Best questions to ask freelance developers


Hiring a good quality developer can be challenging and risky. In order to minimize risk and make sure you have found the right fit, you need to ask the right questions.

Wondering what questions to ask freelance developers before you hire them? In this article, we will suggest some of the best questions to ask.

Where to find freelance developers

Finding a freelance developer has never been easier. The freelance economy is growing faster than ever with a lot of developers working from home and enjoying the flexibility of being their own boss.

A few popular platforms where you can find developers include:

  1. Fiverr – On fiverr, you can find developers, designers, or anything else you need for your project.
  2. Upwork – Upwork is another popular platform where you can hire short-term project resources or longer-term (and even permanent) resources to extend your team.
  3. Freelancer – is one of the biggest marketplaces for finding freelancers. Here, you can hire the best freelancers for any job, online.
  4. Toptal – Toptal is a bit different, as it promises the top 3% of talent in the freelancing world. Their tagline says it all: “Toptal is an exclusive network of the top freelance software developers, designers, finance experts, product managers, and project managers in the world. Top companies hire Toptal freelancers for their most important projects.”

Questions to ask freelance developers

Below are the main questions to ask freelance developers when looking to hire them for your next project.


The first thing you should look at is the developers’ portfolio.

Some of the things to look for are:

  • Does their portfolio look modern and professional?
  • Do their websites load fast and are there any visible errors?
  • Does their portfolio look the same across different projects? Some developers recycle the same theme over and over to keep their costs low. This results in all of their websites having the same look and feel. While this is fine in most cases, you want your business to stick out from the crowd and be unique.

We take a lot of pride in our work and make sure each website is custom and distinguishes you from the competition. Take a look at our portfolio for examples.


Not having good references and reviews should be a major red flag when selecting a freelance web developer.

Always ask for references, look for reviews on their website, check Google, and follow up with the references they have provided. Using the freelancing platforms we mentioned above, you can also check their previous work and references their previous clients left them. We cannot emphasize this point enough!

Retention rates are also a great indicator of how happy their clients are with their services. 

We post a lot of our testimonials on our website and also have 5/5 on our Google reviews. Clio would also be happy to provide references that you can follow up with to find out what it’s like to work with us. 


Their Approach

Does their approach make sense and does it fit with your business goals? For example, when we develop websites and work with clients, we like to use an iterative approach. This means that you will be involved during each step of the way and provide feedback before it’s too late. 

Most developers will gather your requirements and you won’t hear from them for a few weeks while they work on your project. We have found that this not only results in poor results but can frustrate both the client and the company you are working with. This is why we keep the clients involved each step of the way and do frequent check-ins to make sure we are on the right track. 

To find out more about our iterative approach, check out our about us page.

Use of Modern Technologies

This one may sound not important to you as a business owner but hear us out. Understanding and using modern technologies and frameworks ensures that your website will be supportable and transferable. 

If you decide to switch providers you will have a hard time finding resources that can look after your website if you are using legacy technology.

Also, newer and supportable frameworks like WordPress ensure that your website stays secure and responsive.

This is why you want to make sure your website is using the latest and greatest technology stack. This is something a premier website design company will take care of by default versus a freelance web developer.

Ongoing Support and Maintenance 

What does their support and maintenance look like after you launch your website? Are there any costs and fees after going live?

Ongoing support and maintenance costs can quickly add up if your website isn’t performing well or it’s not easy to update.

WordPress gives clients the ability to update their own content without hiring a web developer. Recently we wrote about the startup costs of launching a website.

Keeping your website secure and loading quickly is important for SEO. Therefore, you will want to make sure that it is getting properly maintained and updated often. 

Beyond Web Design

There are many aspects to launching a successful web project. The design has to be appealing, the website needs to perform well, it has to be accessible, and it has to generate leads or sell products.

This is why it is important to hire a company or a developer with a proven track record that understands all these aspects and can apply them effectively. 

You need to ensure that the developer you decide to work with understands the following about your business:

  • What inspired you to start your business (motivations and passions) and what sets you apart from your competition?
  • What are you looking to gain from your website?
  • Understanding your business goals and how technology can enable them?

Generating leads and lots of traffic to your website will require ongoing investment. You will want to ensure that the agency you select has experience working with companies in your industry. They should also be able to guide your investment where it makes the biggest difference. Their references and portfolio should be able to reflect their experience.



We hope that these suggestions have helped you identify the questions to ask freelance developers. Choosing the right developer is critical in order to make your project a success.

Most important questions

  • Do they have a portfolio and what does their portfolio look like?
  • Can they provide good-quality references for previous development projects?
  • Does their approach align with your approach and business goals?
  • Do they use modern and maintainable technologies or do they use legacy technologies?
  • Do they provide warranties, support, and maintenance after your project goes live?
  • Do they show a keen interest in your project and your business?

Do you have other suggestions or think that we missed any key questions? Let us know in the comments below!

Clio Websites

Clio Websites is a full-service website design and marketing company in Calgary.

We have loads of experience with responsive website design, website maintenance, WordPress development and support, and SEO. Clio offers free consultations and free website evaluations and we receive glowing reviews from our clients.

Clio is always available and happy to answer any questions you may have regarding this topic (questions to ask freelance developers) so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you need help.

About the author

Nat Miletic is the founder of Clio Websites, a Calgary-based web design company. Nat writes about WordPress, SEO, and responsive web design.

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