A Guide to Hiring a Web Developer

A Guide to Hiring a Web Developer

If you're looking to recruit a web developer to help improve your business presence online or to upgrade your existing website then we have a guide to help find the right developer for you.

Web development is still as sought after as ever with new and innovative web technology allowing for a more intuitive and efficient online experience for the visitors of your website.

Web developers can help create websites ranging from community blogs to fully dynamic e-commerce platforms. As long as you know the direction you want to take your company website in you can find the right kind of advice and expertise from an experienced web developer – you just need to make sure you find the right one for your business.

Where to find a web developer?

One way is to post a job listing on Technojobs to advertise the role. Whether that’s a permanent role or a contract, Technojobs can advertise the job role to find an ideal candidate that possesses the skills you require. Though to make the advert as effective as possible, it’s a good idea to make sure you include the following skills and expertise to find the ideal developer with the right knowledge and experience. Web development is normally composed of client side development and server-side development makes up the front end and back end development.

Hiring a Front End Developer

Client side development, or often known as front end development is the practice of producing HTML, CSS and Javascript for a website or web application. The front end is the part of the website that viewers see and interact with. These three tools create the look, design and feel of the website and are the fundamentals of building a website. A front end developer should be skilled in the following tools:

HTML

This is the mark-up language that every website uses to organise and render the content and layout. HTML, or Hypertext Mark-up Language is a very old language that is still used today and has evolved tremendously throughout the years allowing for more dynamic content such as video and interactive elements using HTML5. Today’s web standards can’t rely solely on pure HTML and will need other documents and scripts to create the best online experience. All web developers should have at least an intermediate knowledge of HTML.

CSS

CSS is another valuable language for adding styles and designs to your website. A cascading style sheet (CSS) provides the option to change and add colours, fonts, spacing and much more. HTML and CSS work hand in hand and not only adds a level of consistency in design throughout the website but can also speeds up the load times too. It offers so many different options and with the recent introduction of CSS3, styles and buttons can be so much more dynamic using visual effects and flexible layouts. CSS can also help create a responsive web design for mobile users adding extra accessibility.

Javascript

Javascript is an event-based imperative programming language that can make a website more interactive, functional and dynamic. Javascript can do all sorts of things including the ability to render dynamic content based on the web visitors’ use of browser, operating system (PC, Mac or Linux) or country.  Another technique is AJAX which is JavaScript code that can actively retrieve content from the web (independent of the original HTML page retrieval), and also react to server-side events as well, adding a truly dynamic nature to the web experience.

Hiring a Back-End Web Developer

Server-side development, also known as the back-end developement focuses more on the frameworks, core functional logic and the server side of a website. Back end developers would understand the programming languages that help control and process the architecture of a website which powers the performance, speed and reliability. This is done by having a good level of experience in back-end programming languages and database skills – here’s a list of programming languages to look out for:

  • PHP
  • ASP.NET and .NET Framework
  • MySQL Database and SQL Server Skills
  • Ruby
  • Python
  • Perl
  • Java
  • AJAX
  • Agile
  • C#

As well as front-end development, these skills are essential for the building and maintenance of any website, whatever the size or services it offers. A web developer doesn’t need to know every one of these as programming languages. For example, PHP and ASP.NET are separate platforms and some web developers tend to be specialised in one or the other. Knowledge of MySQL and database management would be crucial as either one of these platforms will require a database to store important user and website information.

CMS

If you’re only hiring a web developer on a contract than they will most likely provide you with a CMS for you to manage and amend the content on the website. A CMS, which stands for content management system allows individuals with the appropriate permissions to change the text and imagery if required. The majority of CMS’s prohibit the modification of any back-end code to prevent the site from breaking so are limited to just content editing only. Additional features also allow users to monitor certain stats, add new pages or blog posts and the ability to manage users and SEO. A web developer should have SEO in mind so will make sure the pages are optimised correctly for search engines but won't necessarily supply the copy.

Even if you’re intending to keep the web developer on the team to maintain the website, a CMS is a great tool to manage the website for developers and content editors alike. The most popular CMS’s used for websites are Wordpress and Drupal but some developers tend to use something else depending on the size and scope of a website.

Other Qualities

It’s not just the technical skills you should look out for; the ideal candidate should also be proficient in other qualities from time management to good problem solving skills. Good communication and the ability to work with deadlines is very important as you don’t want to be chasing them up for updates constantly. Of course you can’t predict if a web developer will stick to the schedule but doing your research and contacting references can provide you with some insight on their previous track record.

Advertising a Web Developer role with Technojobs

Interested in advertising with Technojobs? All job postings are live for 30 days and Technojobs also operates a network of niche sites where relevant jobs appear in order to generate further specialist candidates, including www.webdeveloperjobs.co.uk