How To Choose a Web Developer? Part 2: Technical Proficiency and Business Acumen

In our last blog post about choosing a web developer, we covered the importance of communication and experience. Making sure that the web developer or web development team you choose is a good match communication wise and has the experience to back up their claims is primordial. In this post we will cover a couple other elements that are important to focus on: Technical Proficiency and Business Acumen.

Technical Proficiency

Web sites are like icebergs. The front end, which is the part of the website that end users see and interact with, is the tip. The back end, which is the part that no one sees and basically does all the heavy lifting, is the gigantic submerged part of the iceberg. A lot of people nowadays, especially since the recent boom in popularity of DIY websites don’t fully grasp the importance of the backend, which is where all the magic happens.

The more complex your site is, the more moving parts there are that need to interact flawlessly. Search engines and end users have a few things in common and one of them is very low tolerance for slow moving sites. You have a clear idea of the functionality that is needed on your site, make sure the team you pick has the ability to implement that functionality whilst keeping the site performing at a high level and the user experience simple and pleasant. A good way to approach that situation is to ask for examples from your web developer’s portfolio that have similar functionality and see for yourself how the user experience feels.

Business Acumen

Knowing that the developer or team of developers you are considering has the technical abilities to build your site is obviously very important, however they also need to understand your overall business and, more importantly, the business goals that you are looking to reach through the site.

If they are not able to fully grasp how the site will help you reach your goals, how can they build it properly?

Since we started in 2002, we have heard many frustrated people who have dealt with web developers who are so focused on the technical aspects and seem to mostly speak technical jargon that the entire business purpose of the site was overshadowed.

A few elements to pay attention to are as follows:

  • Does the developer ask questions about your business and business goals?
  • Do they ask how the success of the site will be measured from a business standpoint?
  • Are they able to make sound recommendations, in understandable terms, about how the technology will merge with the objectives and help reach important targets?

Those are just a few ideas and points to focus on. The idea is to make sure that you have a well balanced team who will be able to combine their technical skills with your business goals from an end user centric perspective. This is the powerful trifecta that will ensure you are placing your project in the right hands, benefiting you, the team of developers and more importantly the end users who will navigate your site and keep your business moving forward.

In the next part of this series, we will discuss another set of important points: What differentiates a company from others and how to tell if they will be around to support you down the line.


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