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MNREM How to Hire a Web Developer

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Developed to help business owners to recognize their needs and help them find a web developer/firm to meet those needs, Developed by MNREM as part of the Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities (MIRC) initiative.

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MNREM How to Hire a Web Developer

  1. 1. ©2011 Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace. All Rights Reserved. How to Hire a Web Developer Ann Treacy broadband.mnrem.com
  2. 2. ©2011 Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace. All Rights Reserved. The Intro • Know what you want / Assess what you have • CMS vs HTML • What is a Web Developer? • 5 Questions to Ask • Find a Developer
  3. 3. ©2011 Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace. All Rights Reserved. Brainstorm Your Wish List Cool functions! Sites you hate!Sites you Love! Think like a Client/Visitor Time savers for you Time savers for visitors Colors, logos, images – Oh my!
  4. 4. ©2011 Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace. All Rights Reserved. Assess What You Have • Current Site • Existing Collateral – Brochures – Images, video • Staff • Budget • Timeline
  5. 5. ©2011 Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace. All Rights Reserved. Compare Wishes with Haves • Consider administrative costs of each feature • Consider business goals • Think about skills of current and future staff • How much help do you want?
  6. 6. ©2011 Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace. All Rights Reserved. Mini Lesson: Easy Functionality • Contact Us form • Search • Embed video/audio • Tie into Social Media • Traffic Stats If these are difficult the tool may be too proprietary. Or the developer may be inexperienced.
  7. 7. ©2011 Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace. All Rights Reserved. Content Management System vs Custom Built HTML
  8. 8. ©2011 Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace. All Rights Reserved. Content Management System Pros • Easy to maintain • Readymade templates are easy to change • Often works well with social media • Often cheaper to set up • Functionality is predefined Cons • Monthly fees maybe high • May involve proprietary code • Some do not allow for much variation • Other sites may be similar • Functionality is predefined
  9. 9. ©2011 Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace. All Rights Reserved. Custom/HTML Pros • Functionality not predefined • Unique to you so greater input • Generally easier to move • Good for high functioning sites Cons • May be difficult to maintain (require some expertise) • May be expensive to set up • Requires greater expertise
  10. 10. ©2011 Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace. All Rights Reserved. Custom/HTML HTML CMS
  11. 11. ©2011 Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace. All Rights Reserved. Mini Lesson: Third Party Tools • Shopping Carts/Merchant Accounts • Event Registration • Webinar Platform • Video/Audio • E-newsletters/e-lerts You don’t have to build from scratch. Don’t pay someone to reinvent the wheel unless you need a very different wheel. Just make sure your site will work with third party.
  12. 12. ©2011 Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace. All Rights Reserved. What is a Web Developer? • Graphic Artists • Coders/Programmers • Writers • SEO Specialists (Search Engine Optimization) • Database Developers • Social Media Specialists • Web host • Mobile Site Developers • General Contractor Find someone who has the skills you need most.
  13. 13. ©2011 Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace. All Rights Reserved. 5 Questions to Ask 1. What is your specialty? 2. Will I be able to update my own site? / Would you be able to update my site? 3. Can you send me some samples and references? 4. Can you tell me about a time you built a site like mine? 5. Who will I be working with? As they speak, think about whether this is someone you could work with on a site.
  14. 14. ©2011 Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace. All Rights Reserved. Mini Lesson: Third Party Tools • Shopping Carts/Merchant Accounts • Event Registration • Webinar Platform • Video/Audio • E-newsletters/e-lerts You don’t have to build from scratch. Don’t pay someone to reinvent the wheel unless you need a very different wheel.
  15. 15. ©2011 Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace. All Rights Reserved. Remember the old Adage • Good • Fast • Cheap Chose two.
  16. 16. ©2011 Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace. All Rights Reserved. Where to Find a Web Developer • Ask colleagues. • Ask owners of sites you like. • Find a MN developer: http://tinyurl.com/44w3uxt
  17. 17. ©2011 Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace. All Rights Reserved. The Contract • Spell out who you are hiring and the work • Assign responsibilities • Specific statement of work • Create a change clause • Liabilities, ownership http://24ways.org/2008/contract-killer
  18. 18. ©2011 Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace. All Rights Reserved. QUESTIONS? If you have an interest in further training on in your area, please let us know. Session will be posted online: http://www.mnrem.com/blog/

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