Web Services Needed: What SMEs Need to Know When Hiring a Web Developer or Designer

Your business is… well, whatever your business may be: human resources, plumbing, running your restaurant. Many SME owners are privileged to do what they love and work very hard to make their businesses successful. Whatever you do, you want your website to work for you, but you want to spend your time running your business, not working on the nuts and bolts of website design, so when you need web services, how do you ensure that you are doing the right thing for your business?

This straightforward checklist will allow you to manage your web service needs from start to finish and to make sure you get the best quality and value web development for your company.

Which web services do you need?

If you don’t yet have a website, the first step is to write down exactly why you want a website and what you want it to do for your business. Is it an online business card for reference? Do you want to sell products or services via your site? Is it to improve communication within or outside the organisation? All of these factors influence the design and development of your website, who might be best suited to do the work and the potential cost.

If you already have a website, try to pinpoint exactly what you do and don’t like about the existing website and how things might be changed. Try and be specific: rather than noting that it looks outdated, identify what makes it so: is it the colour scheme or the fonts? Is the navigation clumsy or out-of-date? You don’t have to be a web design expert to do this, but it will give you a head start in looking for a web developer to solve these problems.

Next, prioritise your “wishlist”, which may be a combination of specific points, e.g. improving the layout and more general needs e.g. “I want to drive more business to my website”. Once you have this, you have a brief which a web developer can use to work out the web services needed and how to achieve the desired results. Since the list is prioritised, when it comes to obtaining quotes for the work, you can decide how much is achievable within your timeframe and budget.

Choosing the right person

Do you need a web designer, web developer or programmer? The terms may all sound similar, but there are distinct differences in the work they do and therefore what you can expect from their web services for your site.

A web designer focuses primarily on the appearance or look and feel of the website, including the layout. A good web designer should be an expert in making websites visually powerful and impactful and in drawing visitors to the right areas of your website. Some web designers combine their services with graphic design, so if you have a new look and feel branding on your website, they can incorporate it for you on company letterheads and business cards too.

A web programmer focuses more on functionality. He or she might program solely for the web or may do software programming too. The programmer’s concern is getting features of your website to work. Examples may include building an online intranet or database application, where information can be stored on your database and manipulated via your website. In larger companies, these roles are often split so that programmers work on the “back end” – the features that make a website work and then apply the “front end” created by a web designer to make the site more attractive.

A web developer muddies the water considerably, sorry. Web developers can incorporate elements of design and programming. Web development is a broader term for getting a website online and making it work. You can expect a good web developer to have an eye to both the appearance and functionality of the website.

If you need to narrow it down and you’re not quite sure about the technicalities, have a look around your site. Most likely your URLs in the address bar will have some kind of extension e.g.(.html,.asp,.php,.cfm). Try Googling for terms like “asp developer” to find someone with the specific skills to enhance your website.

Grill the portfolio When you visit a web developer’s website, check their portfolio thoroughly and don’t stop there – look for their clients’ website online. If you are looking for website redesign to allow you to update content more easily, how well are the developer’s portfolio sites maintained? If you are primarily concerned with Search engine optimisation (SEO), how do client sites fare on search engines for the relevant terms?

The personal touch Above all, pay attention to client recommendations. The website can show you the end result, but the recommendation can tell you about the web design process with this particular individual or company. Every SME is different, but with all those I have worked with, one thing has remained the same: the importance of the personal touch. Whether you are employing a freelancer or a big web development company, you need to ensure that you can establish a good relationship with your web developer. How quickly and thoroughly do they respond to emails or phone calls? Are they forthcoming with advice and what sort of advice do they offer? Again, you don’t have to be an expert, you just have to judge whether you think it rings true and fits for you and your business

Go big or go local? Web design and development is big business and variety is the name of the game. Google, Bing and Yahoo! can play a big part in your decision, but rankings aren’t always the whole story.

It is well worth considering a local web design company or developer, because they may have local contacts to help you promote your website or greater access to resources like online business directory listings which can boost your search engine rankings.

