Hiring a freelance web developer: everything you need to know

Posted in Resources 5 minute read

Hiring a freelance web developer

Whether you’re a startup looking to establish your brand or an established company seeking a website overhaul, hiring a freelance web developer can be a game-changer, especially if you lack the skills or resources in-house. 

This comprehensive guide aims to walk you through the key aspects of hiring a freelance web developer, ensuring a smooth and successful collaboration.

Why should I hire a professional web developer?

Hiring a professional web developer offers numerous advantages that can determine the success of your website. Here are several reasons why you should consider hiring a professional web developer:

Expertise and skills

Professional web developers possess a deep understanding of web development technologies, programming languages, and industry best practices. Their expertise allows them to create high-quality, well-structured, and functional websites that meet both technical and design standards.

Customisation and personalisation

A professional web developer can tailor your website to meet specific business needs. They have the skills to create a unique and personalised solution, ensuring that your website stands out from competitors and aligns with your brand identity.

Responsive design

A professional web developer understands the importance of responsive design, ensuring that your website functions seamlessly across various devices and screen sizes. This adaptability is crucial in today’s mobile-driven landscape and contributes to a positive user experience.

Efficiency and timeliness

Professional web developers are experienced in project management and can efficiently handle the development process. They can set realistic timelines, meet deadlines, and deliver a finished product within the specified timeframe, ensuring a smooth and timely launch.


As your business grows, your website may need to evolve and scale accordingly. Professional developers plan for scalability, making it easier to expand and add new features to your website as your business requirements change, without having to rely too heavily on third party apps or plugins that can slow your site down. 


Security is a top priority in web development. Professional developers implement robust security measures to protect your website from vulnerabilities and cyber threats. They follow best practices to safeguard sensitive data and ensure a secure online environment for users.

Custom development vs. templates

While website templates are readily available, a professional developer can provide a custom solution tailored to your specific needs. This not only sets your website apart but also allows for greater flexibility in design and functionality. For example, Shopify users have access to over 1000 pre-built themes. And while these themes can be a great solution for new or smaller businesses, they can be restrictive as a business starts to grow. A freelance web developer can design and build a custom theme from scratch, ensuring your brand is beautifully showcased and functionality fits your customers’ specific needs.

Ongoing support and maintenance

Professional developers offer ongoing support and maintenance services, ensuring that your website remains up-to-date, secure, and optimised. This long-term commitment helps you address issues promptly, implement updates, and keep your website running smoothly. You don’t want to end up in a situation where something goes wrong with your website and you don’t know how to fix it, as this will cost you sales and potentially deter website users from coming back. When it comes to the scalability and success of your website, constant maintenance is absolutely crucial.

How much does it cost to hire a freelance web developer?

Exact cost figures can vary, as there are a number of factors at play when it comes to pricing a website build. The more experience a developer has, or the more specialised their skillset, the more they will tend to charge. The project itself also impacts cost, as the complexity and timeframe will be taken into consideration, as well as other things like whether a migration is required from an existing platform. You can find more information about the cost of hiring a freelancer in our previous post.

How do I hire a web developer?

1. Define your project scope

Before you start searching for a freelance web developer, it’s essential to clearly define your project scope. Outline your website’s purpose, functionality, design preferences, and any specific features you require. Having a well-defined project scope will not only help you communicate your needs effectively but also assist potential developers in providing accurate quotes and timelines.

2. Research and identify suitable developers

Begin your search by exploring online platforms or specialised websites. Look for developers with a strong portfolio, positive reviews, and relevant experience in your industry. Additionally, consider seeking recommendations from colleagues or industry forums to find developers with a proven track record.

3. Set a budget

Establishing a clear budget from the outset is essential. Be transparent about your budget constraints, and ensure that you and any freelance developer you work with are on the same page regarding payment schedules and any potential additional costs.

3. Review portfolios and past work

A developer’s portfolio is a window into their skills and capabilities. Pay close attention to the projects they have worked on previously. Assess the design aesthetics, functionality, and user experience of their past work to determine if their style aligns with your vision. If they have a lot of experience working with clients in your industry or on sites similar to what you’re aiming to achieve, then they’re likely a good fit for your project.

4. Review technical skills and expertise

While a visually appealing website is crucial, the underlying technology is equally important. Ensure that the developer possesses the necessary technical skills, such as proficiency in programming languages (HTML, CSS, JavaScript), experience with content management  systems or ecommerce platforms (WordPress, Shopify), and knowledge of responsive design principles.

5. Get a proposal

Once you’ve found a developer (or several developers) with the right skills, experience and knowledge, initiate a conversation and request a proposal. This will make it easier to make a decision on whether to proceed or not as they will lay out all of the work involved, how long it will take and how much it will cost. The ability to understand your vision and translate it into a functional website is key.

6. Decide a timeline and key milestones

Define a realistic timeline for your project and establish milestones to track progress. Clearly communicate deadlines and expectations to the developer, ensuring that the project stays on track. Flexibility is key, but having a well-structured timeline helps both parties manage expectations and avoid delays. Make sure that quality assurance processes are in place to ensure that your site is working as it should be before any work is signed off.

7. Sort the legalities and contracts

Protect your interests by formalising your agreement through a well-drafted contract. Clearly outline the scope of work, payment terms, deadlines, and any other relevant details. A legally binding contract ensures both parties understand their responsibilities, minimising the risk of misunderstandings or disputes.

Post-launch support

It’s wise to discuss what will happen once your site launches, While it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the build, many business owners fail to factor the on-going support and site maintenance required to run a successful site in the long run into their plans, 

Discuss post-launch support and maintenance options with your web developer. Having a plan for updates, growth and troubleshooting ensures the longevity of your website, and makes sure the time and money spent on the build doesn’t go to waste.

Hire a freelancer without the fuss

At Flow we’ve got top freelance talent on tap. If you’re worried about finding the right website developer on your own, we can make the process a whole lot easier by matching your project with one of our fully vetted freelance experts, so you can rest assured that your new website is in a safe pair of hands.

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