesty. It is passion and honesty that makes a person hang on in the most difficult and weary times. A passionate web developer makes sure that users have the best experience when using the website.


Skills/ Qualifications to Look Out for When Hiring a Web Developer

Just like every other job field, you need to look out for certain skills and qualification when you want to hire a website developer. These days qualifications don’t matter much when you want to hire a web developer, rather more focus is placed on the person’s skill and ability to perform a given task.

So these are the skills that every employer should look out for when hiring a web developer:


#1: HTML

Every web developer should be able to understand the basics before going on to make use of more advanced and complex language. The very beginning of web development starts from Hypertext Markup Language. Getting the knowledge of HTML allows a person to understand the fundamentals of coding and how websites work and how they can be edited.

HTML serves as the stepping stone that web developers use to achieve success in their career.


#2: CSS

The Cascading Style Sheets deals more with the visual appearance of the website. It is really important for front-end developers to be skilled with CSS as it will allow them to see how the app will interact with the design. Back-end developers should also have the basic knowledge of CSS. Nevertheless, designers and front-end developers are the ones who should be able to code in CSS easily. 


#3: JavaScript

JavaScript is one of the most popular programming languages that is primarily used to add automation, animation and interactivity to the web pages. Web developers use JavaScript to perform simple task to creating more complex web pages that behave like desktop software applications. JavaScript can also be used in software and server controls.


#4: A Professional in a Programming Language

As important as it is for every programmer to understand the hypertext markup language at the beginning stage, it is equally important for a web designer to choose a programming language that the person will specialize in. Web developers can choose pure programming languages like; PHP, ASP, C++, Perl, Java: These are the most popular programming languages now. PHP is considered to be the leader now.

When hiring a programmer, it is important for you to look at the professionalism of that person.


#5: Good SEO and Mobile Support Skills

A good web developer should be able to build a responsive website that will be adaptable to any device. Since most users make sure of their smartphones, it is important for a web developer to acquire mobile support skills that would allow him to build a website that can fit different screens.

A good web developer should know the basics of SEO because everyone uses SEO to increase the success of their product or service. A good web developer should do everything possible to ensure a good site ranking, and download speed.


#6: Understand Design Basics

If you are looking forward to hiring a good web developer, you should hire someone that has a knowledge of design especially if you run a small company. You may want to reduce the cost of hiring a web developer that is why you should hire someone that has the basic design skills.

If you are going to hire someone that will be responsible for the whole website development, then the person should understand some basic design principles like; layout, typography among others. A basic knowledge of design will help the web developer build good looking websites that will give a better user experience.


#7: Project Management Skills

A good skill to look out for when hiring a web developer is the person’s project management skills. A web developer will usually work on projects, so the ability of a web developer to start and complete a project at the right time is one skill an employer should look out for.


Top Job Interview Questions for Web Developers

The interview process could be a really daunting task. Interviewing a web developer could seem difficult sometimes because of the technicalities involved especially when you are not tech savvy.

To help you hire the best web developer, we have put together these interview questions to help you make the right choice:


1. Can you tell me about the approach you used on a project you have worked on from start to finish?

This is a good question to ask a web developer because it will allow you know the person’s work style and how the person gathers requirements, prioritizes tasks, solves problems, manages user feedback and collaborates in a team setting.

The response to this answer will help you know if the person can work in a team and will also show the person’s enthusiasm for web development.


2. Do you have any project you work on I your spare time?

The world of tech changes really fast, so working with someone that is dedicated to keeping up with different tech trends will be good to keep your business at the top.

The answer to this question will help know if the person is open to learning new technologies or if the person is headstrong about only what he knows.


3. Can you explain these__________ tech terms to me (a novice?)

When you are hiring a web developer, you should look forward to hiring someone that will that can effectively work other people that are not tech savvy. If you run a company, your web developer should be able to work with the content developer, digital marketer etc. To achieve this, he should be able to communicate and explain technical jargon in the most explicit way to them.

You can ask the web developer to explain the following terms to you as a test; CSS, PHP, plug-ins, responsive design, W3C, version control. You could ask them to compare terms like front end and back end, UI and UX amongst others.


4. When have you solved a problem that didn’t require coding?

You can find out if the person you want to hire can work and interact in a corporate environment. Asking this question will help you find that out. Don’t expect to hear something serious, it could something casual liking helping someone with a task or something even more lightly.

You are trying to find out the person’s communication skill and how well the person can work in a team effectively. It also gives you an idea of how the person solves problems.


5. Can you describe your workflow when you create a web page or web app

If you want to understand how the candidate arranges his work, then this is the best question. This question helps you find out how the person handles large chunk of work.

The answer to this question will help you find out if the person uses snippets to layout basic HTML page or uses a more in-depth approach such as Yeoman. This question will help know how organized the person is.


6. Can you explain the purpose of each of the HTTP request type when using a RESTful web service?

Does your candidate know the difference between a GET and a POST request? Do they remember to mention PATCH and CONNECT requests? We hope so. This is a solid question to assess their basic understanding of HTML/PHP.


7. If you have 5 different style sheets, how would you best integrate them into the site?

This questions will test your candidate’s CSS understanding. Would they combine them into a single CSS file? Or just combine application-specific style sheets? And what is their approach if they are using a library, such as Bootstrap?


8. Can you explain namespacing in Javascript?

This is a basic JavaScript question that should be easy for experienced web developers to answer. In brief, a namespace is a global object with a unique name that holds methods, properties and other objects. It’s used to increase modularity and reuse of code in web applications, and to prevent naming conflicts.


9. Which CMSs have you worked with?

This question will help you know how flexible the person is and how well the person can work outside his comfort zone. It also helps you know who the person looks forward to contributing to the field.

