How to Hire a Freelance Web Developer

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How to Hire a Freelance Web Developer

In life, there are many ways to get things done.  Finding the right web developer or web designer is no exception. In the past, you needed to either be a web developer yourself or hire a web developer if you wanted a website. Today, that’s not the case anymore. Though anyone can build a website these days, there are still many good reasons to hire a professional for the job (a freelance web developer for that matter). Outsourcing this task to a professional will give you the opportunity to:-

  • Focus on more important things about your business.
  • Achieve what you would be otherwise unable to achieve especially on more complex technical bits.
  • Get the job done faster and more efficiently

In this article, you will find important tips on how to find, hire and work with a freelance web developer for your website project. It can be daunting at first but this is only if you are doing it for the first time. It will get much easier the next time.

Furthermore, once you create a good working relationship with good freelancers, you can often rehire and continue working with them. That way, you don’t have to repeat all the steps every time.

So here goes!

Specify and Outline your web project requirements

Before hiring a web developer, you need to be clear on what you intend to accomplish with the website. A new website from scratch or improvements to an existing website? Not knowing what you wish to accomplish means you will be clueless of whom to hire and what to tell them. In either cases, it’s common that the task will involve two different areas.

  • Design bit– This may include logos, pages layout, and images or an entire website redesign and adding more design effects.
  • Business Logic – This is the functionality of the website. For example, adding a payment method, implementing business rules like authenticating, deactivating or suspending user accounts. It involves a lot of coding.

Depending on your project, you might need to hire a full-stack developer or both front-end and back-end developers. Especially if you are looking to build a new website from scratch.

The bottom line is: You need to clearly state what your goals are with the project and document them with details. This is important for:

  • Filtering out unqualified web developers – A clear job description attracts best qualified web developers and designers because they will be sure what they are getting themselves into and can deliver.
  • Time saving – The web developer will easily research and prepare information needed for the project and immediately start implementing the task. Once the project is almost complete, there will be less bug fixes and revisions that arise.
  • Accurate pricing – with clear project requirements, the project scope is clear. The developer will quote best price estimates as well as accurate timeline for the project to complete.

The goals and expectations are now clear. So what next? How to decide whom to work with between a web designer and a web developer.

Web Designer or Web Developer?

Understanding the difference between the two professionals will help you choose whom your project needs. Although you might need both of them depending on the scope of your project.

Web Designer – Is the one who ideates the visual appearance of the web pages such as the page layout, button arrangements, images optimization, icons, etc. Designers have skills in Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and most of the graphic design software. Sometimes you as the client can come up with an idea of how your website design will be then the web designer will implement this idea.

Web Developer – This is the one who gives life to your website. A web developer builds the backbone of your website mostly from scratch. They have skills in coding languages like HTML, CSS, JQuery and JavaScript. Web developers are further sub grouped into three:-

Front-end Developer

You need a front end developer for your project to ensure that, the content you’re providing to your target audience, is displaying in a readable format, It is seamless, pleasing and relevant.

Front end developers will also ensure that your web pages are displaying up correctly in different browsers like Safari, Chrome, Opera and Firefox, as well as in different operating systems (cross-platform), and all different devices, like laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Front-end developers are skilled in client side programming languages like HTML, CSS, JQuery and JavaScript Your web designer might still, but not always, be your front-end developer.

Back-end Developer

They are responsible for programming the actions the website performs on the server-side and implementing business logic to your website. Business logic might include functionalities like user authentication, order handling, client data processing etc. Backend developers have skills in server side programming languages like PHP, Node.js, Python, C# and more. It’s also their responsibility to ensure that the website speed and all technical issues are considered.

Full-stack Developer

This is the Jack-of-all-trades in the web design and development field. Full-stack developers can handle everything a designer and a developer can do. They are capable of designing and implementing a complete website and have skills in both server side and client side programming languages.

At this point, you already know who to hire for what and why. So the next thing is how to hire them. Should you hire an in-house web developer or work with a freelance web developer?

Freelance Web Developer vs. In-house Web Developer

Generally, freelancers are the best fit for any job done using a computer. This is because, they are more skilled and have more experience than in-house employees as they have handled many projects for different companies in different industries so they have a better understanding of what’s best per industry. Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of both parties.

