By David Adress
President, Bitochon Technologies
Selecting a web development company for a particular project can be a hassle, particularly if you are not clear about the scope and extent of the work that needs to be done. Add to that the fact that there are so many web developers out there that selecting one is a real chore. In the midst of this, if a friend of yours who is web developer might offer to help you out. It sounds like an enticing proposition. Being friends with the developer sure has its advantages, particularly in terms of the working relationship and the cost you have to bear for the services you receive.
At the same time, you cannot hire any web developer or any company for website development at random, even if you have known them for years. Therefore, there are some things you should consider before hiring your web developer friend.
Does your friend have any actual professional experience of web development or are you their first client? It is quite possible that he/she may have approached you with a view to getting some professional practice under their belt and also to perk up their portfolio. If this is the case, it is too big of a risk for you to consider using your friend, regardless of how attractive the prices are.
It takes time for a developer to build a portfolio. Ask your friend to show you there portfolio and go over it carefully. You will get to see samples of the work they have done for other webmasters and you will get a clearer idea of what they can do for you. If you are not impressed by their previous work, there is no way you should hire them.
Having checked experience and portfolio now is the time to ask your friend about their competency. Keep in mind that web development is a vast field and there are different areas developers specialize in. For instance, your friend may be a WordPress expert but not adept at using PHP. These are basic things you have to ask in the first interview to ensure that the person you are consider hiring is indeed qualified for the job. The best approach to this is to discuss the type of project you have for the developer. If they have attempted a similar project in the past, they can do a good job.
Last, but perhaps the most important point is the level of support the developer is offering. Keep in mind that websites can develop bugs and kinks at any time of the day or night. You don’t want your website to be down for 12 hours just because you couldn’t get into touch with your developer. Ask the developer if they offer round the clock support. If they do, it makes them a worthy candidate for hiring for your project.
These are some things to consider when you are thinking about hiring your web developer friend for a business related project. Keep in mind that the quality of the work the developer delivers could have a significant impact on the bottom-line of your business. If your friend doesn’t have the experience and aptitude to deliver a stellar job, there is no way you should even consider hiring them. At the end of the day, the decision is yours to make. However, when it comes to business vs. personal relationships, it is best to think rationally and go with the mind over the heart. After all, you will be spending considerable money on hiring a web developer and it only makes sense that you expect a decent return on it.