Hire a Web Developer

Looking to outsource web development? Finding a developer that you’re comfortable working with is as important as your project itself. At Crew, we’ll hand-pick a freelance web developer to bring your idea to life.

Hire from our exclusive network of freelancers

Crew is a network of freelance designers, developers, and small studios, matched to you in under 24 hours

Juan — web developer

Juan

San Francisco, California, United States of America

Currently based in San Francisco, Juan Arreguin is a designer specializing in Branding, Identity, UI/UX, mobile design, graphic design and web design. Take a look at his stellar work and wide skill set here: https://app.crew.co/user_profiles/view/58175

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Luke — web developer

Luke

New York, United States of America

Luke Miler is a designer and developer based out of Berlin, who has built an impressive client list with the likes of Tinder, Skullcandy, and Basecamp. Take a look at his full profile here: https://app.crew.co/user_profiles/view/29358

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Justin — web developer

Justin

New York, United States of America

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Chris — web developer

Chris

San Francisco, California, United States of America

Chris Gerringer is a San Francisco-based full-stack developer and artist with a talent for sharp UI/UX. He's done some pretty solid work for Particulr (http://particulr.co/) and Cory Vines (https://ca.coryvines.com/yearinreview?locale=en), for example. You can see more of his work on his Crew profile: https://app.crew.co/user_profiles/view/21226

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Bradley — web developer

Bradley

San Francisco, California, United States of America

Bradley is the founder at Scal.io, a small agency whose work has been featured on TechCrunch, Wired and Mashable. Needless to say, their iOS work is pretty damn sharp. Brad and his team designed and developed the most recent version of the Brit & Co app. Check out their work here: https://app.crew.co/user_profiles/view/19028

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Vetted by Crew. Perfect for you.

Crew connects you with a top freelance web developer and a smart project management system created specifically for design and development projects. 99% of our projects have been completed on time, on budget and issue-free.


In the past four years, millions of people have used websites and apps created by a Crew freelance web developer or studio. We helped Eventbrite find a developer to update their web app that’s done over $1.5 billion in ticket sales, and when blogger and Venture Capitalist Om Malik needed a new home for his writing and photography, he turned to us for help finding a developer. We’ve also helped startups like Blubel, Zipbooks and Companion create websites that stand out from the masses.

I’ve worked with a lot of designers and there’s often a lot of drama. But Crew just nailed it. They’ve been very good at making everything work for me and just everything is amazing.”

— Om Malik, Founder of Gigaom and Partner at True Ventures

My Crew experience has been great. The process is very thoughtful.”

— Jason Fried, Founder/CEO of Basecamp

Which type of freelance web developer do you need?

Web Developers are typically split into two camps: front-end web developer and back-end web developers. The type of web developer you’ll need depends on your project’s requirements.

Front-end web developers

Front-end web developers create elements such as mobile app tap gestures or website animations using development languages like HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Simply put, they make what you see and interact with online.

The rotating text on Moodboard is an example of what can be created with front-end code.
The rotating text on Moodboard is an example of what can be created with front-end code.

Some product designers are familiar with front-end development and can understand the programming constraints, making it easier to craft a product experience that looks and feels exactly as intended.

Back-end web developers

On the other end, back-end web developers create the parts of your product that function behind the scenes.

Back-end web developers create elements like databases to hold information entered in the product, or algorithms that operate while pages load using back-end programming languages and frameworks such as PHP, Python and Ruby on Rails.

To show you what a back-end web developer can do, here’s the online form for starting a project in Crew. The database that stores the entered information is an example of back-end development.

All that sweet, sweet, information is stored in a database, created by a back-end web developer.
Back-end web developers can build databases to store that sweet, sweet information.

How to hire a web developer

A 3-step guide to helping you find the right person

Whether you’re making a website, mobile app, or logo, knowing how to hire a freelance web developer—and how to hire the right one for your job—will be one of the most important decisions you make.

Why? Because even your idea, which might seem like everything, is worthless without proper execution.

The challenge is, you likely want to know if a web developer is the right fit for your project before you start working together. You don’t want to waste time and/or money working with someone who might not be the right fit.

At Crew, we’ve refined a process to increase the odds of choosing the right professional to work with.

It’s not a foolproof recipe yet, but it has improved our ability to identify the right freelance web developer before we start a project and can help you in your search of how to hire a freelance web developer.

So, let’s get started. 

The most important things we look at first to assess  web developer before starting a project are:

  • Quality of work: How well does his/her past work fit within the project we’re looking to do?
  • Quality of communication: Whether it’s offsite or in-person, how well does he/she communicate information?
  • Ability to execute: What can we expect in terms of timelines and process when working with him/her? Has he/she executed well before

Assessing quality of work

How do you know if a freelance web developer is right for your project? See what they’ve done in the past. 

An experienced web developer should have a personal website and easily be able to point to at least 3 examples of past work that relates to your project.


Personal site of freelance web developer Joshua Gross

Now, let’s say you’re looking to hire a web developer to help make it easier for people to interact with your website or app.

Looking at their past work, don’t just look at the visual appeal of their past projects. Click through the screens of their examples and note how you feel as you go through them. 

As you click around, do you understand what to do next?

Apart from clicking the links and looking at the projects, you should also find out what role the creative professional you’re looking at hiring played on each example project.

What did they personally contribute?

Designing the logo on a website would be a much different role than designing the core product interface.