In-house web Developers

Pros: –

  • They are suitable for bigger web projects that would require constant upkeep and maintenance as they are fully dedicated to working on your website projects.
  • In-house web developers know the company well and won’t require a lot of explanation to understand the functionality of the website to be developed.
  • Unlike freelancers, they are constantly under your supervision during the whole project
  • They will always be available to fix bugs and resolving issues arising as you progress

Cons: –

  • They are less experienced than freelance web developers because they are limited to working for only one company so they are less exposed.
  • Even though they are supposed to be fully dedicated to working for your company, most in-house web developers tend to offer their services to other companies behind the scenes and in worst scenarios, they use your company’s resources to their personal benefits.
  • With the future of work drastically changing, most in-house developers are just in it for the employment benefits and the financial security that comes with it, so they don’t bother giving their best in the project.
  • Their performance may have peaks and valleys, and you will still have to pay them full salary at the end of the month even though they didn’t have much work to do in that particular month.

Freelance web Developer

Pros: –

  • They are well experienced and are specialists in what they do. Chances are; they have already handled similar projects in the same industry as yours so they have an idea of what you intend to achieve and can give helpful insights.
  • Even at a higher hourly rate charged by some freelance web developers, you are sure to save between 20 to 30 percent annually factoring in not having to pay employee benefits, such as health insurance and retirement, as well as Medicare and Social Security. If your developer is working remotely, it will help you reduce the need for office space and lower your office supply costs.
  • If they’re not working as expected, you can terminate and replace them immediately without any risks or compensation. This is because freelance web developers only receive payments for completed jobs and achieved milestones unless otherwise.
  • Freelance web developers run their own business, which thrives on repeat work and repeat clients. They strive to turn in their best quality work, every time, to maintain a good relationship.
  • They use their resources to complete your project. For example, you won’t have to worry about purchasing and licensing programing or photo editing software that they might need for the project.


  • Since freelance web developers are contract based workers, you will have to make sure they are available on your schedule before making any commitments.
  • Once they complete your project, they will not be available to offer ongoing support unless you rehire them.

Now you are sure what kind of web developer you should hire for your project. The puzzle is where would you find the perfect fit web developer for your project? If your project would require a freelance web developer, then continue reading to find a suitable marketplace to hire your freelancer.

To 5 Freelance Market places to Find Best Web Developer

With the ever evolving technology. Nowadays there are several Market places connecting businesses to professionals around the globe regardless of their geographical location for the purpose of getting work done. Below are the top 5 best freelance platforms to hire a web developer.

  1. Kiduchi – This is the most suitable place to hire for freelance services. They have all the necessary tools required to ease the hiring process. The platform includes all communication tools such as video, voice and real-time chat functionalities together with a file sharing option to share necessary project files, a milestone payment system and an Escrow service which allows you to authorize payment to freelancers only when they deliver as expected. The platform also offers services on credit to the loyal clients.
  2. Upwork – It’s the most popular freelance marketplace with millions of freelance professionals. It comes with multiple tools such as time-tracker for tracking hourly projects and an automatic payment system
  3. Freelancer – Same as Upwork with millions of professionals available for remote work. It also comes with a real-time chat system, a milestone payment system and a lot more.
  4. Fiverr – This is kind of different freelancing service marketplace. Freelancers post what they can offer for as low as $5 then clients can search for them and order.
  5. LinkedIn – This the most popular social networking site for professionals with a lot of employment offers. There are millions of professionals who are available for freelance work.

After finding a suitable market place, you can now post your job or project, then web developers will submit their proposals quoting their prices. This will give you a rough estimate of what the project is likely to cost.

Posting Your Web Project on kiduchi

Now you have everything needed in place and you are ready to post your job. This step should be a piece of cake. If you are going to use Kiduchi to hire your web developer, the job form is self-explanatory considering your project requirements are clear. Since the rest of the field sections are straight forward, we are going to explain only four sections of the job form which are; Milestone option, job price, job details and project files sections.

Filling The Job post Form

Milestone Option – It’s wise to enable this option when your project is large and would require huge amount to be completed. This option enables you to pay for the project in bits otherwise known as milestones, you will agree the amount to deposit for each milestone with the freelancer.

