Tips for Care and Feeding of Your Web Developer

Web developers can be a finicky lot.

They’re always asking you questions: What does your brand do? What are your site goals? What’s your target market? And on and on until you’re ready to pull your hair out.

Take heart—just like your mother, your web developers nag because they care.

Today, we’d like to discuss strategies to help clients manage these web developer relationships and things they can do to prepare themselves before the initial meet and greet.

Read on.

Be prepared.

Yes, your teeth and ambitions are bared: Be prepa-a-a-a-a-a-red!

OK, singing Disney lions aside, you really should be prepared before meeting with your web developer. Expect them to start asking questions from the get-go, including:

  • What you hope to achieve with your site
  • Who your target market is
  • What interfaces/applications/styles of content you hope to include
  • How much you’re willing to spend

If possible, bring some examples of other sites that you want to emulate. Artists never copy verbatim, but established sites can give your developers a sense of what kind of layout you’re looking for. Bring as much information as possible. The way they structure their HTML/CSS coding will be largely based on your goals. Plus, if you have other needs, such as custom CMS configurations or eCommerce integrations, your developers will need to know about it from the beginning.

Define your project’s scope—and stick with it.

The developer/client relationship is a partnership. Sure, you’re paying their salary, but it’s in both of your best interests to get the job done as efficiently as possible. As such, you’ll want to work with your development team to establish a plan that everyone can stick to.

Nothing can ruin a creative team’s day like getting halfway through a project, only to receive a call from a client saying, “Wild idea, bro: Remember that outline we had? Nah. Scrap it, and do this instead.”

Granted, most clients aren’t this callous (or irresponsible with cash—they’re footing the bill, after all), but we have seen it happen. Some creative clients change their minds as often as they change their clothes.

With this in mind, it’s to everybody’s benefit to define a project scope from the beginning and stay true to the plan. Discuss your concerns—and your budget—with your developers. Write down specifics, address any questions you have, and make sure all factors are understood by both parties.

And above all, be kind to your developer. They want you to succeed, but requesting last-minute changes can throw a serious monkey wrench into the process. Bro.

Don’t be a stranger.

After your developers get to work, feel free to hit them up and check on them every once in a while. We know the development process can be nerve-wracking for site owners, particularly when biting your nails and crossing days off the calendar before your site launch. If it puts your mind at ease, consider organizing a schedule for project deliverables. Regular progress reporting is a trend found in all quality web development companies and can help guarantee that you receive the end-product that fits your unique needs.

And after your site is ready, don’t be shy about reaching out to your developers every so often. It might seem like you should only call when something on your site breaks, but quality development firms are invested in your success and will be eager to hear about how your site is performing. In some cases, they may even recommend updates or site additions based on new software or application upgrades that have recently entered the market.

Call your developer. And then call your mom. It’s been a while, right?

Love your developers, and they will love you back.

As a web development company, we have a message for clients: We love you.

Our clients keep the lights on and the engine running. It’s a mutually beneficial partnership that should be based on respect. And at the end of the day, respect powers most business relationships out there. To keep your web developers happy, be honest with your goals, communicate openly about your needs, and give them the time they need to work their magic. That’s all there is to it. Happy developers are happy workers, and happy workers will do everything in their power to get you the best and baddest website out there.