Granted, a past project example might have changed since the designer you’re looking at working with contributed to it. But if that’s the case, you should ask to see the design work they did do in mockup form or ask to see another example project.

It may seem obvious, but when you’re reviewing the work, look for projects similar in scope to yours. A great designer who built a single-page website may have been the right fit for that job but might not be the right fit for designing your iPhone app.

If you’re looking to hire a web developer, this process can be a bit trickier.

While it’s hard not to evaluate past work based on how it looks, that’s not always the fairest representation of what was done, especially when it comes to something like backend development.

Instead, ask the web developer you’re looking at working with if you can message a past client.

As a rule, ask any creative professional you’re looking to hire for at least 3 examples of past projects similar to yours and understand what level of contribution they had on each of these projects. (We’ll cover this more later)

Relate this back to the type of work you need to determine if there’s a level of experience from similar projects that would make him/her a good potential fit for your project.

Assessing quality of communication 

At first, it may seem like the quality of work is the most important thing when you’re looking to hire a freelance web developer, but from our experience, working with someone who is a strong communicator is just as valuable, if not more

Before choosing to work with a web developer, it’s a good idea to have a call to get a feel for his/her ability to communicate. After seeing the portfolio of a designer, you might feel excited and ready to start the project right away, but it’s important to not just look at the quality of past work as the only qualification to hire someone.

Emailing back-and-forth is good, but having at least one conversation by phone or in person can reveal more about what it might be like working together than almost anything else.

You’ll get a much stronger idea if your your communication styles are in sync or not. During the project you’ll be communicating regularly, so it’s important to at least get a taste for how this feels before you kick off.

When we have a call or meeting with a web developer we’re looking to work with, we often like to discuss the level of communication we expect to have on the project and ask how he/she typically keeps clients updated.

There are many ways to communicate during a project:

  • Weekly emails 
  • Calls 
  • A project management tool (like Basecamp or Trello
  • Or a combination of these things.
Make sure it’s clear how communication will flow during the project and that the web developer you’re looking to work with will be comfortable working that way.

Independent web developer Joshua Gross, has over 10 years of experience working as a freelancer. Reflecting on his experience, Joshua wrote:

“No matter how good your designs, how fast your code, or how amazing the result, poor communication will sink projects and end client relationships even faster than a poor work product.”Joshua Gross

Make sure you know what communication expectations you have and discuss those before you hire anyone. Even if they change during the project, setting these expectations for communication before a project starts will help remove the most common way creative projects go wrong: poor communication.

Assessing their ability to execute

An idea doesn’t exist without execution. 

To find out about a professional’s ability to execute, ask for at least 3 references from past clients and/or project collaborators.

Contact each reference and ask these questions:

  • Was work delivered on time?
  • Did the project stay on budget?
  • How happy were you with the end result?

At the same time, input from references might hold more or less weight depending on what you’re building.

For instance, if you need to work with a web developer to help build the backend of a robust social networking app that has similar functionality to Facebook, a reference from a past client that needed a custom blog would probably not be the most valid.

Ideally, ask for references where the web developer you’re looking to hire had to deliver on a project that was similar in scope to yours.

Speaking with references can give you feel for how a web developer works and executes on a project. But at the same time, references shouldn’t be the only thing you use to make the decision of who to hire.

There’s a good chance most client references you get will be good. After all, they will likely be provided by the designer or web developer you’re looking to hire.

Yet these references can still give you insight into someone else’s experience working with the web developer you’re thinking about hiring, especially if you ask the right questions.

If you’re still not sure, start with a small project

If you’re not sure about how to hire a freelance web developer for your project you can make things less risky by working on a small part of the project together.

This will give you a chance to see what it’s like working together when the stakes aren’t as high. 

By doing a small, initial project, this is a way to ‘date before getting married’ so to speak, and ensures both you and your creative professional feel comfortable before committing on a long-term project.

For larger projects, it’s common to set up a first milestone, which could be used as your initial project. By doing a smaller initial project, you’ll likely get the strongest idea of a web developer’s work quality, communication, and ability to execute compared to anything else you could evaluate.


Finding the right people to work with is one of the most challenging parts of any project. Businesses regularly cite ‘hiring the right people’ as the biggest challenge they face so don’t beat yourself up if you miss the mark off the bat.

By following the steps above, we’ve increased our chances of hiring the right people.

We don’t get it perfect every time, and chance is always a factor when it comes to hiring people. The point is to balance this chance with a few more data points and push the odds in your favor.

As a reference, here’s a summary of the steps mentioned here:

  • Assess quality of work by asking for a personal website and at least 3 past project samples
  • Assess quality of communication by having at least 1 phone call or in-person meeting before hiring
  • Assess ability to execute by getting at least 3 references from past clients

Lastly, if you want a hand finding a talented, vetted designer or developer get in touch and we’ll help you find the best person to bring your idea to life.


You’re in good company.

Thousands of projects have been completed by Crew’s award-winning design and development community for some of the world’s most respected companies.

See who rolls with Crew







Next Web

“…eliminating a lot of the overhead in order to make high-quality design and development work both affordable for clients and profitable for talent.”

Techcrunch

“…what makes Crew different is its high bar in vetting quality web developers and designers.”

Pando

“A design marketplace for those without the time to wait through the long and expensive process of website and mobile design.”

Hire from our exclusive network of freelancers

Crew is a network of freelance designers, developers, and small studios, matched to you in under 24 hours