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March 2, 2008

Add website features with contract developers

Filed under: Quality of Life — estreet @ 12:29 pm
Tags: ,

When I had the idea for eSeller Street 3 years ago, I looked to friends to help with development. Well, it turns out that model doesn’t work. I went through 7 friendships. Nice track record, eh?

Then I picked up the PHP development myself for the next couple of years. It was arduous but worked fine.

I’ve paid my dues in full. Today I’m ready to jump into the hiring pool and apply a team to www.AuctionCritters.com.

Are you ready to add features to your website by hiring development contractors? Here’s some tips to make the most of your contractor experience:

  1. Clean house: get rid of prototypes and unused files on your server.
  2. Use version control software and an issue tracking system because you need complete control over your source code. I use www.hosted-projects.com which offers Subversion (SVN) and Trac or BugZilla for <$7 a month. The developer you hire can set this up for you.
  3. Spend 30% of the alloted time on specifications.
  4. Keep communication through your issue tracking system. Any contractor understands the importance of using tickets to open and close issues.
  5. Create development and QA/test subdomains on your server. Once new features are proven in these subdomains, move them to your production domain. Your contractor can create these for you.
  6. Price: expect to pay $10 to $25 per hour. You minimize the total developer cost when you do steps 1-5.

Find a contractor through referrals or on www.Elance.com. You should choose an Elance contractor based on feedback (95%+ is good), portfolio and listed skillset.

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