Posts Tagged ‘web designer’

How to Quality Check a Seattle Web Developer’s Portfolio

Hiring a web developer can be stressful, especially if you’ve never worked with one before, mainly because most of us simply don’t know what to look for in a website. While the obvious ‘designs you like’ is fairly easy to look for, it doesn’t really tell you if the developer is any good. While it is possible to just choose a Seattle web developer because you like the sites in their portfolio, you can also try a few of the following tips to quality check the developer before you choose them.

work-731198_960_720

Check Code

Most of us have no idea how code should look, even if we have some experience with it, but there are some free tools you can use to check. For example, the WC3 markup validation service will go through code and display errors for you. While it’s meant as a development tool, you can use it to quality check websites by seeing how many errors are there. Some are normal and even hard to avoid, because code is fairly complex and things happen, but if sites have massive amounts of errors, you definitely want to avoid the developer. Check it here.

WC3 also offers a mobileOK checker to see if the developer uses mobile friendly code. Find that here.

What does this tell you? Unfortunately, if the site is old or the site owner has messed around a lot and added things, errors could be purely of the owner’s making. That’s why it’s usually a good idea to test only the developer’s own website. Even then, if the website was created in a previous version of HTML, it will show a lot of errors that aren’t actually problems, simply because newer versions of HTMl, or of a CMS will use different attributes then originally written.

Check Site Performance

Site performance depends on multiple factors, including the host, server, number of users on the server, location, and the website itself. If you’re testing site performance, it is important to keep in mind that it might not be the website. However, if you’re paying for hosting from the web developer, or getting a local all in one web development and hosting package, then it is extremely important to test their website, or one that they’re hosting.

Google’s PageSpeed Insight tool is completely free, and will tell you how long the site is taking to load. How long is too long? Anything over 4 seconds, and you could be loosing as much as 25% of your customers. You can use it here.

Test Functionality

You can test website functionality without the help of anyone but yourself, you just need a few minutes to click around on a website that they have developed. You can try their own website, or something in the developer’s portfolio, but try to visit as many pages on the site as possible. You want to look for easy to use links and buttons, clean and easy to use and find menus, pages that load quickly, and design that makes sense.

Local Websites

Working with a local Seattle web development company can help you to reduce hassle, improve communication, and ensure that you’re marketing to your local audience, so you do want to check the websites and make sure that they’re actually local Seattle businesses. This ensures that your company really is right in Seattle.

Are you looking for a quality web developer located right in Seattle? Contact Rory Martin for a free quote on your website, or check out our portfolio.

Share/Bookmark
© Copyright © 2012 Rory Martin Inc.