I worked with a Cambridge charity who wanted to employ a Cambridge web developer because they knew the web services needed would be ongoing and that discussion and meeting face to face in Cambridge would be important to them, rather than discussing their needs over the phone or email.

How much should web design cost? As with any investment you make for your SME, it goes without saying that you should shop around and get a few quotes. Even if you know which developer you want to go with, it is worth checking that you are being charged the going rate for the web services needed. If the web design prices are above average, you need to decide whether your relationship with the company or freelance web developer are worth paying the extra cost. If the prices are considerably below average, this should set alarm bells ringing. Canny SMEs know that you always get what you pay for.

Working as a freelancer, I know that my clients prefer me to be upfront about costs and that it builds trust. Beware companies who hedge their bets with quotes as it might be a telltale sign of inexperience. However, it is worth bearing in mind that quoted prices are only a starting point. As an SME, it is down to you to hash out exactly what is included and what is not. For example, many sites offer SEO friendly websites. This means that the web design will incorporate the features needed to give your site a boost on Google. However, SEO does not stop here. In my experience, building websites for Cambridge companies in search engines is an ongoing process which takes place over a period of time.

Web design prices: break it down If in doubt, ask the web designer or developer to break the cost down per task. That way, if there is a time-consuming feature which is not at the top of your web design wishlist, you can decide whether or not it is worth the web developer’s time and – more importantly – your money.

Your SME, your website Love or loathe the internet: your website is a big part of your company’s identity. It pays to get it right; it costs to get it wrong, so take your time to find the web services you need.

How Expensive Will It Be to Hire Ukrainian Web Developers in 2017?

Find a good web app developer today isn’t easy. Especially if you don’t know what specific skills and experience he should have. The cost to build a website can vary quite dramatically, depending on the web design and technology that you choose. Most websites are larger and more complicated. So, they require more time and additional skills to build them. It is handy to know what things you should think about when planning your website and how this can help you when you brief your potential web developer.

That’s why having seen how in-demand software and web developers are, you’re probably wondering how this high demand translates into dollars. According to the PayScale statistic devoted to the average salary of web developers in the world, the graph below shows that the average web/software developer salary in the United States is the highest globally, at around $90K. Meanwhile, Ukrainian web/software developers command salaries almost three times lower than those of their American peers – around $27K per year (according to Ukrainian web portal DOU statistic).

At the same time, Ukraine has the largest tech talent pool in Europe, convenient location, and more science graduates than Sweden, Norway, Japan, and other countries prized for innovation.

As US famous IT businessman Brett Wilson wrote about Ukrainian Web and Software Development business. “The Ukrainian IT sector is impressive. As one of the largest industries in the country, Ukrainian IT industry is a key component of its future economic success. Today, the volume of software export and web development from Ukraine is about $ 2 billion in a year”.

The export volume of Ukraine’s software and web development industry reached at least $2.5 billion in 2015 (number 3 export sector), showing double digit growth year after year. This is just a fraction of the country’s potential, taking into account its large and skilled workforce, economists predict that the two billion industry will grow by 85% within the next six years. Also, the US market is the main destination for Ukrainian IT firms, with an estimated 80% volume of exported services.

I should mention that Ukrainian IT NEWS has claimed that far from completion, the Ukrainian reform effort is significant, with several e-government projects launched in 2015. Important legislative changes are expected in the short term in the field of IP protection, in line with the 2014 Association agreement signed with the EU. IT service export regulations are to be simplified, while local IT companies will be better protected against bureaucracy and corruption.

Talking about technology, we also compare how the prices in the web development the USA and Ukrainian job market depending on the programming language.

The most common language is still Java (23% of the market), JavaScript gets the second place (16%), slightly ahead of C # in popularity. In 4th place, as before, – PHP (13%) with a large margin from Python (8%). Programming in C ++ takes 5% of the market, followed by Ruby (4.5%), Swift and Objective-C. Closes the top ten most popular languages – Scala (1.5%), ahead of C and 1C.

