Any business, be it big or small, puts a lot of effort into its online presence. Having a well-designed website falls pretty high on the list of priorities, and for a good reason. First impressions can last and your website is arguably the first thing your potential clients interact with. Of course, if you’re just starting out to test the waters, nothing really stops you from using the wealth of available website templates and filling them up with relevant content, strapping on a basic e-commerce module or a CTA and launch your brainchild into the world. But if it’s not visually appealing… you may have a problem on your hands.
There are many aspects that need to be kept in check if you’re launching a site. SEO and UI/UX immediately spring to mind, but there’s another thing of note here – the effect a front-end developer can have on relaying your vision to the world.
It’s natural for those unaffiliated not to know the difference between a front-end developer and a web designer, mistaking them for one and the same. This division is a subject of argument, but in simple terms, the former is in charge of transposing design ideas onto the site, while the latter is in charge of the user experience and interactions. Since an experienced developer is likely to have been involved in numerous design tests, it’s fair to say that their insight, without input from a dedicated UI/UX specialist, is quite valuable.
I suggest we take a look at how a great front-end developer can help you and your business thrive.
Benefits and Qualities To Look For In A Potential Front-End Developer
An experienced front-end developer is likely to have substantial design input as well as development, which makes them a 2-in-1 employee for all intents and purposes. An example I can provide is the landing page of NerdyMates, which was conceived and developed by a single person. Without giving too much away, conversions and user involvement were increased by a presentable margin.
With that out of the way, it’s time to decide who you need to hire – a freelancer or an in-house developer. There are many factors that any business owner needs to keep in mind.
An office-based front-end developer may be a costly asset, while a freelancer usually charges per project. Of course, a lot depends on the skill-set of any given person. Current freelance job market is quite competitive, and sometimes people may simply be in need of a job and may agree to lower salary/wage rates regardless of their expectations. However, if your business and online presence develop quickly, you may want to keep your developer on retainer and ready for work. Once your project reaches a point when it’s sustainable to hire an in-house dev – consider doing it.
Experience and skills play a pivotal role, there’s no doubt about that. Years of working experience matter, but not as much as you may think. Consider the following. Let’s say there’s a developer who has 5 years of experience working for a single company, not much of variety in terms of projects. And then there’s this other guy who has been in numerous companies during the past 3 years and has been involved with countless projects, ranging from fitness to marketing. Who’s the more versatile out of the two? You can only answer that question by exploring portfolios and evaluating the scope of those projects.
Ease Of Communication
Failure to communicate is likely to result in lost revenue and downtime. This is when having an in-house dev gets major points, collaboration and feedback becomes much easier. In contrast, urgent communication with a freelance developer may become a tangled process due to unavailability, technical issues and the like.
Freelance front-end developers are more versatile. By working on different projects in various niches they’ll definitely know what to bring to the table. Freelance front-end developers will suggest features that you may benefit from.
Skilled Freelance Front-End Developer: Myth or Reality?
Freelance front-end developers are in high demand and finding a specialist that’s the right fit for you may take a while, but they’re definitely far from being a myth.
An experienced developer will always have something to add to your project, no matter the scale. At any rate, a professional freelance front-end developer is an invaluable asset for creating and sustaining the online image of your business. The importance of such a thing is hard to overstate.