Finding a Web site developer

The first thing, of course, is to find a competent and reliable developer. So where do you start?

There is the obvious choice of the Yellow Pages plus a number of locations on the Web where you can find details of commercial developers. Most ISPs, for example, have lists of "partners" to which you can refer. However, you can be a little more selective by using a number of other methods.

Firstly, if you know someone who has a Web site and they are happy with it, discover who created it. Gain as many referrals as you can, narrow them down to a shortlist and get each to send you a list of sites they have done in your specific area or to your style. Contact the owners of these sites and make sure they are satisfied. Base your decision not only on the look and feel of sites, but also on the speed of service to perform maintenance, the accessibility of the developer and their expertise in the various technologies that abound.

The second way is similar and involves finding sites whose style you like. Many sites have links to the developer on them. Find out who they are and then perform the same steps as listed previously.

Finally, the Australian Web Publishers Association (AWPA) has a Web site at www.awpa.asn.au containing a list of developers; in order to join the Association, they must have met criteria to be classified as professional Web developers.

If and when you find a developer, make sure you can see a portfolio of their work. If they cannot or will not show you anything, then do not consider them.

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