Does your web developer truly know what they're doing? Did they study their craft, or are they relying on tech support themselves? It's true that even a "full stack" web developer can't know everything there is to know about coding websites. There's just so much involved in the WWW (world wide web, or wild wild west, your choice,) that it's almost impossible to know absolutely everything.
Like people, servers come in all shapes and sizes, and software, like WordPress, doesn't fit exactly the same for every website. So your developer might come across an issue that they haven't seen before on your project, even if they've done the same requested task a 100 times over.
So, if your developer says, "I don't know," to your request that's fine.
It depends on how they proceed afterward to determine if you can start to become all judgy like Judy.
If your developer says, "I don't know," and moves on to a different task, that sucks. Your website should be in the hands of someone who is willing to go beyond the <div> barrier to get your vision realized.
If your developer says, "I don't know, let me get back to you," then at least they're going to check the massive list of specs to see if your request can be done/fixed, and/or find you an alternative method that will work better in your favour.
Goosebumps of Web Development
With nearly 20 years of development under my belt, I have seen a lot of websites that make me shake with Hulk-smash anger. These days, I get called in to fix things, and I'm frequently left questioning, "Who did you hire for this? You should get your money back."
For some reason, anyone can deem themselves a web developer these days, and we're left with an ugly internet because of it.
I've seen website designs break because the previous developer made things way more complicated than they should be.
I've seen websites that deal with highly personal information not have any security installed at all to keep their users safe, because they weren't properly informed how to do so.
I've seen domains get blacklisted from search engines and/or security software (user installed Norton, McAfee, etc) because the site was using unreputable shared hosting space. There wasn't anything wrong with their website, but a neighbouring website of theirs in the shared hosting space was filled with malware.
Before you hire a web developer to create your dream, ask them a few things...
- LinkedIn - ask or snoop around for their LinkedIn profile. Have their customers left glowing reviews of their work?
- I have to admit, I've never asked any of my clients to do this for me, but testimonials are key these days. If your potential developer doesn't have testimonials to share, ask them to get on that for both of your benefit.
- If you're starting a new project and need to buy hosting (affiliate link) and a domain, you need to go to SiteGround and GoDaddy respectively (GoDaddy is perfect for domains but sucks for hosting, so don't do a one-stop shop here.)
- This link gives you 30% off your new domain purchase! - not an affiliate link, I'm not sure if I have one.
- If your developer tells you that you should use BlueHost (especially,) HostGator (same company, different name,) or GoDaddy for hosting, they either don't care if your site works properly and/or only want the affiliate dollars they would make when you sign up. It makes me absolutely itch when I see another "how-to-blog" post recommend BlueHost, simply because they would get $65 US if you made the purchase.
- As of this moment, SiteGround is the best host available, particularly for their routine nightly backup of your site, options for a speedy website (speed is everything to Google,) and their impeccable customer service. I receive $50 US for each person who signs up with SiteGround. I could have signed up as an affiliate marketer with BlueHost instead and make much more per sign up (anyone can do it, you don't even need a website) - but I literally feel ill just thinking about it.
- If you're using WordPress (most websites are because the framework is awesome - not perfect, but awesome,) you start to become familiar with plugins (they're add-ons that make your awesome website all the more brilliant.) There is a plugin for everything, but you don't need every plugin to do your thing.
- If your web developer suggests using a plugin to display your social networks (share a Twitter and Facebook icon on your site so that your audience knows where to find you when you're not manning your website,) they are super lazy.
- If you feel you have too many plugins in your WordPress set up, then you need a developer to audit your site.
- Is your site secure? Your website, whether you sell products or not, needs to have some sort of security in place. If only to make sure that a hacker doesn't add malicious code to your site.
- If you're using WordPress, then check to see if you have the iThemes Security software installed (or Wordfence.)
- Ask your developer to go through all of the options made available to you through these plugins.
- Where are your site's images coming from? If your developer is using stock images to create your site, make sure that you see a receipt to know that these images have been purchased with a proper license for usage.
- Just because you find an image online, without any copyright info on it, does not make it free.
- I've successfully charged people for stealing my artwork for their website logos, newsletters, and ticket sales.
I honestly can't stress this enough. SiteGround is the web host for all of your needs. If you're just about to launch a new website, you should have the best tools at hand for a stellar start.
And if you're not happy with your current host, they'll transfer your website to their servers easily, and for free!
Do you have questions regarding web development? Ask them here, or join my Facebook Group "Blogger Tech Support".