No matter the nature of your business, a website is an essential part of your toolkit. It’s an amazing way to connect with customers, promote your business, and ensure that you’re getting attention for all the right reasons. Finding the best person to bring your site to life, however, can be tricky – the world of web development is a complicated one, and the market is awash with both legitimate experts and frauds. To help you make the right decision, we have put together everything you need to know to hire a freelance web developer!
What Is a Web Developer?
Before going any further, you must have a solid understanding of the role that a web developer will play in the construction of your site. There’s often some confusion over the difference between a web designer and a web developer, and many freelancers will tend to use these two terms interchangeably. In truth, there are several differences in the skills, abilities and tasks performed by these professionals. In the simplest terms, a web designer is responsible for receiving the brief from a client and using graphic design software to create the layout, design, and “look” of the site. They will select fonts and graphics, images and layouts, and create a mockup of the site – but this will often not be functional.
This design is then passed onto the web developer, and this is the point at which the site truly begins to come to life. The developer will take the design and use code to build a fully functional website. Web developers come in three main categories:
As the name suggests, back-end developers focus on the back of the site – the area not seen by the user. If the front end is the face of the site, the back end is the brain. Back-end developers must ensure that the site runs smoothly, and that data flows correctly from the front end to the back end, and vice versa. The best languages for back-end developers include MySQL, C#, PHP and Java.
Full Stack Developer
A full stack developer is the “complete package” – they are skilled at both front and back-end development, and technically can manage both elements independently, without the help of other developers. In most cases, however, they will act as support, and can easily troubleshoot, fix problems, and speed up the process. Full stack developers tend to be a whizz at several programming languages.
How Much Will It Cost?
When considering the freelance web developer expense for your budget, several factors will impact the amount you spend. This includes the following:
How Much Can You Afford to Spend
The most important aspect you’ll need to consider is your budget, as this will ultimately determine the developer you choose to work with. Even if you’re starting with a small amount of cash, investing in an experienced web developer is a good idea as you’ll have a responsive, interactive, and fully functional website that shows off your business in the best possible light.
The Developer’s Experience
The amount you pay will largely depend on the experience of the developer you choose. Experience will fall into three main brackets: junior developers, with between one to three years’ of experience, middle developers, who will have three to five years’ experience, and senior developers, who will typically be the experts in their field, with multiple years of experience and past projects. Obviously, the more experience the dev has, the better the work, but you will pay far more for it. Advanced senior developers can charge up to $115 per hour, depending on their location, while a junior developer can be snapped up for around $60 per hour.
It’s worth noting that you’re likely to pay a higher price if you opt for a full stack developer, especially if they are working independently. While this option allows you to hire one expert instead of two separate ones, it also means that the individual you select is likely to be highly skilled in a range of languages – and this comes with a higher price tag.
The needs of your business, and the site you wish to build, will have an impact on the cash that you need to set aside for the web developer. Custom built ecommerce stores and online shops will typically come with a higher price tag, due to the higher workload and extended time required, along with the specific technical skills and expertise needed to bring this kind of site to life. By comparison, a smaller site, with just a few pages, or perhaps a simple portfolio site will come far cheaper. In short, the bigger and more complex your site, the more you can expect to pay.
Do You Need a Web Developer?
It may be that you have a strong background in coding and can create your own high-quality site independently. Alternatively, you may feel confident enough to try one of the ready-made content management systems, such as those found on WordPress, to build your site.
However, if this is not the case, then investing in a quality web developer is a smart decision that can seriously improve the prospects and profits of your business. The world is increasingly moving online, and having a fast, responsive website helps you to stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons.