- Discuss Your Site Plan with at Least Three Developer-Candidates and Obtain Written Proposals
- Get the Proposed Statement of Work in Writing
- Evaluate the Developer Proposals and Select Your Developer
- Monitor the Development Progress
- Establish Procedures for Ongoing Site Maintenance
Evaluate the Developer Proposals and Select Your Developer
With written proposals (statements of work) in hand, sit down and think through the pros and cons of each proposal. Do not hesitate to call any or all of the candidates for clarification. Above all, do not skip the step of checking references! Check at least three references for the developer you decide to use and disqualify the developer if even one of the three offers anything but glowing praise. Ask specific, penetrating questions:
Was the project completed on time?
Was the project completed within budget?
Did the developer respect and solicit your opinion during the development process?
What surprises came up during the development process?
Did the developer make steady progress or just work on the site now and then?
Overall, did you feel you got a good deal?
If you had another project would you use this developer again?
Check the work of your developer. Ask for the URLs (Web addresses) of three to five sites she has produced, then run an analysis on them using a Web page analyzer such as Doctor HTML. Look for nothing but Grade A work. If the analyzer finds technical errors, you will know you are looking at the work of an amateur, no matter how impressive the developer is in person. Take a pass.