Making A Paid Request

Be specific, know what you want
I also stressed this a lot in the article on "Gathering ideas for development". As a webmaster, it is always important to know what you want. The more familiar you are with exactly where you're going with a certain project or website, the more familiar you can make the people who are helping to make it happen. If you are confused or vague when making a request, chances are that the people who can actually help you will be just as confused

Posting A Paid Request

  • Always include a detailed outline for any request you make. The more detail you include, the less chances there are for error.
    • The documentation on your project can make or break the success of it. Consider this like the "Business Plan" of your project. Create documentation similar to how this article is formatted (headings, listings, etc.)

  • Cover every aspect of your project.
    • If multiple sections are required, be sure to outline the requirements for these sections and the functions needed.
    • If there are functions needed both for the end-user, and on the administrative side of your website, be sure to include that as well.

  • Include mockups if applicable.
    • A mockup doesn't have to be anything more than an image (made on paint or photoshop or any other image-editing software) showing more or less what you're looking for.

  • Include links if applicable.
    • If there are any existing websites that have something more or less like what you're looking for, include the url in the request. Include the things you do like as well as what you do don't.

Hiring For A Paid Request

  • Do your homework on the developer
    • Do they have a website for their services? If so, check it out. How credible does it look? Have you heard of this website before? Do they appear to have a broad (and satisfied) customer-range?
    • Ask for references. If you do not know who this developer is or haven't seen any references for this person, don't hesitate to ask. Any successful developer should have the resources needed in order to make you feel as safe as possible.
    • Are they contacting you via a forum? If so, check their profile on that forum. See the posts they've made, check out the relationships they have with certain users or comments users have made about them. This will help you have a better understanding of who this person is.

  • Know the value of the project
    • You can check out "Gathering ideas for development" for a bit more on this. However, it is always important to know the value of your project.
    • Is the developer charging too much or too little? Don't hesitate to ask for more quotes.
    • "You get what you pay for". This is true online as well. Just because someone offers to work for cheap, does not mean that their work will be Quality. As a matter of fact, expect to pay more for Quality work.
    • Are you willing to allow the developer to resell any work they make for you? Some developers sell their products and services to several people. If your idea is a popular one, the developer may be willing to do the work for less and sell it to more.

  • What kind of rates are you being offered?
    • Is the developer charging you based on a fixed rate or an hourly/weekly rate?

Finalizing a paid request
So you've posted your request and you've found a developer to take on the project. Now, lets get to business.
  • Communication, communication, communication
    • Be sure to keep in contact with your developer as needed. Ask them what means of communication they offer. Do they deal with instant messaging clients when talking to customers? Do they keep in contact via email? If so, how often are they available to respond?
    • The more communication is made, the more likely you are to have a satisfying final result.

  • Request updates
    • Request updates along the way. You can begin by asking exactly when an update will be made available. Whether they're sending you screenshots via email or live demos, it is always important to keep up-to-date with the work you are requesting.
    • Will the developer be working directly on your website? If so, then you get the flexibility of course of "live updates". Be sure to ask them if any errors will turn up along the way as a result of working directly on your website.

  • Ask for suggestions, solve a problem before it becomes "too much"
    • As a developer, this person has probably dealt with more websites than you have. For this reason, they should be highly qualified to make suggestions to your projects. This can be towards your benefit, to feel free to ask. If not them, ask members on your website if they have any ideas to add-on.
    • See something that can be a potential problem? Point it out! It's always better to deal with potential problems in a project the second they come about, as oppose to waiting towards the end.

  • Keep contact information on this developer, or any documentation related towards it. This will help you to later make improvements or changes. If you decide to hire the same developer, you'll have their contact info saved. If that's not possible, you'll at least have a product and documentation to show a new developer.

Now, request away! May all of your vbulletin dreams come true