The next step is analyzing the implementation sphere of these technologies. The useful source of information to consider, is the IEEE Spectrum. This is a resource that determines popular programming languages via weighing up many different factors, such as the amount of job site listings, current search trends, or open-source hub projects. Here’s what they determined for 2016.

Predicting the Web Developer Hiring Trends for 2017

Hiring suitable web developers have always been a challenge for CIOs, and 2017 isn’t any different; the key languages in demand are likely to stay in such a position. Around 63% of leaders in the IT industry expects 2017 salaries to remain close to their 2016 equivalents, and 1% believe the worldwide average salaries will actually drop. Many young developers are entering the web development industry with knowledge in C, C++, Ruby, and JavaScript, which will certainly have a positive impact on the space.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a number of factors that influence on the cost of a web development project and the salaries of web developers. Actually, it can be subjective and quite difficult to predict the cost. So, there some factors that have impact on the price not only Ukraine but around the world:

  • The programming language, overall technical skills, and experience of a web developer.
  • The level of experience of a web developer (Senior/Middle/Junior). But be attentive, in different companies and countries the method of level calculation is different.
  • The developer’s geographical location.
  • Developers in the USA and most of the developed European countries are very expensive.
  • The demand and supply for that particular skill set.
  • Ruby on Rails is in high demand but there aren’t enough developers. The salaries are higher than some of the others object-oriented languages.
  • PHP is in high demand and there are many resources so it is still affordable and may vary according to their knowledge and experience of PHP frameworks.
  • The complexity of the project requirements.
  • The size and length of the project.

Planning A Website Launch: Aspects Of Web Development And Web Designing

Web Development process of a website is a series of steps which is generally completed via firms which develops websites professionally. This is both advised and followed, as web development and web designing needs a lot of technical knowledge as well as expertise for efficiency. But it doesn’t mean that you will be totally dependent on the web development firm for the whole process, you can plan ahead about the website. Get the rough designs in shape so that you are able to convey exactly what you want.

Here are a few tips to help you design your website before the actual web development.

Firstly, know what you want, a structure of website should be clear in your mind so that you can efficiently communicate the same to the web development team that is going to work on the project. This includes both design and functionality of the website. Web designing can be done with as much creativity and originality that you can possibly imagine in your mind. Original and positive ideas always click with the audience, copied ideas can be easily recognized and it will cause a negative publicity about your website. That is why you should know what you want.

Secondly, you may visit numerous websites to get an understanding of all that is possible with your designs and functionality, but this should be limited to generation of understanding on how the web works. Taking ideas from already established websites is always a bad idea. Your website should have a unique quotient, which will be the reason your customers will visit it repeatedly. Web development majorly deals with the functionality of the website and it can be used to integrate different functionality in the website. These will change the feel of the website, and this could be the unique quotient that has been mentioned above.

While making a plan on the website designing, you also need to think about the theme of the whole website. The theme should preferably be relevant to the services/product that your company is dealing. Even otherwise the theme creates an elegance and beauty in the site when efficiently produced through web designing procedures. Nothing too illustrious or dazzling will work to attract customers to visit the website repeatedly.

Also while deciding the theme to be implemented through web designing, the color combination should be considered as really important. The colors used throughout the website should not be too bright that they pinch the vision or too dull that you have to strain the eyes to read the content. Good web designing firms will always give you design portfolios to choose from and they can be a good source of selecting the theme and theme colors.

The content rules the web; you should prepare the content that will be put on the website. The content can be efficiently handled via a CMS or Content Management System, which can be developed by the firm which is doing the web development for your website. When dealing with huge amounts of content it is always advisable to get a CMS developed by the web development firm so that it is easier for you to manage the content throughout the website.

Lastly, don’t think about web development and web designing as different procedures, make your web development firm interact with you on daily basis while planning as well as development is taking place so that they understand exactly what you need and you understand exactly what is being produced for you. Get into the development process so that a clear understanding is developed in your mind about the product that is being developed for you.

Planning your website, before the actual development procedures are kick started by the web designing and web development firm, is as crucial the actual product development so get your game shoes on.