How to hire freelance Web developers in 2024

Updated on July 12, 2024
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Kelly Wilson
Written by Kelly Wilson

Strategist and entrepreneur, with experience in hiring developers across various industries. Kelly has established herself as a trusted expert in identifying and recruiting top tech talent. She shares advanced tips on how to identify the right talent, create hiring strategies, develop your tech teams and much more.

Expertise: IT Recruiting, Tech, Marketing

Building a web project from scratch or revamping an existing one? Our comprehensive hiring guide is your roadmap to success. We delve into the intricacies of hiring web developers, offering expert advice, practical tips, and a curated list of top talent platforms. From frontend wizards to backend gurus, our guide helps you find the right professionals for your unique project requirements. Gain insights into the hiring process, evaluate candidates effectively, and create exceptional web experiences that leave a lasting impact.

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Here are the top 5 sites to hire freelance Web developers:

Based on our research among online hiring platforms

1. Toptal

Initially created with tech talent in mind, Toptal hosts a network of talented, high-quality freelancers for web development and website design. If you want to be sure that a freelance web developer is up to the job, hiring a front-end web developer from Toptal is likely your best option.

Why? Toptal boasts a developer base that understands CSS, PHP, Python, WordPress, and most other programming languages or frameworks you throw their way. Their trademark system for vetting talent allows for only the best to become a part of their community. According to Toptal, only 3% of web developers make it through their battery of technical tests and comprehensive vetting process.

Key points:

  • Enjoy a risk-free trial for up to 5 days.
  • Completed over 60,000 projects for 25K+ satisfied clients.
  • Trustpilot rating of 4.8 out of 5.

2. Hired

Hired helps employers easily find web developers and front-end developers. On Hired, you can use their pipeline to hire developers to work within your development process. You can create a company profile, and search for candidates to fill out your development team using their search algorithm (which can eliminate gender and racial identifiers for fairer hiring), and request interviews with candidates to review your project requirements.

Why else do we love Hired? It's great for finding expert web programmers who are actively searching for new opportunities, have relevant experience, and might even be in your area.

Key points:

  • Browse role-based skill assessment results to ensure a developer’s proficiency.
  • Filter candidates by their published salary requirements and work preferences.
  • Choose from flexible pricing plans based on your hiring needs.

3. Upwork

If recruiting services and job boards aren't your first choice, you might want to consider a freelance marketplace like Upwork.

Upwork has one of the largest marketplaces of registered website developers. You can hire contractors for a few simple coding tasks or begin a long-term relationship with a series of complex projects. If you like the idea of finding, interviewing, and managing freelance web developers, Upwork's marketplace will likely meet your needs.

Key points:

  • Talent badges make finding developers with positive customer feedback easy.
  • Expert-Vetted developers are among the top 1% on the platform.
  • Talent Specialists find developers who successfully fulfilled similar project roles.

4. Gigster

Gigster connects you with a qualified team of front-end developers for a variety of tech projects.

Gigster sets clients up with product managers, who act as liaisons between clients and Gigster web development experts. This makes project management much smoother, especially for inexperienced managers. Gigster should be able to match you with a development team in far less time than a typical recruitment agency.

Key points:

  • Pricing varies depending on your project’s budget, size, and scope.
  • Gigster usually assembles your team in two weeks or less.
  • You’ll receive a free, no-obligation technical proposal and frequent project updates.

5. People Per Hour

People Per Hour is a freelance marketplace akin to Upwork. What makes People Per Hour unique is that it holds contests and allows freelancers to post their job postings at hourly rates.

Between millions of registered members, thousands of confirmed hours, and success stories from freelancers and entrepreneurs alike. The ease of posting jobs, contacting freelancers, and paying for hours worked makes People Per Hour a superb choice for employers interested in searching for and vetting freelance candidates for full-time, part-time, or contract web design.

Additionally, with People Per Hour, you can connect with local freelancers, so you aren't necessarily limited to remote talent.

Key points:

  • Compare proposals submitted by freelancers you or AI talent-matching choose.
  • Easily organize your project’s files, communications, and feedback using on-site tools.
  • Multiple hiring options mean team optimization at every stage.

Guide to hiring great freelance Web developers

In this day and age, web developers are not only desirable; they’ve almost become necessary. It's nearly impossible to have a brand or an identity without a strong online presence. As a result, web developers must be adept at creating incredible user experiences. Assessing this alone can be tough. Your web developer should have knowledge of PHP, HTML, CSS, Javascript, and Java. Thankfully, there are sites out there that can help you make sense of the hiring process.

What Is Web Development?

Web development is the programming and coding work required in developing a website for the Internet or an intranet. Web development also includes a host of development services from building a simple single static page of plain text to complex web applications, eCommerce stores, electronic businesses, and social network services.

In essence, Web Development has only become stronger as a career prospect for developers. Furthermore, companies all over the world have some type of web presence and this simple fact is a testament to the fact that web development will only be even more crucial in 2021. With the advent of new web development languages like React, Vue, Angular, and more, Web development is evolving and getting better and more efficient with time.

The other important aspect contributing to the consistent growth of web development is the advent of virtual assistants, Artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Voice Search, and other such smart web development that is required to build smart solutions.

Some of the best sites to hire developers include Toptal, Arc, Gun.io, Fiverr, Upwork, and more.

Web development is an essential component of marketing as well as technology. One of the main reasons behind the popularity of Web Development is because it is a robust and rewarding career prospect for individuals. Similarly, Web Development is a critical business function for companies.

What Is a Web Developer?

