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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Advice On Hiring A Coder

    Guys & Girls (i think there are a few on here! lol)

    I've designed a site in photoshop but just dont have the time to code it. I've always done everything myself, so i'm new to hiring somelse to do the dirty work. I have a few queries i think some1 might be able to answer / advise me on:

    1) How should i go about find the most suitable person?

    2) I have a clear set of requirements, but have no idea how much it should cost to code.

    3) How can i be sure to get all source code & the project fully completed?

    4) When should i pay them? on completition? or what?

    cheers for all the comments

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    1) How should i go about find the most suitable person?

    Check local companies - search for 'your city web designers' or similar. Yellow Pages etc. Look at their portfolio, case studies, get references etc. You could try auction sites if you're feel like a real gamble.

    2) I have a clear set of requirements, but have no idea how much it should cost to code.

    Talk to several companies to get a better idea of the costs. Remember, local companies will charge more than a guy off Rentacoder in India, but they offer other advantages (local so can sort out problems face-to-face, any contract you sign is more easily enforceable, etc)

    3) How can i be sure to get all source code & the project fully completed?

    Have the contract state you get all rights upon full payment.

    4) When should i pay them? on completition? or what?

    Most developers take a deposit (33-50%) with the rest upon completion. Some take monthly payments, and some take full payment in advance. I hand nothing over until I get balancing payment.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Guru babyboy808's Avatar
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    I have recently used SPs marketplace to hire a coder, and couldn't have been happier with them, they were professional, easy to get on with and great customer service.

    If you want PM me for their email.

    1) How should i go about find the most suitable person?
    Examine their portfolios, that will cut most of the newbies from the pack, and try and chose someone's skills that match what you are trying to achieve.

    2) I have a clear set of requirements, but have no idea how much it should cost to code.
    Price what you think it will cost, then negotiate.

    3) How can i be sure to get all source code & the project fully completed?
    This will be down to you, check and testing unfortuntley.

    4) When should i pay them? on completition? or what?
    On completition, this will make them work for it.

  4. #4
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    Check references - call them and email them. If you email a few, check their IP address to make sure it is not the same at least. Before I found my current developer - I happened to check an IP address and it was the same person.

    Also dif you get a bid without giving them any information, run. They don't understand the project. Make sure you have a clear and concise scope.

    Depending on the size of the project, they might request 50% down or maybe divide it up in three payments. Make sure you have the complete source code and it is working on your website before issuing final payment.

    Also only gve them FTP access to what they need, nothing more, nothing less. And don't forget to delete that FTP account when they are done.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by babyboy808
    4) When should i pay them? on completition? or what?
    On completition, this will make them work for it.
    And this is why so many developers get ripped off by their fickle clients. No developer in his right mind would work for a new client with no deposit and structured payment process.

    A business relationship is about equal commitments from both sides, not a client holding all the cards and 'making them work for it'. I'd also be weary of any developer who was willing to work with no upfront payment, it would suggest that he was rather a green newbie.

    For me, if a client hasn't got the conviction in their plans to stump up a deposit, I am not willing to risk my valuable time, costs and overheads on the hope that my client won't disappear off the face of the planet or simply decide not to complete the project before I get my paycheck. If you're looking for a professional, trustworthy developer with a solid portfolio and shining references, treat him with respect and play the game properly - and remember that being so good, it's unlikely that he needs your business, so it's unlikely he's going to be willing to change his tried-and-trusted business processes.

  6. #6
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    thanks for advice, i'm starting to get my head around it all now, i'm based in the uk, do u think it would be best getting a UK developer? i've already had a number of PM's from developers who dont speak english very well

    Shadowbox: check your pm's

    cheers

  7. #7
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    Don't need to speak english well to code a layout in html. They just need to speak html well

  8. #8
    SitePoint Zealot
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    hahah good point, but i'm not after the HTML / CSS side of things, after a expereinced Java or PHP expert who has a track record of developing data driven sites

  9. #9
    SitePoint Co-founder Matt Mickiewicz's Avatar
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    Working with Contractors Made Easy:
    http://www.sitepoint.com/article/wor...ntractors-made
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    Follow me on Twitter.

  10. #10
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    Thanks matt - i'll have a browse through there

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Tyssen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowbox
    And this is why so many developers get ripped off by their fickle clients. No developer in his right mind would work for a new client with no deposit and structured payment process.
    It depends on what the job is. If you're just after a PSD being turned into a single page template, you're probably looking at 3-4 hours work - it's hardly worth asking for a deposit for that amount.

  12. #12
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    yeah i can see what your talking about but this is far from just a PSD being turned into a page template - thats easy stuff. This site will have to be coded by an expert in data driven sites - as it will require image and movie manipulation - forums - CC payments - gallery scripting - DB opitimisation ETC

    Still interested? lol

  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyssen
    It depends on what the job is. If you're just after a PSD being turned into a single page template, you're probably looking at 3-4 hours work - it's hardly worth asking for a deposit for that amount.
    Your right - for such small sums I wouldn't ask or a deposit, I would ask for full payment in advance (for new, unproven clients that is).

  14. #14
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    fair enough guys I'm quite happy to put a % down first. When advertising for a coder should i post the requirements or just a description of the kind of person i'm looking for?

