5 Questions to Ask a Freelance Website Developer Before Creating an Online Store

For many organizations, they think to hire a freelance website developer is the most optimal solution to build an online store.

Since the “gig economy” is transactional in nature, most businesses assume that an eCommerce website can be created by one person in a short amount of time, without knowing the kind of work that goes into development, before and after it is completed.

great web developer is not just about writing the perfect code and making your website look pretty. It’s about having a complete understanding of your company values, project objectives, the product, and the target market.

We’ve taught you how to set up an eCommerce business, but if you are considering a freelance website developer, ask these questions to test how qualified they are to build your online store.

1. RELIABILITY – Share what your latest projects were about. What was the biggest struggle you encountered and how did you solve it?

The way they speak about their latest projects reflect on how they will possibly work with your company in building your online store. Perhaps the most important foundation is knowing their attitude and honesty about their portfolio.

Sharing the struggles they encountered and how they solved it can prove their abilities to meet the ideal standards of each client. You can even contact their referrals to vouch for their work and character if they can withstand criticism.

2. PROCESS – What is your production timeline and describe your workflow to complete a project?

Despite being considered as part-timers, freelancers should give their full-time commitment to building your online store. According to statistics, 70% of individual freelancers juggle more than one project at a time, which can affect their timeline and output.

As a business owner, you need to scope out your project i.e. online store creation, in its entirety with your website developer. The end-goal is to determine the work process assigned to them, including task management, meeting deadlines, reaching milestones and problem solving skills.

By asking them what they do to succeed in their client projects, you can also determine whether they have strong communication skills to ask questions and receive feedback. As well as whether they seek to understand your company and engage with your project. So in the event that you have tight deadlines or urgent tasks, you have an idea of whether they got what it takes or not to get the job done.

3. EXPERIENCE – What can you do and what skills have you learned or currently master?

Besides having good ratings and reviews from previous clients, you need to assess their ability to use a variety of tools and pick up different skills in their careers. Especially with constant innovations, knowing about new technologies to create output and simplify work are a definite plus!

Since freelance projects are heavily output-based, being able to follow directions using specific tools is important, especially for website development that requires a lot of adapting. This answers whether they are flexible to learn new things and upgrade their current skills. No one is a master of everything, but showing interest and potential to absorb new knowledge can help in creating your online store.

4. COST – Am I paying a flat or hourly rate, and what services are included in your pricing?

Freelancers are usually found on online listing with flat rates, but sometimes the bigger issue can be in transparent pricing. Sometimes hiring developers with lower hourly rates, can cost more in the end since it can reflect on their experience.

Your online store is a business investment but development shouldn’t cost a fortune, so if you’re looking to have an eCommerce website developed, you should work with experts who already know what to do, and show all the costs upfront. A professional will ensure that the project fits your budget, and will be clear if ever something would cost more. They would also give you different ways to settle payments, either at a flat or hourly rate.

To help you determine the price even better, you can ask the number of hours it would take to complete your project. More importantly, after you’ve paid for their services if the code they create will be owned by you. Intellectual property ownership can be an issue among developers who don’t want to share their knowledge.

For most web developers, creating a website is a walk in the park, but an online store is a different ball game, altogether. An eCommerce website developer should also consider marketing applications, analytics, call to actions, content uploading, and SEO because those are essential in successful online selling.

5. AFTER GO-LIVE SUPPORT – When the online store is built, is post-launch fixes, bugs and maintenance negotiable?

For your online store to perform well, you need a provider for web hosting, security, and maintenance. Most freelancers do not provide this service, assuming that once the website goes live, all is well. In the event that they do offer fixes, this calls for additional costs. That just shows how freelance is only effective for short-term projects, compared to long-term investment which is what your online store is about.

The lack of commitment for some freelancers to ensure quality support and output can be unfavorable unless you’re willing to pay up. After going live, there can still be issues on responsiveness, or the ability to adapt to different screen sizes and gadgets. A developer that understands this issue and the trends of the mobile experience will have no problem in resolving it.

Supporting you as their client is a display of professionalism and reliability. Your freelance website developer can fit that role, especially if they are willing to offer an unlimited number of small revisions and fixes.

CONCLUSION

The questions we provided in this article is a guideline to help you pre-qualify your freelance website developer candidates who will build your online store.

As a summary, ask about their:

  • RELIABILITY – Share what your latest projects were about. What was the biggest struggle you encountered and how did you solve it?
  • PROCESS – What is your production timeline and describe your workflow to complete a project?
  • EXPERIENCE – What can you do and what new skills have you learned or currently mastering?
  • COST – Am I paying a flat or hourly rate, and what services are included in your pricing?
  • AFTER GO-LIVE SUPPORT – When the online store is built, is post-launch fixes, bugs and maintenance negotiable?

Perhaps the biggest question to ask here, “do you really need to hire a freelancer?” when you can get the same quality eCommerce website and better service with Properna’s Online Store Builder, for as low as USD 25 (PHP 1,265) per month.

You can guarantee Prosperna’s:

  • Reliability, as mentioned in our customer testimonials
  • Process through our established portfolio of eCommerce websites
  • Experience by the number of companies we empowered
  • Cost-effective quality online store for an affordable price,
  • And Customer-First priority in providing after go-live support.

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Dennis Velasco

Dennis Velasco

Dennis Velasco is the CEO and Founder of Prosperna, an all-in-one eCommerce platform for Philippine businesses. As a technology evangelist at heart, Dennis is super passionate about helping MSMEs "level the playing field" with technology. Feel free to connect with him on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Dennis Velasco

Dennis Velasco is the CEO and Founder of Prosperna, an all-in-one eCommerce platform for Philippine businesses. As a technology evangelist at heart, Dennis is super passionate about helping MSMEs "level the playing field" with technology. Feel free to connect with him on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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