A web developer is a professional programmer who specializes in the development of software and applications on the Internet using a client-server model. Web development essentially is creating websites. A web programmer's primary role is ensuring that the site looks good and is easy to use, but they're also responsible for making sure the site performs well and has enough resources available. Web developers can specialize in a suite of different programming languages. They are usually categorized as front-end developers or back-end developers or full-stack developers depending on their specialty or skills.

Here is what you need to keep in mind when hiring a Web developer:

  • Identify the purpose of hiring a web developer: Are you looking to make minor updates to your web page? Do you need to build an entirely new site? A new mobile app? Is something wrong with your analytics? Do you need a new tool created?
  • Use reliable platforms and tools: Hire web developers using the leading platforms like Toptal, LinkedIn, Arc, Upwork, and more.
  • Interview the candidate: Discuss, explain, communicate, and give full context and all the details about the project. Ask relevant questions to gauge the expertise and compatibility of the developer with your team.
Web development for businesses
What is web development used for?Creating, designing, and maintaining websites and web applications.
Advantages:Wide reach and accessibility, Platform independence, Continuous availability and updates
Disadvantages:Compatibility challenges, Performance limitations, Security vulnerabilities
Related programming languages:HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Ruby, Java
Freelancers average hourly rate:$15 to $100 per hour, depending on factors such as skill lever, experience, location and complexity of the project.
Where to hire?Freelance marketplaces, job boards, online communities and forums related to web development, professional networking sites, and industry-specific job portals that cater to the tech industry.

How To Hire a Web Developer

Essentially, there are three different options for hiring: full-time, part-time or freelance basis. If you are looking to build a full-fledged web development team, then hiring full-time Web Developers makes sense. The biggest advantage of hiring full-time developers is the ability to monitor and control the pace of your project and the ability to ensure quality, However, hiring full-time Web developers has its cons such as having to give paid leaves and incur employee insurance expenses. Hiring part-time is lucrative when you’re looking for a simple project to be completed. Hiring freelance Web developers is wise as this enables you to save on cost involved and time spent on hiring and training.

How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Freelance Web Developer

A Web Developer’s expertise lies in taking care of server-side and front-end logic. Typically speaking, they are well-versed in HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and JQuery for front-end work, and are generally familiar with Perl, Python, Ruby, PHP, Java, ASP, and/or ASP.net for server-side frameworks.

Having said that, there are certain factors that determine the cost of hiring a freelance Web developer:

  • Complexity and scope of the project
  • The geographic location of the freelance developer and the employer
  • Expertise and experience level of the developer
  • Past work experience and brands they’ve worked with

The average web developer hourly rate is $61-80, but rates vary depending on what technologies the developer is familiar with, their experience, and more. Usually, full-stack developers charge more as compared to basic or intermediate programmers.

What Skills To Look For Before Hiring a Freelance Web Developer

Look for the following qualities in your freelance Web developer candidates.

  • Strong technical proficiency
  • Experience with various Web frameworks
  • Great communication skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Strongly motivated and reliable
  • Depth in past work
  • Keen problem solving and coding
  • Excellent reviews and feedbacks

How To Find a Freelance Web Developer

Finding top web developer talent doesn't have to be difficult. If you use talent matching services like Toptal, there’s absolutely zero work that has to be done on your end. Companies like Toptal vet and interview programmers for you and match you with the best freelancers based on your needs.If quality is a priority, then sites like Toptal, Scalable Path, and Gigster can be of great use. If you’re concerned with saving money, then you may want to explore affordable freelance marketplaces. Upwork, PeoplePerHour, and Freelancer have communities composed of millions of freelancers.

You’re bound to find the right fit if you’re willing to put in the time and energy of prospecting potential web developer hires yourself. Companies should also think about supplementing their efforts by perusing popular online developer communities like Stack Overflow and GitHub or outsourcing software development.

Dedicated freelance website developers spend a lot of their time on sites like these to hone their skills so their job boards can be of great use to your company.

Job boards, marketplaces, and matching services all have their uses. Which site will best serve you will depend on your specific situation.

Ultimately, which sites you employ to find them depends on a multitude of factors, such as:

  • How quickly do you need to hire a web developer (i.e., your timeline)
  • How much experience do you have hiring high-quality developers
  • Whether or not you’re equipped to test technical skills and programming languages
  • How many programmers do you need to bring onto your development team
  • The years of experience those front-end developers need
  • Whether or not you’re open to remote workers, local freelancers, or using a web development agency
  • What your budget constraints are
  • Your project management process and your capacity to manage front-end, back-end, and full-stack developers

Hiring Web developers - FAQ

How much does it cost to hire a web developer?

The average salary for an entry level web developer in the United States is $47,509 per year. This number increases to $54,793 for a junior front end developer, and $74,720 for a web developer (unspecified), and $99,085 for a senior web developer. Compare more web developer salaries.

Where can I find web developers?
  • Toptal
  • Hired
  • GitHub Jobs
  • Stack Overflow
  • Upwork

Find more recommended sites to hire a web developer.

Are web developers in demand?

Yes! Web developers often have a high salary (on average) with only an associate's level degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expect web developers to grow in demand by 13% by 2028. That is much higher than average.

How do I choose a web developer?
You’ll want to consider a number of factors before hiring a web developer:

  •  Whether you need a lead backend developer or a junior backend developer 

  • What platforms they need to be familiar with (e.g. Magento backend developer, PHP backend developer, or Ruby backend developer) 

  • How quickly you need to fill the backend developer position 

  • What the timeline is for your project 

  • What the budget is for your project 

  • Whether or not you feel comfortable hiring a freelance back end developer 

  • Whether or not you need a frontend and backend developer

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