The First 3 Things to Discuss With a Prospective Freelance Web Developer
There are 3 main things you should discuss as soon as possible when looking for a web developer for freelance on your next project.
1. Define the project and the scope of the work
Try to nail down exactly what work you would like to be performed, and do it as succinctly and completely as possible. One of the things I typically ask clients for is an example of similar work that they like. This gives us both a well-defined starting point and then we can start to differentiate from there. I basically know how long it will take it me to do most things that clients will ask me to do, but what really changes the estimate are the details. Figure out exactly what you want up front and you will get more accurate estimates.
If you don’t know exactly what you would like to be done it will pay to do more research before you shop around for developers. If a client comes to me with a vague request I try to understand their problem fully before proposing a solution, but not everyone takes this approach. You may end up with something you don’t need if are not sure what you want.
Another important reason to very carefully define the scope of work is to make sure you have the right freelancer. Often times I will get asked about graphic design work (I can subcontract a designer in this case), or SEO work (I will refer you to somebody else), neither of which I do, for example.
2. Get a Ballpark on the estimate (in hours or dollars)
Your budget should be your next priority after scope of work. Hopefully, if the project was too big or small for your freelancer you both will have already figured that out. The next step is to figure out if their rates are going to work for you. I always try to give a ballpark estimates to clients as soon as possible (if not a full estimate) just to get an idea of budget.
If the estimate is either very low or very high there should be a reason, so make sure to press for more information before going with the lowest bidder.
3. Get an idea of time constraints
After the project and the budget are agreed on, the last important thing to solving is the issue of timing. If today is Tuesday and you need something shipped by next Monday, make sure you are very up front about that. Additionally, make sure to factor in time for testing and iteration, especially if you are not working with well-defined design mocks. Even with really great mockups though, little functionality things will be missed and they will invariably take much more time than anyone anticipates.
I hope this helps with your next discussion with a freelancer. Feel free to reach out anytime (firstname.lastname@example.org).