To balance Point 2, make sure your developer fully understands the problem and has put thought into it before actually proposing a solution. If, in the first meeting they propose a solution, especially a pre-packaged solution like WordPress, Joomla or Drupal, exit the building in a calm and orderly manner. In these cases they are selling you the solution they know, not the solution you need. Your problem is unique to you and the solution should be as well. It’s ok for a developer to propose that they build your solution on top of one of these great platforms but only after they have given it some thought.
After you describe your problem your developer should ask a lot of questions. If they don’t, be wary because they think they understand the problem and they probably don’t. The initial meeting is not when you should get their proposed solution. They need time to go back and do research to find the best solution. Again, if they don’t take this time but simply propose a solution, it is a sign that they are selling a solution not necessarily the best solution. Give them a day or even a week, depending on the size of the project, to fully understand the problem and prepare a unique solution. Consider this time an investment in getting the problem solved correctly the first time.
Want more helpful advice?
Are you looking for more helpful advice? Check out our book, Avoiding a Goat Rodeo. It was written to help non-programmers understand website development. It shows you how to get the website you want.