  15. #15
    _ silver trophy ses5909's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_uk_ebuyer
    fair enough guys I'm quite happy to put a % down first. When advertising for a coder should i post the requirements or just a description of the kind of person i'm looking for?
    I would post a good description. As a coder myself, I like a good spec and if I'm looking for a job, the better description, the better the chance I would contact you.

    I don't see anything wrong with hiring someone online, but if you hire someone from forums, such as SP, there are things I would pay attention to. These are things I take into consideration if I was hiring someone.

    1. How long they've been a member.
    2. Their post count. (just an indicator of how active they are)
    3. Look at their posting history (look to see if they help people. This is important to me as it shows someone's character. They go out of their way to help others which is a nice trait)
    4. Google their username
    5. Check out the links in their signature

    Of course I would look at their portfolio and resume, but if i was hiring someone online these are things I would consider. I would be hesitant to hire a nameless/faceless person without any online reputation. When you work onine, quite often you build an online reputation of sorts. Someone is less likely do scam you or do a poor job if they have something to lose.

    Recently here we had someone sign up for a couple of jobs, get paid $150 deposit and disappear. Incidents like this are rare, but it can happen. Just do your research first!
    Sara

  16. #16
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    thanx ses5909, good advice - specially about checking their posts first & how long they have been a member. Being a java coder myself, i'll b able to tell right away if their trying sumthing on, i've always done all my work myself hence this thread

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_uk_ebuyer
    fair enough guys I'm quite happy to put a % down first. When advertising for a coder should i post the requirements or just a description of the kind of person i'm looking for?
    You should definitly post the requirements. Freelancers can only give you an estimate when they know the full scope of the project. It won't hurt also to list all the skills that the person should have.
    You can also ask them to show you some work that they design in the past.

  18. #18
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    The more you know about them the better, I try to look for people that have references from established members...

    And the more you tell them upfront the easier it is to work together. Plus adding requirements later just sets you up for a dispute over what was supposed to be done, how much it's worth, etc.

  19. #19
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    Do you think its better if you agree a total fee for the site, rather than go on an hourly rate as they could code slow on purpose. :S

  20. #20
    SitePoint Wizard LiquidReflex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_uk_ebuyer
    Do you think its better if you agree a total fee for the site, rather than go on an hourly rate as they could code slow on purpose. :S
    Unless it's some sort of small job, I would definitely have them provide a quote (or at least an estimate) for the job. Hopefully the person you're hiring isn't the type that would code slow on purpose (if you think they might, then you need to find a new programmer). However, for your sake I would get a total estimate since the time YOU think it's going to take and the time it actually may take could be quite different. For example, for smaller tedious jobs I bill hourly. A client gave me their print catalog and wanted me to scan all of the pages and create an online PDF version of it. I billed the time hourly and upon completion gave them the invoice ... they looked at the hours and proceeded to complain saying that "it was only scanning" which should have only taken minutes to complete!

    You don't want to all of a sudden receive your invoice and find out that it was double what you thought! Even if you're willing to pay that, it's best to have an idea for what you're getting in for ... just from a budgeting standpoint. Sometimes what seems like a simple task may not be so simple ... so try to get an estimate if possible.
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  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard CLKeenan's Avatar
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    I didnt read everyones reply, but I would definitely take a look at RentACoder.com. I have had some very good experiences with them for some of the projects I outsourced.

  22. #22
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    I have had positive experiences at GetaFreelancer.com and Elance.com. The providers value their ratings there and therefore work to make sure your satisfied. You can also use escrow at both places to ensure you're satisfied before you release the funds. I tend to treat coding like I would any other improvement project, the provider should always have more money owing than services owing. Be fair, but make sure you don't pay too much upfront to the point they would rather not do the work or it's not cost-effective to complete the work

  23. #23
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    thanks for all the replies. Think i'm going to post an advert on here and see what kind of response i get, as i know the coders on here practice good coding standards.

  24. #24
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_uk_ebuyer
    Do you think its better if you agree a total fee for the site, rather than go on an hourly rate as they could code slow on purpose. :S
    IMO, first get an estimate, then if that sounds okay, decide on an exact spec and get a fixed price quote. A good developer should have a very clear idea of how much he would charge for a specific set of requirements, and will probably charge by the hour only for additionally requested tasks that go beyong the originally agreed spec.

    Maybe it's just me, but I really don't like paying anyone by the hour - lawyers, accountants, plumbers, whatever. I always ask for a specific price, I don't like surprises and I certainly have no particular interest in how many hours it takes them to do the tasks for me, just as long as they do the job properly and deliver it to me by an agreed deadline.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowbox
    IMO, first get an estimate, then if that sounds okay, decide on an exact spec and get a fixed price quote. A good developer should have a very clear idea of how much he would charge for a specific set of requirements, and will probably charge by the hour only for additionally requested tasks that go beyong the originally agreed spec.

    Maybe it's just me, but I really don't like paying anyone by the hour - lawyers, accountants, plumbers, whatever. I always ask for a specific price, I don't like surprises and I certainly have no particular interest in how many hours it takes them to do the tasks for me, just as long as they do the job properly and deliver it to me by an agreed deadline.
    yep...me too, and I am a lawyer!! LOL!


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