Today, we'll discuss what it takes to find a Shopify developer, partner, or agency.
At IWD, we’ve been helping clients with their Shopify sites for well over a decade. And while our Shopify agency is always here to help, it doesn’t bother us one bit if you want to explore your options first. If you have an eCommerce brand you are looking to grow online, hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6 Steps to Finding the Best Possible Shopify Developer for Your Website
Every company is different.
Likewise, every company has some unique goals for their Shopify sites.
However, assuming you want to hire a developer who can help you build a site that’s successful at attracting traffic, offering shoppers a fantastic user experience, and then turning them into customers, youmustfollow these six steps.
1. What type of team do you really need?
The first thing you need to decide on when looking for a Shopify developer is simple:
What’s the result you want?
Do you already have a marketing strategy, so you just need someone to implement it with your Shopify site?
Or do you want someone who can help you develop that strategyfirstand then develop your site with it in mind?
If you are looking for more of the latter - a strategic partner - then spend some time considering what this relationship will look like.
How often will you meet to review analytics, strategy, and optimization?
Are you going to allocate part of your budget to giving this team the time to review your site’s current metrics, so they can come back with suggestions for optimizing your site?
Now, if you are just looking for someone to implement your ideas, you still need to confirm that they’re able to carry out the entirety of what this will entail.
Does the agency you’re considering have designers, project managers, testers, and developers on staff?
If you find that one person is trying to handle many of these roles, you will most likely need to either accept longer deadlines or unexpected delays.
2. Do you need a team that is responsible for marketing and growth?
While I absolutely love the many benefits of owning a Shopify site, they’re not worth much if you can’t bring traffic to them.
Does your brand need assistance with SEO, paid search, email marketing, or social media marketing?
Unless you have your own in-house team, you may want to consider a Shopify partner that has these capabilities. Having this all in one agency allows them to move quicker and be more accountable for the final results and growth.
If you're not sure which types of marketing services would work best in your industry, this is one more reason to choose the second of the two options above and work with an agency that can offer you guidance.
3. Get a contract!
Even if you choose a developer or agency with a stellar reputation, I still can’t recommend enough that you get a contract in place beforeanywork begins.
Just like with any type of relationship, the one with your Shopify expert could start with rainbows and butterflies...but still end up in shambles.
No one ever goes into this kind of commitment thinking they will need to be backed up by a contract, but it is still always prudent to do so.
I can think of multiple examples where a company hired a developer without a contract only to regret this confidence later. For example, once things went sour and the clients wanted out, there have been developers who basically said, “Fine, but I own the code I created. You’ll need to start from scratch without me or face legal ramifications.”
4. Set clear due dates and deliverables
By setting clear due dates and deliverables upfront, everyone is on the same page from the very beginning of the project. Put these due dates and deliverables in the contract and no one can suggest otherwise later on.
Anddo notwait until the end of the project to check to see if everything is actually done as agreed upon. Schedule small deliverables along the way, so you can see and check the progress of your Shopify site as you go.
5. Find a team you actually enjoy working with!
Don’t underestimate how big a difference it makes to actually like the Shopify agency or developer you hire.
Even if you think your strategy is perfect, chances are that you’ll come across a challenge or two that you weren’t expecting. It’smucheasier to address those when you’re always happy to speak with your team.
So, when you set out to consider all of your options, give points to the Shopify agencies who you really seem to get along well with.
6. Set meeting times and working hours
Finally, before you make your decision and sign that all-important contract, agree on set work hours and timelines,especiallyif you are working with developers in different time zones.
Nothing will frustrate you more than going back and forth about the same question, day after day, when it could have just been handled over a quick phone call.
Delays will pile up.
Deadlines will be missed.
Gray hairs will be grown.
I’m absolutely not sayingdon’twork with people from different time zones. Some of the best Shopify developers I’ve ever met have been on the other side of the globe.
Just be sure that, no matterwherethey live, they commit in writing to working hours and set meeting times.
Choosing the Right Shopify Developer or Agency for Your Company Takes Time
Before I go, let me give you one last piece of advice: take your time before you commit to a developer or agency for your Shopify site.
That doesn’t mean waiting years, just that implementing my advice isn’t something you should be able to do overnight.
You want to choose a developer or agency that will fit your unique business needs like a glove, deliver results on time, and make the entire process as enjoyable as possible.
If you have any specific questions about what this might entail for your specific company, feel free to contact us for answers.