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I have seen many people come in and looking to hire a Developer to help them with their site/forum. It is rare that someone from here takes on the jobs. Not for the lack of interest maybe , but from the lack of information about the job that is being offered.
You must be clear about what you are looking for. Provide a sketch or mock up of what you are looking for in design if that is what you need help with. Or a flow chart of how you want the site to run and realistic expectations about what it would cost you to hire someone.
It is important that you research the going rates for hiring developers . Here is an example of what the Job might fetch yearly for a developer of a variety of levels .
There is a difference between a web designer and a web developer. Even though both involve similar aspects and intersect at some level. Their income is what varies from one to the other. Form and function. The latter being the most important hence fetches more money.
Be prepared to be able to pay the going rate or be satisfied with lower standards by less capable people.
The Difference Between Web Designer and a Web Developer
A web designer is a person who uses graphics programs such as Photoshop, Gimp, Fireworks and the like to create website skins (layouts) and then use another program (such as Dreamweaver or Visual Web Developer) to make their design come to life for the web. They almost solely rely on the design views the program they use provides.
Why do we need to address the difference?
While the difference between web designer and web developer may not be overly significant to many it becomes one of the most frustrating things webmasters have to worry about, especially if they are attempting to get a job as a freelance professional or from someone without the knowledge of a difference.
This may not appear to be that big of a deal, but when you are talking pay it becomes important. The high end salary for a web designer is between $52,000 and $85,000. Now, again we have defined a web designer as someone who uses programs like Dreamweaver in design view to put together a skin they created in a program like Photoshop, but the real-world defines their job as the following:
“A web designer usually has some experience with graphic design and with actually building a web page; research into user experience and effective testing strategies can also be beneficial to the art of web design.”
Now, look at the pay grade for a web developer. They earn (on the high end again) between $76,000 and $104,000, and their real-world definition looks like so:
“ Write, modify, and debug software for web sites. Write code to generate web pages, access databases and business logic servers. Work with designers and content producers. Test and document software for web sites.”
The common webmaster
Just because web developer and web designer is defined as different jobs and has a different pay grade really doesn’t tell us what we want to know: Which category do I fall into? There is a simple answer to that, you either fall clearly into one of the definitions I placed above, or you are a hybrid of the two. The latter is becoming more and more common in today’s age as people need to be able to offer their employer more than the next person to get a job.
So, what is wrong with being a web designer (besides the lower pay grade) ?
Nothing is wrong with being a web designer. The problem lies with those people who say they are that which they aren’t. I am talking about people claiming to be web developers who don’t know any backend (server side) programming languages and have never had to deal with modifying a database in their life. These are the people who drive down the pay the real web developers can expect for their toils. You must confirm they know what they claim to know by asking for example of their work. That or some education degree that certifies them in the field. After all, you are going to pay these people so it does not hurt to check them out. They will check you out to see if you are for real too. This is business.
Relying on a program is something that should never happen to a web developer; they should use what is available, but accomplish their task no matter the programs available.
Know what you need and choose the right person to accomplish it.
Choose a Web Developer to get a site Up and Functional.
This Developer must have a good sense of the asthetics of what you want to convey to your users. Once the site is up and running and you find there is a need to further the design, then hire a designer who can "Skin" the site and make it awesome.
If you can't afford the going rate, you should learn some of this yourself, at least the basics so you can understand how to fix and install things yourself with the help of others who are willing to give you tips along the way.