How to select a web developer

by Larry Velez, co-founder and CTO

Many Sinu customers have asked us about web development. There are a number of good platform options out there (see Sinu blog for more info on website builder solutions), so I would evaluate which platform is right for you based on hosting costs, functionality, and pre-designed templates. Once you have decided on a platform, look for a developer from that ecosystem.

Several website builder solutions have lists of development shops that they recommend for their specific platforms. There is a long list of impressive SquareSpace development shops to choose from. Wix provides a list of recommended developers, showcases designs, and you can even get a free quote at WixArena. The Code Poet Directory from Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, lists enterprise-level WordPress professionals, web designers, and developers.

There are also many purpose-built platforms catering to specific industries. For instance, with NationBuilder you can build a website for a nonprofit or political candidate with built-in tools to facilitate fundraising, grassroots engagement, and letter-writing campaigns. NationBuilder has published a list of several developers for you to select from. 

While Weebly does not have a published list of recommended developers, earlier this year the company launched an enterprise platformthat combines the drag-and-drop website creation service they are known for with enterprise functionality. Features include a robust permissions system and administrative controls, as well as a suite of APIs that give enterprise customers the ability to integrate Weebly into their existing applications. Weebly is targeting a number of specific industries with its enterprise offering, including real estate agencies, franchises, and educational institutions.

PageCloud is one of the newest web builder options. Photo from TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2015. PageCloud is the newest and, in my opinion, the most impressive of website builder solutions. PageCloud could be a game changer for web development because designers can use Photoshop to build websites without a developer. The company is launching this fall, and are taking pre-orders, so we will watch closely how the ecosystem develops.

The bottom line is that you don't have to build a custom-coded website that only one developer can work with and you should use a developer with experience in the website platform you select. It is like a car... you probably don't want a custom-built car because it's expensive and hard to find someone to work on it, and you probably don't want a Jeep mechanic working on your Volvo. And you definitely don't want your cousin's friend trying to replace the timing belt!