Your First Web Developer (small website)

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Hiring Your First Web Developer

Good developers are in short supply in Dublin. It’s important you come prepared when you meet the developer for the initial meeting. Firstly it’s important to understand the various roles that exist when building a website. For a small website there will be the designer, the front end developer and the programmer. Sometimes the front end developer can be a designer or a programmer also. But in general, people who design never program. It’s important you understand this because if you ask a programmer to help with the design they will get frustrated working with you.  To reduce your costs you could also opt for a wordpress website. Most designers /  front end developers should be able to set one up for you. In simple terms, wordpress allows you publish and manage your website very quickly and easily. You can also buy prebuilt designs and plugins.

The Designer

Before your meeting with the web design it’s important you have your company logo ready and a minimum of three examples of website you like the look of. Clearly state what you like about each website and what you don’t like. Also, have all content required to complete the project ready. It’s very frustrating when clients don’t have the content ready and the project lingers on or the client constantly changes what was asked.

Next, you’ll need to create a site map. This will give the designer an idea of how many pages he/she will need to design. A site map is just a graphic representation of a list of all the pages that your website will have. For a simply website it could be Homepage, About, Services, Contact details.

Finally, for each page you’ve listed you need to tell the designer what will be on each page. eg Contact Page will have a message form, google map, address and telephone as well as the contact details of three members of staff and their contact details. Telephone and email.

Also, it’s important you ensure you get designs for both desktop and mobile. Often called responsive design, this is when the website is designed so it can display on any device.

The Front End Developer

Once the design has been completed the front end developer will take that design and transform it into what you see in your web browser. Again, make sure it is a responsive design and will work on a mobile device. In some cases the designer may be able to do this for you in other cases it may be a separate person or possibly the programmer.

The Programmer

It’s the programmer who does the work you don’t see. Behind what you see in your browser is code pulling information from a database and displaying it on screen. If you’re working on a small website it’ll be the programmer who will implement content management or payments for online ordering. Also, if you use wordpress it will be the programmer who will add custome functionality to tailor the website to your needs.

Where to Search in Dublin

As mentioned already web developers are difficult to find in Dublin. It’s great that there are so many international companies set up in Ireland but the downside is they soak up a lot of IT skills which can make it difficult for small companies to attract talent. It’s very important before you search for the web developers you are prepared and know exactly what you want. You really have to spend a lot of time and go into great detail about what you want.

One place to find freelance developers would be gumtree.ie. This is a classifieds website which allows you to post ads for any services needed. Another place you can try is boards.ie. They have a web forum.  Again on boards.ie you could try the entrepreneurial forum and ask for a recommendation. Finally there are also a number facebook groups which you can post in such as Dublin Jobs

If you are comfortable working with someone abroad you could try upwork.com. Most have a high level of English, however, it will require more work on your part to explain what you want and you will have to go into a lot more detail.

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