Project Files – Use this section to upload any assets such as photos, videos or documents for use in the project.

Job Details – This is the most important section of your job post. This section should answer the following questions for better results.

  • What does your company do? Introduce yourself or company and state your business goals as well as the target group you are serving. This will help web developers link your company to an industry and offer better results.
  • What do you expect to achieve in this project? Is it a complete website design? Site implementation? Existing website changes? You need to be precise.
  • What is the intended end product of the project otherwise known as deliverables? Is it a fully completed and functional website? Or a word press theme? Let the web developer know what they are expected to deliver at the end of the project
  • What assets are you providing or facilitating to make the project a success? This would be anything like, content you wish to use on the website, photos or images, design samples or mockups, and everything else that you will give the freelancer to use for your project.

Web Development Budget and Pricing

Job Price – This is the budget you wish to allocate for the job, include it to attract web developers that are willing to work for that amount especially if you are on a tight budget. Sometimes it might scare off some good quality developers but it is okay since they wouldn’t have worked for that amount anyway.

If you feel like you can adjust the budget, you can state this in the job details and let potential freelancers know. That way, you won’t disqualify potentially great developers unknowingly just because your budget appeared to be low. You can either choose a Fixed pricing or Hourly pricing.

Hourly vs. Fixed price

You should consider fixed price in the following scenarios:-

  • The project timeline is going to be more than a week.
  • When the freelancers’ level of experience is entry or intermediate.
  • When hiring a freelancer for the first time

On the other hand, you should consider hourly price in the following scenarios:-

  • When the project scope is narrow
  • The timeline is less than a week
  • When the web developer is highly experienced

The above scenarios are basing on the facts that experienced web developers are faster and efficient with minimal coding errors, hence they will reduce the number of revisions and the amount of time taken to fix coding errors that show up during the testing phase of the project. This is why the hourly pricing option is great in that scenario.

Also, large projects, have a tendency of having changes along the way, this changes will bring about bugs which will require fixing. If paid hourly, this might blow the project budget out of proportion. This is why a fixed pricing is suitable in this scenario.

Once you post your job, you will start receiving proposals almost immediately. Now the biggest task at hand is to decide which of the candidates are you going to hire?

Picking the Web Developer

For every proposal you receive, go through it and scrutinize how the developers are expressing their services. If you find an appealing proposal that aligns with your project requirements, proceed and check out the owner’s profile. This is what to look out for in a potential candidate’s profile.

  • Skills – check if their skills matches the skills required for your project.
  • Portfolio – Do they have previous work in the same category as your project that they have completed successfully? If No, try to find out why because sometimes the freelancer might be new on the marketplace and has no job history yet he is very qualified. The same applies for Customer rating & reviews as well as

If the profile is impressive and qualifies the web developer for the project, you can then go ahead and contact them through the chat system on the platform and schedule an interview either via video or voice call.

Interviewing the Web Developer

During the interview, you should assess the following areas:-

  • Communication Skills – How is the freelancer expressing him or herself, are they communicating clearly? Ask them several questions related to your project and see how straight forward they answer them. Are you able to understand them easily? This is very important because you will be communicating from time to time throughout the project.
  • Availability – Try and find out if they will be available on your schedule when you need them. This is important to avoid possible inconvenience on your side.
  • Give them a test – Though this isn’t a must, it will be better to give the freelancer a small test or task related to your project and see how they tackle it. As they do the test pay, attention to detail on how they do the tasks as this will reflect how they will handle the main project?

Once you identify a suitable developer to work with, it’s time to kick start the project by hiring the web developer. When you hit on the hire button, the web developer will receive a job offer notification on their dashboard, they will either approve or reject. Once they approve, you should proceed and deposit the agreed amount to escrow so that they may start working immediately. Once the work or an agreed milestone is complete, you will confirm that everything is fine and proceed to authorize the payment be released to the developer. Otherwise you can dispute the job and if things fail to work out completely, you will get a refund of whatever amount you deposited to escrow.

That’s all, and all the best in your business success! If you have any questions, suggestions, rants or complains please spill them out on the comments section below.


Author Since: February 20, 2020

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