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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    50

    Question Hiring a web development firm?

    I am beginning a project that will require an ecommerce (shopping cart) membership based site to be developed. I have logically designed how the site will work and the process flow, etc. The business side of things are progressing slowly but surely.

    The hardest part I am finding is.....finding the right web development firm. This is my first such project so I have no prior experience in hiring a web dev firm. I have to say that it is not a fun maze to be in as it can be difficult to weed out the good from the bad and to find the one that best suits your needs for your price.

    I welcome any advice that any of you might be able to offer regarding hiring of a web development firm. What are the things to look out for and any other such tips. Also, welcome any recommendations.

    Also, has anyone had any experience with Evolvs.com that could offer an opinion? Thanks.
    Last edited by ssway; 08-01-2005 at 11:33 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Castle Pines, CO
    Posts
    7,189
    Ask for references and ask for examples of work. Web Dev always takes time. You should talk to the people and get a scope. Make sure the scope covers everything. If you can write the scope some and then discuss with them - even better.

    Keep in mind, they are programmers. And you know your business and what you want. What they might think is not needed might be critical to your business. I have seen this a lot. If you can talk to them on the phone - even better and get a feel for them.

    Also keep in mind that if they say 20 hours, that does necessarily mean the project will be ready in 3 days. Most will tell you how many hours as well as how many days / weeks / months as well since they might be working on different projects

  3. #3
    As much as you can spec out the project (flowcharts, logic flow documentation, etc) will take the guesswork out of the minds of your chosen developers.

    A well crafted spec document (specification document) will allow you to submit the project to a number of possible outsourced vendors (developers) and have them all bid on a common set of instructions. From that you should get a good indication of timeframe to completion as well as price.

    Experienced developers will be able to provide you with related examples of their work and references to prove that they can satisfactorily complete your task. Don't be scared to ask for references - be wary of companies who can't/won't provide any.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    50
    Thanks for the helpful advice. I appreciate it very much. But I am still with the dilemma of 'where' to look for a developer. Sure there is Google but that turns up more results than I can wade through in a life time.

    How does one get the noise to signal ration down to a manageable level so that it becomes possible to find a good developer?

    Is guru.com a recommended avenue to look for a developer? Or is there some other site I should know about? Thanks again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Castle Pines, CO
    Posts
    7,189
    It all depends on exactly what you might be looking for. I have never used any of those services. You might check the devshed forums. That is actually where I found my programmers and I have been extremely happy with them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    2,813
    ssway,

    Have you tried looking around your local area for Web developments firms, rather than online?
    - Jamie Harrop

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    50
    Yes, I have looked around locally but haven't found any companies who's online portfolios impress me enough. It is a rather difficult process I am finding. =(

  8. #8
    When you say their online portfolio isn't impressive enough - what do you mean? If it's a visual / "pretty-ness" issue, then hire a graphics firm - chances are they have partners who can do sophisticated web development (back-end stuff) that they themselves can't handle.
    Giorgio G.
    ValiantHost LLC
    http://www.valianthost.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    50
    Actually the opposite. For the most part their sites appear visually ok but they are all rather quite simple in appearance.

    The backend is what concerns me. There do not appaear to be any membership sites with the functionality I am looking for. So my concern is that they will not be able to accomodate my needs.

    I have a side question. Is it quite common for web development firms to outsource portions of web projects (be it front end visual or backend stuff)? I am guessing that many firms have business ties with other companies that specialize in certain areas and dole out the work to them as needed. Am I correct in thinking this? Thx.

  10. #10
    what i would say is find good company and ask them to provide with demos and existing projects and modules which they have done or are in progress, ull surely get good devlopers . Just check out with their performance reports, elance provides rating to each of the programmers and coders, check out reviews and feedbacks, also the volume of business they hav generated that is also important.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    396
    for e-commerce, i recommend Creative Sites Media (www.creativesitesmedia.com). for flashy entertainment stuff, i recommend Blackpulp (www.blackpulp.com), Otterball (www.otterball.com) and HRTWRK (www.hrtwrk.com) for crazy artwork, i recommend Asterik Studio (www.asterikstudio.com)
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