How to check if your web developer did a good job?

Let's assume you're in the situation that you need to find out if a certain website was developed in a "good" way. Either a web project just finished or a new one is planned: How do you evaluate the work of a web developer?

If you're in the situation that you need good web developers: find out if they did good work in the past by checking the websites of their portfolio. And if web developers just finished a website for you: check out the website itself.

But how do you do that?

First step: Validate the code

Being able to write correct HTML and CSS code is the job of a web developer.

You can validate the HTML with the W3C Validator.

If there are two or three errors in the page: don't panic. Instead of assuming that they didn't do good work, write a mail to the developer. But if there are dozens or hundreds of errors they obviously didn't know what they were doing.

Second step: Check the technical details

A good site to look up the technical details is Seitwert. You can analyze your website there in various ways. Unfortunately the website is only available in German and we're looking for an english pendant.

It's important to mention that the "technical details" in Seitwert is the part web developers can easily take care of, the rest is more complex and includes the content generators or a SEO optimizing company.

Still a 13/13 ranking in the technical details is easy to reach if the web developer knows what he's doing.

Third step: Check out if the website displays correctly in the major browsers

There's no need to check the website in a browser no one uses but there is a certain number of browsers that need to be supported by a website. You can check out which browsers are currently in use by reading the W3C Schools Browser Statistics

After you decided on the browsers you want to check go to Browsershots to test it.

The result

If the website performs well in all those three areas you can say that your developer did a proper job.

There are a lot of advantages for valid pages:

Your website will be forward-compatible, so will have less troubles adapting your website to new technologies and different platforms. This will save you money.

Googles and other search engines spiders will be able to interpret the content of your site without errors and therefore rank your site better. This will get you more traffic.

Also valid code is the first step for accessible pages, not only for web crawlers but also for people with disabilities.

Is that everything?

No, definitely not. There's much more to a website than those tree steps. For example:

Also important is the chemistry between client and the developers: Are they people you like to work with?

Also there are some questions that don't necessary need to be solved by a web developer:

So there's much more. But the three steps mentioned above are the basics of a good website and therefore they are a indicator if the developers knew what they were doing.


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