An Ongoing Problem for Business

Posted by Admin2_Bg on October 5th, 2009   

vanishing_web

No, it's not that web developers are becoming harder to find, quite the opposite is probably true. Seems like everyone with a computer is now a web developer. The issue is starting a project with a developer then, in the middle or just before it's all done, they vanish. And usually they vanish with your hard earned cash.

I don't know how many people I have talked to recently that have that story or a slight variation of that story to tell me. The fact is, it's hard to find someone to do web work for your company who has staying power. On top of that, "web developer" or "web designer" can mean so many things to so many people. It seems that the definition of the term is in a constant state of flux, and for the guy who is planning to vanish, the definition is "whatever it takes to get you to write them a check."

Here's what Wikipedia defines "web developer": A web developer is a software developer or software engineer who is specifically engaged in the development of World Wide Web applications, or distributed network applications that are run over the HTTP protocol from a web server to a web browser.

Wikipedia also says this - which may be more important:"There are no formal educational or licensure requirements to become a web developer."

So what does that mean for you?

Really, it simply means that you need to do your homework before you write that first check. Here are a few simple items to put on your checklist:

  • Check and see how long they have been around...1 month or 20 years.
  • Check for references. Don't just look at the sites they send you to, call a former customer and get a real reference.
  • ASK if they are sourcing code from overseas. This isn't always bad, but I have some horror stories...
  • Look for a developer who will stick with you when the site is done. Websites are dynamic and should reflect the very latest from your business, so get a developer who wants to stay with you.
  • Don't write too big a check up front. Expect to pay something to get the project started and then arrange pay in scheduled increments along the way. Web developers have to eat, and the set schedule allows for accountability for you and the developer.
I read this article too late, now what?

Unfortunately, many people have to start over because the "vanished" developer simply didn't do things right. Just remember the checklist above or, and this is a purely shameless plug, call Pulse Creative Partners.

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