Would like to hire a web developer, how?


I have an idea for a website that I would like to build.  This site is beyond simple HTML or ASP.NET that I can put together.   I have a working idea of what I want at the end, but no idea about how to get there or maybe some of the other better solutions available.  I would like to hire a web development company to achive this solution, but don't know where to begin searching for them short of "top web developers" search on google.

Could you guys help me out with some of the following?

What questions should I ask?  What credentials, certifications, criteria should they have?  Is there a way that I can tell a mediocre web dev from someone who really knows their stuff (short of just taking the most expensive, which possibly isn't even the best)?

I understand there is more than one question here, but the question overall is "How do i go about doing this for the first time without getting completely hosed?"

Who is Participating?
Ask for a list of sites they have created.  This gives a very good demonstration of if the company are good / bad.

Do you need a full time developer to work for you or do you need just a short contract job to get your site up and running - this changes who you should talk to.

Good luck with your idea.

Kelvin81Author Commented:

Thats one of the things i'm not quite sure of.  At first I need to nail down a concept of how the idea works.  I have an idea of how i want it to look, what i want it to do, but after that, I'm not sure how much or how quickly the site will grow.

I want to release the site in several stages/phases each having its own profit model.  I would assume it would be the same people continuing work on the site, but i'm not sure if it would be right to hire on a web developer full time.

Does that make sense?
Your best bet is to go here


You can post your job for free and you will get a ton of developers that will compete to get your business by providing you with bids for your job.

The good news is that all of the companies that bid on your job have profiles that show you everything from samples of their work, client lists, how much money they have made on eLance and feedback from all of their customers that have done work with them over eLance.

Perfect place to find help for web projects of all sizes  ($100 to $100,000+)
Ultimate Tool Kit for Technology Solution Provider

Broken down into practical pointers and step-by-step instructions, the IT Service Excellence Tool Kit delivers expert advice for technology solution providers. Get your free copy now.

Jason C. LevineNo oneCommented:
Hi Kelvin81,

As above, get a list of sites that they have created or worked on and also a list of references to contact in regards to those sites.  While they may be technically proficient, there may be other issues that will not be discovered by looking at links.  You will also need to know how fast and accurate the work was, if they took direction well, response time, etc.  The question we always ask references is "would you hire them again?"
I would be very leery of elance.com.  Most competitive people on there are totally "offshore" and the results are dubious, so it is one place to get hosed.

Your absolute BEST bet is to put an ad in www.craigslist.org in the city closest to you, and lay out there everything you need, and have them give you a price -- don't specify it -- just an email contact via craigslist.  You will get about 100 replies, many offshore, but you will have time to check out their credentials.
Jason C. LevineNo oneCommented:
We found a fantastic designer for a full time position via Craigslist...that's good advice.
I would argue that you have a much higher probability of being hosed on craigslist

eLance lets you filter all of your results and which companies can bid by region (which allows you to exclude offshore companies if that is your preference).

On top of that, every company has a feedback rating (kind of like eBay).   That way, if you see a company with 400 reviews and a 95%+ feedback rating that is a very useful indicator.  

On top of that you can see all the types of projects they have worked on and what type of budgets they have worked with.    For instance...  if a company has only done jobs in the 1-300 dollar range they may not be suitable for a large scale project.

By posting an ad on Craigslist the only information you'll have to go on is what that person or company sends to you and you'll have to trust them or see what research you can learn about them from Google.  Not very easy.

And at the same time you'll have to still wade through 100 replies (many offshore) and have no real indicators of suitability for your project.

eLance puts more information in your hands.

Although it's more of a place to find companies or individuals to work on a specific contract or project...  if you're looking to hire a full time employee to work for a company there are better routes to go  (like Monster.com, classifieds, craigslist etc.)

With craigslist you control the ability to screen everyone, so if you are hosed, it is only because you did not check them out well enough.  Unless you've been on their recently, you would not appreciate what a amazing hotbed of activity it currently is for web designers and website developers.  Good luck Kelvin.
Jason C. LevineNo oneCommented:
Should be a split between:


Those three Experts provided good advice and pro/con discussion.
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.