Some common open-source content management systems (CMSs) are WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. To get more information, ask if they’re involved in the relevant open-source communities and whether they’ve ever made any contributions.


10. Can you find the error in this code?

It is common for employers to ask candidates to write codes by hand during an interview which may be of no effect especially when you are not tech savvy. There is an alternative way to go about it if you want the person's coding skills.

You can print out a piece of code by hand with strategically placed errors and ask the interviewees to find them. Doing this will enable you to know the level of their technical knowledge and their attention to details.


5 Things You Should Do Before Hiring a Web Developer

Hiring a web developer to build your online brand may not be easy, but you need one to build your online brand. Your website stands out as your virtual brand and how you present yourself to your prospective customers and the world and world at large.

The big question here is how can you as a new business owner get a good web developer to give you that amazing website that will push your brand forward? To get that dream website, you need to get a good web developer. Before you think of getting a good web developer, you should have a clear picture of what you want for your website. You should consider doing the following things before hiring a web developer:

1. Know your website goals and priorities

Before you set out to hire a web developer, you should know exactly what you want to achieve with your website. The goals of your website should be clearly stated so you can point at what you want.  Knowing your website goals will help you pick the right candidate to fill that position.

Having a clear understanding of your website's goal will help in choosing the best candidate that will drive the goals of your company. This will help you ask targeted questions during the interview.

2. Create your website vision board

People think that vision boards are just for people that don’t have clear understanding of what they want to do and achieve. That is not always the case, creating a vision board can help you illustrate what you want to achieve with the website.

You can create a vision board for your website by using a physical board to map out what you want you wish to achieve. Your vision board can include things like the colors you want to incorporate into your brand, font choices, slogans, graphics and the overall structure of your website.

3. Know the purpose for each of your pages

Before you set out to hire a web developer, you should know the number of pages you want to have and the goal of each page. You can also plan your pages strategically, you can do this by trying to emulate a website that you admire and relate this to your web developer.

If you are confused about how your pages would look like, then you can consider this basic structure depending on your preference and style;

  • Home
  • About
  • FAQ
  • Product or Service Details
  • Contact

4. Create your website wish list and build a creative process

When you are working on a project that wish to hire a web developer for, then you should make sure you have a wish list of what you want to achieve with the website. This will help the web developer present the design in a way that it will appeal to you, it will also help you test and eventually pick the right candidate.

You can also create a creative process and use an online doc to represent your thought so that the web developer can follow your thought process on the design and development of the page. It also present the work that should be done in a more organized manner.

5. Know your budget

Before you think of hiring a web developer to build a website for you, you should know your budget and what kind of website will fit into your budget plan. Knowing the budget plan for the website you want to build will help you relate better with the web developer you wish to hire.


Where You Can Find a Web Developer:

If you run a small company and you don’t have the resources needed to conduct a normal interview/hiring process then this is for you. With new technologies, it is now easy for anyone to network, communicate, and build a community of people with shared interest. Technology has made it possible for people to build virtual teams.

Skilled web developers can be found anywhere around the world. So hiring the best programmers for your small business is knowing where to find them. To make it easier for you, we have come up with a list of top online platform where you can get good web developers:

  • Upwork is one of the most popular places to hire freelancers. This website is easy to use and has lots of tools that will give you an amazing user experience like automatic payment which makes it easy for you to pay any freelancer online. 
  • With Freelancer, you can have access to thousands of freelancers that are willing and available to work.
  • Guru: On Guru, you have millions of freelancers waiting to work with you. You just have to take a look at a profile that looks appealing to you and then agree on the terms of work.
  • Toptal: Using toptal you can rest assured that you have the right set of people you need to move your business forward. Since only very few applications are considered on toptal, then you can e rest assured that you have options of great people to choose from.
  • Outsourcely: Outsourcely is one of the top websites where you can hire remote workers and pay them directly. This website focuses on providing you with people that are ready for steady long work. So this could be it for you if you want a permanent remote web developer to join your team.
  • Stack Overflow Careers: Stack overflow is an online community where web developers can ask and answer questions relating to the programming world. This community can also be great place for you to find great web developers to join your team. You can spot a good web developer on this platform by the contributions and answers to pressing questions.
  • LinkedIn is the most popular online networking platform that allows professionals to build connections, build their work history and get recommendations. This is a great site to reach out to potential web developers with impressive resumes and portfolios. This is an excellent site to leverage your network, join interested groups and find people with great talents.


How Much Should You Pay Your Web Developers

During an interview process, you can’t run away from the salary negotiation part as an employer. So you will need to arm yourself to be prepared for this. As much as job-seekers need to know the market value for the job role they are applying for, it is also important for employers too to know the worth of a particular job role before they even start the hiring process.

If you are not in the tech field, then it is important for you to research and find out what web developers in other companies earn. This will help you put a fair price on the job role.

Researching the salary will help you avoid the situation where anyone will feel cheated, over used and not properly compensated for the job they do. To determine the market value for web developers, you can check websites like:

  • If you are a Nigerian employer, then is the best place for you to determine the market value of any job role. With thousands of salary data gathered, it is quite easy to get an estimate of what you can pay your web developer.
  • If you run an international company then glass door can be the pick for you. With you get an idea of how much a web developer can earn on a more general level.

There are other online platforms that would be useful like; etc. You can also network with other employers in the industry and ask them questions about their hiring process for web developers.

Hiring a web developer can be a very challenging thing to do. Since your virtual brand is an important aspect of your business, then you must need to “take the bull by the horn” that is why we decided to help you with this guide.

Ready to hire your next web developer? Get started here and let’s help you with your hiring need.

Staff Writer

This article was written and edited by a staff writer.

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