How to choose a web developer

Once you’ve decided to (re)develop your website, your first hurdle is in choosing the right developer to partner with. This can be a difficult and confusing process, especially if you are not familiar with the intricacies of web development, browsers, search engine optimisation, web accessibility etc. Remember that you don’t need to be an expert in these areas, you just need to hire someone who is!

Here are some basic points to consider:

  1. Find a developer who will provide a simple, free content management system (CMS) like Wordpress, Joomla or Drupal. These will save you money long term, and enable you to easily update your site yourself.

  2. Always look at their portfolio to determine if you like their design style. If you don’t like what they’ve produced before, there is little chance you will like what they produce for you.

  3. Get several quotes and compare the quotes to the portfolios. You do get what you pay for!

  4. Look at other NGO sites you like and ask them for a recommendation, and an indication of what they budgeted for their website.

  5. Developers who have worked with NGOs before or at least have some understanding of the sector are always preferable. NGO websites have unique needs, and should not be developed in a generic corporate style.

  6. Check references! Make sure you contact people in their portfolio and find out what about their experiences during the development process.

  7. Ultimately, choose someone you trust, and who is interested in your work and your content. It is easy for a web developer to create a site and copy/paste your content into the framework. But someone who understands and cares about your content will work with you to make sure it is presented optimally on the web to help you further your cause.