What to Ask a Web Developer before You Hire Them

If you are reading this you may be on the verge of hiring someone to create or redesign your website. Their proposal maybe within your budget, you’ve done your due diligence and reviewed their portfolio, maybe even checked a reference or two and at this point you are pretty comfortable pulling the trigger and signing the contract.

But before you do, here is a question you probably didn’t think about, but definitely should ask before hiring them.

Who will actually be doing the work?

This may sound like a no-brainer, but web design jobs get subcontracted out all the time. Just like many industries, teams of developers and designers overseas will take on jobs for a third of what U.S. firms will charge.

Outsourcing vs. In-House Web Development
Is the web developer you are hiring outsourcing your web design job?

But the reason this question is important isn’t because of the quality of work, it’s for security purposes and making sure you know who has access to your site and who will have passwords to your site still saved on their computer five or six years from now.

In many cases, a new site design requires more than just adding a new user with administrator access to you site’s WordPress control panel. He or she likely will require hosting level access and may even ask for the login to your domain registrar. And with that the developer will have the keys to everything – website, email, other businesses you share the account with, maybe even access to your cloud-based CRM or accounting software hosted on the same server.

And let’s face it… your Godaddy login is probably the same as it was in 2007 when your friend’s son studying computer science in college initially registered the account for you. And several site revisions later (maybe even with some e-commerce functionality added) you probably have the same login.

A disgruntled subcontractor with all that access who didn’t receive full payment from the developer you thought was doing the job is never a good thing.

But password security aside, a more likely reason you’ll need to know who exactly will be developing your new site will come weeks or months down the road after your new site is launched – when a member of your “Our Team” page has moved on or a logo that was used on your “Our Partners” page is the old version.

The issue will come the first time you need to make a change or when all of a sudden you lose functionality on your site because a third-party API that was used on your site was registered in the actual developers name and they closed the account tied to the API.