How to Hire a Web Professional [Web Visions Portland 2012]


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Hiring someone to build or work on your website is extremely tough, especially if you don’t grok code (or even recognize “grok” as a word). How can you tell a solid web professional from a mediocre or bad one when you don’t know a whole lot about what they do?

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How to Hire a Web Professional [Web Visions Portland 2012]

  1. 1. H ow to hire a Web Professional
  2. 2. How do you know who’s mediocre & who’s amazing?
  3. 3. WaSP wants to make it easier
  4. 4. Before you sit down๏ What is the purpose of your website?๏ Who is your audience and what should they be able to do on your site?๏ What is your budget?๏ Do you have a deadline?
  5. 5. Question 1: Can you walk me through your process?
  6. 6. Process✓Professional Wannabe Is organized Is disorganized Has a process Promises immediate results Can explain it & it makes sense Doesn’t ask for your input Has a place for you in it
  7. 7. Question 2: How will you ensure my users have a great experience?
  8. 8. User Experience✓Professional Wannabe Will discuss user goals Will want to start in relation to your designing right away business goals Is confident the design May propose they come up with will interviewing your users work Will discuss research Doesn’t discuss user informing design goals or key tasks May propose testing the site with real users throughout the project
  9. 9. Question 3: How will users find my site?
  10. 10. Findability✓Professional Wannabe Will discuss the Promises you a #1 importance of Google ranking well-written content Will focus on “meta” Will explain how tags and keywords proper coding makes a site easier to index May suggest multiple landing pages with May want to talk about duplicate content URL structure and link text
  11. 11. Question 4: Who will write the content for my site?
  12. 12. Content✓Professional Wannabe Will recommend Will be happy to take authoring new content content directly from for your website your brochures May offer to write Will offer to update the copy, recommend a site for you if you give copywriter, or simply them a call provide guidance May recommend a Content Management System
  13. 13. Question 5: Will my site look the same on every computer?
  14. 14. Browsers✓Professional Wannabe Will discuss the fluidity May promise an of the web as a medium identical design in and explain why sites every browser will look different on different computers May try to talk you into only supporting a Will focus on design handful of browsers or consistency over screen sizes pixel-perfection May bring up progressive enhancement
  15. 15. Question 6: How will you make my site accessible to all users?
  16. 16. Accessibility✓Professional Wannabe Will discuss the May seem confused importance of well-written copy May try to brush off the question Will explain how markup enriches May simply declare your copy that everyone will be able to use your site May bring up color without explaining how contrast, font sizing, they will achieve that video captioning & transcripts, and/or WAI-ARIA
  17. 17. Question 7: How will my site work on mobile?
  18. 18. Mobile✓Professional Wannabe Will discuss creating May dismiss mobile adaptive layouts that browser usage flex to the dimensions of different browsers May suggest building a and devices separate mobile site Will talk of prioritizing May discuss hiding key tasks content on mobile Will explain how they May try to sell you on test your site on a developing an app variety of devices
  19. 19. Question 8: What tech will you use?
  20. 20. Technologies✓Professional Wannabe Will refer you to their Won’t know developers if they don’t know or they will Won’t mention CSS wax philosophical Won’t be able to tell about HTML, CSS, and you which version of JavaScript HTML will be used May mention and why progressive Will say they design enhancement in Photoshop and May mention that they then generate the hand-code every site code automatically
  21. 21. Question 9: What will this cost?
  22. 22. Cost✓Professional Wannabe Will be able to give Will be non-committal you a ballpark cost when it comes to price estimate and rough timeline based on May quote you a figure similar projects that seems incredibly low (e.g. $1,000) May not commit to a price until the scope is May not require fully understood payment until the project is complete Will require a deposit and establish a payment schedule
  23. 23. Question 10: Who owns the code?
  24. 24. Ownership✓Professional Wannabe Will be able to May be unwilling to discuss issues of assign copyright to you copyright, ownership, and licensing May be unwilling to hand over source files Will assign copyright (or a license) to you upon receiving final payment Will be willing to provide source files as appropriate
  25. 25. Feeling a tad overwhelmed?
  26. 26. Don’t be nervous, it’s gonna be fun!
  27. 27.
  28. 28. How to Hire a Web Professional by Aaron Gustafson @AaronGustafson Slides available at This presentation is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 except where otherwise noted flickr Photo Credits