At some point, every small business owner will take it upon themselves to re-brand, touch up their website, or take it upon themselves to just get their business online completely. For minor tweaks, a lot of small businesses use their own knowledge, or in-house developers, to get the job done.

There are, however, huge amounts of business who regularly call upon the help of freelance developers or agencies to rebrand/fix their website, app or other online accessory. There are many articles on the web stating certain questions you should be asking your web developer to ensure they’re right for you, and up to the task – We thought we’d ride with this, but sit in support of the web developers out there.

Here are some tips on asking the right questions, doing the right things and being prepared in an attempt to be nice to your web developer:




Everyone has to make a living, and the same applies to developers. Even for the smallest of projects – developers expect to be paid, and almost always upfront. Understand the costs involved and do a bit of research beforehand, to make sure you’re not one of the clients who end up asking one of the follow:


  • “Can do you this for free?”
  • “Can I pay after the work is finished?”
  • “I can get this done for cheaper, why do you charge so much?”




Nobody knows your business quite as well as you do, so it makes perfect sense for you to write the content you want for your site, and have your developer simply drop the content in. If you do supply content, ensure it is well written and spell-checked.

In the absence of content, it is possible for developers to use the universal Lorem Ipsum placeholder text just to pad out your site, but without knowing how much content you want in certain sections, it can be difficult to work around sizes or page positioning.




Expecting full page backgrounds, high quality sliders or even good looking header images from a 150px x 150px thumbnail image simply isn’t going to work. Work out which images will work in certain places, and try to provide appropriate images, of a suitable size and high enough quality.

Although phone cameras are getting better and better every year, an image from a phone can look completely different when stretched to the size of a screen – We suggest investing in a moderately priced digital camera, and if possible, getting someone who is camera savvy to take all the pictures you might need.




Whilst you may need to put together detailed and thorough reports for internal purposes, when it comes to requesting changes or amendments from a developer, don’t make them sift through pages and pages of long winded explanations. Break down exactly what you need, or bullet point them in an easy to digest way. It can be very costly to explain something poorly to a developer and be left with something you hadn’t expected.



  Knowing what you want in a website is important, when getting a web developer in. Whilst it is possible to brainstorm ideas and come up with a design together with the developer, it is always much quicker to do your own research, come up with your ideas, and have examples ready.

Collect a handful of websites you really like the look of and use them as examples to explain your ideas to a developer. Love the header on a website? Bookmark it. Like the ways posts move into position on someone’s blog? Bookmark it!



 “Could you really quickly change the header colour to a lighter shade of blue” and other such questions are fine, as long as they are asked at the right time, in the right context and not rushed. Developers are very busy, and nagging one for a ‘quick change’ every day can often get very tedious.

Instead, write down anything you would like changing, or feel can be improved, and save it for when your developer is next working on your site. Branding something as a “quick job” will not speed up the amount of time spent on it, or bring the cost down for the added time. For this reason alone, it is worth taking your time to properly collate, explain and fix your site problems/queries at a time that is appropriate for your developer.



 Try to do a bit of research before you consult a developer to get to grips with the time involved with your project. If you’re asking someone to quickly add in some social buttons to the top of your site, try to research how long you think it will take, the resources required from both them and your end.

This sort of research and understanding will make things much easier for your developer. Expecting a full site rebuild in just a week? You may find yourself continually disappointed.

Of course, despite all this, it is always important to get the right developer for the job, and not to fall victim to the thousands of spam that is out there, lingering in email spam folders and the dark corners of Twitter. Use this to make sure you don’t ask the wrong questions to the right developer!


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