There are numerous types of web developer that you or your business are able to hire for your next project, but which one are you about to hire?
Choosing the right developer for your project is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, researching and even contacting a developers previous clients is a must if you are to find out what kind of developer you are hiring.
Being self-taught is a perfectly reasonable way of becoming a web developer.
Using the plethora of online guides and tutorials available on the internet, almost anyone is capable of learning themselves a programming language to begin developing websites professionally.
One of the best things about learning a programming language is that it usually leads on to other programming languages that work hand-in-hand with one another, such as HTML, CSS and jQuery for example.
All three languages work alongside each other without any fuss, and combined together they can give you the necessary tools required in order to build professional-grade websites.
Although mastering a programming language could take years, learning the basics of a language enables you to create simple websites with comparative ease, there are pro’s and con’s to being a self-taught developer however.
Some would say a self-taught developer is the best kind of developer as they have tinkered with a wide-range of software applications and programming languages, gaining valuable experience and knowledge in a variety of website-related topics.
Being able to handle a wide range of obstacles whilst developing a website is a great skill to be able to fall back upon in times of need.
Picking up bad coding habits, or using outdated practices are the obvious con’s of being a self-taught developer, although as with all bad habits, these can easily be ironed out with appropriate training.
WordPress Theme Developers
WordPress Theme developers are everywhere nowadays. WordPress is by far the most popular software used by people to create a website, powering over a quarter of all websites on the internet in 2018 with over 50,000 WordPress websites being launched on a daily basis.
WordPress comes equipped with a range of API’s that allows you to display all data from within a WordPress database into any location of a theme.
Developers who are at least familiar with these API’s are able to create something unique & bespoke for their client as there is plenty of documentation provided from WordPress that explains each API function and filter in detail, along with several working code examples that anyone can make use of.
A good WordPress developer would make use of several of these API’s to enhance a themes back-end functionality and front-end appearance, typically charging around £1,000 for a custom theme for their client.
Making use of the bundled Page Builders that come provided with most modern WordPress themes is also an effective way of creating a bespoke website, providing a little creativity is used.
If your developer is simply placing vanilla-styled modules onto your page then it’s likely you won’t be best-pleased with the end result.
Customising elements using custom code is a sure-fire way of finding out if you have a good WordPress developer or not.
University graduates are equipped with all of the necessary skills that are required to become a professional web developer.
Being exposed to a wide range of software applications and the most recent coding technologies gives them a vast amount of experience that they can take to their place of employment.
Developers with an academia background will typically stick to what they know best without branching off into other areas of web development, eventually becoming very knowledgeable in their respective field.
Who are not Web Developers?
There is a growing trend in recent years for companies (and individuals) to make use of premium themes to make websites for their clients without customising the themes’ code.
Simply altering colour codes and changing a few words here-and-there does not qualify you as being a professional web developer, these kind of developers should be avoided at all costs.
First Impressions Count
Websites made using unchanged premium themes look identical to every other website made using the same theme, meaning this is bad news if you or your business was wanting to stand-out-from-the-crowd.
You will be giving off a bad first impression to your visitors if your website looks the same as hundreds if not thousands of other websites.
Support? What support!
You are also at the mercy of whatever support service is available to you from the original theme creators (if any).
An inexperienced developer wont have the knowledge or skills to debug any issues you may encounter with your website, meaning the slightest problem could cause your website to become broken or dysfunctional.
This scenario usually ends up with another change of theme, costing even more time and money and typically causing confusion to your customers.
Don’t be fooled by jargon-filled speeches from developers who claim to be able to create bespoke, custom websites for you and your business. Do your own research into a developers past, send emails to previous clients enquiring about their thoughts on how a specific developer performed for them and whether if they would use them again.
Just a short amount of time spent researching a specific developer could save you the headache of hiring a bad one!