A lot is expected from a web Developer today and when there is ‘a lot’ involved there will be confusion. The amount of skills and abilities with today’s tools and technologies is more than impressive but are they all essential. Moreover, are they all equal and even needed? It is quite hard to tell as projects differ one from another, but there is something like a general list of skills you would love a web developer working for you to possess.
- Skills in SEO. Basic knowledge of search engine optimization is as essential as air to a good web developer. Sure that the clients will be doing the research on key words but it’s the developer who will be placing them appropriately through-out the page layout. Proper usage of <h>, <meta> and <title> tags is quite essential as well as a clean markup.
- Skills in cross-browser debugging. Have you considered the amount of existing browsers? And what about different versions of such browsers? You never know which one your visitor will be using, thus you developers are to ensure all is 100% functional in any environment. The developer needs to have some skills with other debugging tools as well for the entire development process to go as smooth as possible.
- jQuery. Or any other JS library as well as basic understanding of how things in Java Script are going is also quite relevant to a good Web Developer. First of all this cuts JS development time almost in half. The libraries will take quite a lion share of cross-browser work allowing the developer to take on some other tasks like animating things, etc. And jQuery is a nice thing providing many easy animation options as well.
- Optimization and processing of images. Sure you might have a professional designer to handle such tasks but your Web Developer has to make some quick changes sometimes and just reassigning such minor tasks to a designer is mere time wasting. Also a developer has to realize which things are possible and which are not before requesting your designer do this or that thing. And there is, of course, image optimization as pictures are not usually quite the size you would wish them to be. And heavy images are also a sure site’s load time increasers.
- HTML and CSS are not tables anymore. A good web Developer needs to be quite capable of building valid, clean and nice layouts with HTMP and CSS.
- Handling URL’s. URL’s have to be short, yet descriptive. Otherwise you won’t get much trust from Google and that is not something you would want from your website.
- Copywriting basics. This does not mean your web developer has to be a professional copywriter with a degree in English literature. But he has to be aware of basic cyber-law principals and has to make sure all your content is unique.
Sure this list is not full as no such list can be, but it is as close to the main skills of your Web Developer you have probably not considered as things get.