How to trust web developers when hiring?


We're hiring this amazing guy to build our website. I do trust him, sort of. But, is that enough? Is that all I can do? (find someone you trust) We'll be telling him each and every detail here.

Project Management Trust Web Dev

asked Feb 24 '10 at 01:41
101 points
  • It seems from the question that you're worried about that person stealing your IP. If your business is this vulnerable, I'd hardly consider it viable. What's much more likely is that your concept or IP is really not very valuable, and **execution is everything**. In which case, don't worry about it. Make sure you tell your developer as much as possible or you won't get what you want. – Ped 12 years ago

5 Answers


1) Do you have written specifications for what he/she will be building?

2) Do you have a written schedule for the building of this web site?

3) Do you have a written set of project deliveries, each of which is supposed to be complete by a specified date?

4) Do you have a written budget for this project?

5) Has the developer agreed to 1 - 4 (above)?

Treating your developer well is great, but without a plan in writing you are just going to drift away.

answered Feb 24 '10 at 02:29
Gary E
12,510 points


Trust is important, but more importantly make sure he is treated as a superstar.

Read Joel's advice on how to treat a developer.

answered Feb 24 '10 at 02:18
871 points
  • Good point, you don't want to be finding a new developer every few months. And make sure you get some feedback on what he prefers. Using your budget on a fancy chair when a better/faster computer is prefered would be a bad choice. – Jeff O 14 years ago
  • Joels advice is pretty dated. – Doug G 14 years ago
  • @Doug, as dated as it might be, I still find it pertinent. – Graviton 14 years ago


I worked for a web development firm and Gary's advice is spot on. Trusting someone is great but even kids and their mothers have miscommunication. So write it down and agree. The few items I'd add:

  • Be exact on process down to the number of comps and review cycles. The creative element is so important and so subjective that you want to be clear up front how that will work. E.G. 3 design rounds then final.
  • Be exact on acceptance. When will the site be "done"?
  • How will any issues be handled once the site is launched? Both bugs and maintenance?

Those are to protect you as well as your developer.

Good luck,

answered Feb 24 '10 at 08:50
4,214 points
  • You are right on abut the creative part! I forgot to mention that at all. – Gary E 14 years ago


Take a look at some of his work, and then verify he can program by having him build something in person. You may be able to get a feel for how productive he is going to be (Does he have to copy and paste all his code or can he work from scratch?). If he is your lone developer, is he going to need to know graphic design, a web coding language other than html, database design/interaction, security, etc. In other words, what additional help is he going to need.

answered Feb 24 '10 at 03:52
Jeff O
6,169 points


Be careful when choosing your web developer. Get everything in writing and never assume.
Only pay them for work that has been completed not before.

What are you wanting the website to do? Just be informative? Generate Leads? etc...Your website should be built with your goals in mind.

Make sure the developer builds the website with your end results in mind. If your are trying to optimize the site from an SEO perspective then you want to make sure he/she has experience in building sites that are web/SEO friendly.

answered Feb 24 '10 at 14:44
Nathan Smith
166 points

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