Preparation Before Hiring a Web Dev

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u/Oldman

What should I have ready before hiring a webdev to create a website?

Hello all! I am looking to hire someone to create a website for me and I was wondering just before I do that, what might be the best information I can have prepared that would make the devs life easier or what I should have in general, thanks! I tried posting on the webdevs sub but the post wasn't showing for some reason.
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Preparation Before Hiring a Web dev
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Reallybadat
I'm fresh off of a coding webdev bootcamp so I'm not going the have all of the answers but I can share something that is helpful hopefully. And this really is a good question as it will help whom youre working with lifes easier.

First off, whats your website going to be used for? Is this a single page with business info and how to contact you? Is it going to start as just one page and then scale up being more interactive with more features? Scalabilty should be brought up if youre planning on continually growing this idea.

Once you have what your website idea they will work toward minumum viable product for you. Which is functional but might not have everything buttoned up properly. Depending on if this mostly front end work and doesnt need its own Application Programming Interface (API)/database (ecommerce would use backend for organizing products into categorys). Could also need back end for things like admin funtions, user signin and plenty more.

User Interface (UI)/User Experience (UX) this is how the user feels and interacts working with your website. Is it easy to use? Does it guide the user along? Most importantly if you use others material such as articles/news links make sure that the links don't lead the user away from your website you want them to stay there and never leave.

Other things I can think of would be how do you expect your clients to visit the website? Mobile only? Mostly desktop users? A good mix of both? If its focused on mobile first make sure that's known.

I'm sure theres plenty more. But when its comes down to it ask yourself.

What must this website do?

Do I have a theme? Brand or colors it will follow.

Whats your budget?

I hope that helps! Also look at other websites for ideas. Figure out what you do and don't like of a competors website!
Maclemor
I'm an enterprise focused software engineer(not for hire) some suggestions that come to mind:

• prepare the content you want written on the website, this is time consuming and will cost you money!

• Have a design picked by the time of initial meeting. With wants on the side, wants like features.

• For your sake pick a Client Relationship Management (CRM) that way it's easier for you and the dev, which is also cheaper than recreating the wheel

Edit: 5. Pick a good website host provider! This is where most will cheap out and that will bite you in the arse, also setup your domain to be autopay so that no one can steal your website name when it expires!
vocal_chris
Mockups, mockups, mockups. Tell the dev(s) exactly what your site should look like and, if you can, prototype the user journey so your dev(s) know how your site should behave.

Its extremely important to put very clear requirements into your services agreement so that there are NO surprises or overages at the end of the work period. Trust me… most devs will push you over budget or leave you high and dry if you don't make it very clear what you expect in return for your money.

Oldman ✍️
Thank you! Any recommendations on where to create the user journey prototype?

Terence
It depends on what you mean by "creating" a website.

Do you have already the

• user journey?

• goal of your website?

• content structure?

• wireframes? User Experience (UX)

• brandbook?

• design? User Interface (UI)

If your business is not a Software as a Service (SaaS) / 77PaaS, and you only need to have a website as a place where your target audience can get information about you, your product or services, and your business, I'd rather go with a platform like web-flow, Squarespace, Wix and other. You don't want to think too much about design and waste loads of money unnecessarily with the development, and even more importantly, with the support. The platform providers are responsible for all the cybersecurity and operation, and you don't have any problem changing a design or a developer team.

Otherwise, I'm a digital product consultant, send me a message, and I'd be happy to have a quick chat about your goals.
vonadz
Background: 5 years of launching websites from scratch as cofounder and webdev. Open to your business, but I'm expensive. Questions/comments below are just to help you out.

What kind of website do you want? A single page app? A blog? A 10k page SEO site? The type can affect what information is critical. If you answer I can give you more specific advice.

Here is some business advice. You should start with a Minimum Viable Products (MVP). If you're not a developer/technical person yourself, I wouldn't recommend trying to find the cheapest option. You should try to get a more senior contractor to build out the Minimum Viable Products (MVP), since they'll be able to help you with identifying any technical aspects that require 80% of the work, but don't actually provide any business value. A lot of people don't understand what's easy and what's difficult to get computers to do.

Once your MVP is sorted, validate it with customers and figure out what features to keep, what to remove, and what to add. Your interactions with your senior dev should give you a better idea of how your product actually works. At this point, you'll have a clearer idea of exactly what you want. Try to get the senior dev to help you audit the cheaper dev you might want to hire to take your MVP to its first version.
WDB_Agency
I run a marketing and development firm for over 12 years. One crucial mistake every one makes when they are looking for a website is hiring web developers first before doing market research and creating or in some cases updating persona.

Devs and designers are rushing to start the process without really understanding the end goals of your business.

If I were you I would start with speaking with your existing or prospective clients to better understand the challenges they are trying to solve. Learn what they tried so far to address the issues, what worked and what didn't.

From there you will know how to talk to your audience, and what content you need.

Website on its own is just the skeleton. You need to know how to dress is properly so your target audience will engage.

Feel free to reach out with further questions.

georg
Yes, definitely this

One-Fig
Ping me if you need help. Basically you need to layout the functional requirements, design, content and have a good idea for what your operational needs are going to be.

One of the best ways to help is to define a complete vision for what you need. This basically defines your goals, and answers the major who, what, why questions.

Once you have a vision, you should try to work backwards from there.

For example…Pretend your site is up and running right now, take a step back and think through how that looks.

You (or someone who works with you) just published the site, or a new blog, product (insert X – whatever your thing is).

After that you send an email, text to your close friends, family, whatever – or drop something on your social medias to let them and hopefully your target audience know.

Before that you probably tested the site, so figure out what you would do to test the site now.

Once you have the main scenarios defined then you should be able to review with a developer and get them to ask questions, or give inputs on what's feasible or what is overkill.

Most new apps can be constructed by combining a bunch of existing technology and some of these are even apps that you could maybe use instead of having to reinvent the wheel.

Try to identify those things, for example – user login, admin panels, email or sms messages, payment processing, where and how you are hosting the website.

These are things that your website will need, and you should consider that upfront because they will affect your ongoing costs and end up governing a lot of the operational aspects for the website.

If can feel like alot of work, but even if you have a couple pages written out then you'll be able to explain to your Developer what you need.

Oldman ✍️
very good advice, thank you!



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