You know...I have to admit...I am currently in search of a web developer/designer because my website is becoming more than I can handle on my own...and these are the things I am currenlty looking for:
1) Cost effective for start-up
2) Experienced enough to do what I need......and what I WANT
3) GOOD LISTENER!!! This is huge to me...I have ideas...I don`t think they are bad ideas...I know what image I want my business to have...and although the web developer/designer might have some experience in the business of web design...I want him/her to first listen to what I am saying...and build on that...not just sluff me off as unexperienced or that I don`t know what sells. (yes...it has happened...often)
4) DO NOT GIVE ME MORE THAN I NEED!!! I want an understanding developer that treats me like a person...not a computer...not just another paycheck. This site is personal to me...it doesn`t just represent my company...it shows the world who I AM!!! I started this company...I run this company...so any image put out there about the company is representative of me. In the same sense...do not make me out to be more than I am...if I want simple...give me simple...don`t keep pushing for Flash...or whatever. Give me what I ask for...no more...and definitely no less!
5) TIME....TIME...TIME!!! How fast can you do this? I am an instant gratification person...sell me now or I move on! (I mean that in the nicest way of course...and generally I give a lot more room than I am comfortable with...but that usually means I am less likely to recommend later.)
In response to your specific questions:
1) Still trying to discover them...not as easy as it looks...lots to choose from.
2) Biggest drives: Money, Time, Ability to do the job
4) If you continually deliver as promised...don`t over promise, or over sell yourself and thus have my expectations higher than you can deliver...then I will probably be a customer for life! Screw me, leave me hanging, or lie to me...and I have no issues walking away...see response to #1.
Hope that helps!
WOW WOW, Mr. Matthew,
Who told you that all web developers are geeks? What made you come up with that stereotype?
Your question is what do you look for in a web developer? Well, let me tell you what takes to be a web designer/ developer. It takes more than what you would imagine. Aside from being a good lister and having the time to accomplish a project, they need to be knowledgeable of what they are doing.
Anyone can design a web site (from what I see on myspace and this forum) but it really takes a developer to understand the functionality of a web site. Some of the things a developer has to take into consideration are:
1. How fast is the web site loading;
2. What is the database structure (if one available)
3. How big are the images being downloaded (size in KB`s or MB`s)
4. Ability to create a web site and know how to reduce bottlenecks in the database
5. Able to produce a fully functional design with out clitches or something that looks like "WebSite in a box"
Here let me share with you what makes a great web designer/developer:
For a Full CATALOG, please contact me...Directly and I will give you a link to our portfolio.
yes I do,
Now I don`t know how much you know about SEO, but If the content is there and again "KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING" flash menus and headers shouldn`t be much to worry about.
Another thing, it depends on the client too "Not everyone that you design for cares for "SEO" Alot of companys with "PULL" or should I say "Clients" don`t care for SEO, SEO is for the Masses.
Alot of clients just care that they have a web site, they want to have something where they can direct their customers too.
SEO is for a business that wants to get noticed, that wants to grow, that wants to be in the mainstream. There is a difference between being "Artistic" and "For the masses".
We go back to what you asked: What do you look for in a web designer? My answer to you is: Able to be creative, on the edge[style], able to produce something out of nothing, and most of all "Listen to your Clients" These web sites are the voice of my clients, I`m just the translator of their dreams and what they wanted.
As for pitching? I wasn`t pitching, if I wanted to pitch a web site to you I would have done it in a more professional manner. I just wanted to make sure you know what a good designer is and not to confuse the word "Geek" with web designers, we`re far from geeks...
I guess I mean if you are offering web design then I am open to asking your pricing structure and if you are available. We "beginners" are ready to have you design our sites if you can offer a low cost and effective alternative. Lots of Q`s for how My Vision can be a reality within a low budget overall design plan where you provide one on one counseling and I provide a lifelong(life of my business)arrangement for your continued support of high quality web design and feature rich Small Business visionary projects. I`m trying to go slow so my brain doesn`t get ahead of superfluous ideas. Are You For Hire?
Here`s some things my (daytime job) consulting clients look for - it obviously gets much more complex as the job does, but it`s a start:
1 - ability to forge a good and responsive relationship, with rapid, complete and accurate communication (with evidence of excellent grammar and editing skills)
2 - portfolio - examples of what`s been done before, especially for clients/businesses that are similar to their own - provision of references is very good
3 - evidence of existing investment in infrastructure, contacts, services and tools - meaning, the client doesn`t want to pay unnecessarily for the designer`s startup costs, or inefficiencies due to lack of training, equipment or tools
4 - quick and good storyboard proposal response - this is where the client has an initial interview, and the designer comes back with a really draft mockup that nonetheless demonstrates the designer heard the client, understands navigation and taxonomy concepts, understands the balance of content vs. white space appropriate for the business context, understands performance demand generated by complex graphics, scripts, database-driven components, etc.
5 - the designer can explain "what`s next" - i.e., how the code/graphics/site can be reused/extended, how its stored and protected, what the process is to upgrade or scale, what`s the escalation/notification/response process for technical or security issues.
6 - the designer has a great appreciation for security and privacy, and demonstrates such both in discussion and design concepts
7 - the price is reasonable per industry, and not overburdened or unbalanced with excessive graphic/story designer fees, outsourcing fees, options, etc. - yet the designer is able to suggest resources and references, and does so, for areas of the project the designer can`t handle.
8 - ability to discuss in non-technical terms some of the technical questions the might have (that really don`t matter to me especially, but the client`s curious and is probing for demonstration of technical skills) - like "will this site be a Msoft or Java site, and why?; "will you use open source tools, and will I have to pay for any licensing?"; "is this on a dedicated server, and if not, why not?".
Note that I`m assuming the designer is essentially the Project Manager, dealing with all aspect of creating and implementing the site....large design shops typically have just that, a Client Manager, who acts as the "general contractor" across all the actual services and people that need to be brought together to accomplish and sustain the project.