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How to Hire a Developer Online [Step-by-Step Tutorial]

If you are looking to run a successful company today, then you need to make sure that you have a strong presence online. If you are a startup or an established business, here’s how to hire a developer online for both freelancing and offline.

I remember when I was first trying to set up a business, I never imagined that there would be so many options when it came to setting up a website.

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Once I realized that I would also need a mobile app to reach my customers, I knew that I would need to hire a professional freelance developer.

At the same time, I knew that I did not have enough money to hire an in-house developer. I started wondering how to hire a web developer and came across TopTal.

TopTal is an expansive online platform that is used to connect businesses with freelance web development professionals who can help design websites, build mobile applications, handle financing, and complete digital projects.

At the same time, those who are looking to hire a freelance developer will quickly realize there are a ton of professionals who are willing to provide their services.

What is the best way to find a developer? There are a few key points to keep in mind.

Find a Freelance Developer Through TopTal 

For those looking for the best job site to find a developer, one of the most popular options is called TopTal.

TopTal is an online platform where users can access some of the top freelance development talents in the world.

There are numerous experts in web development, mobile design, programming, and coding who have profiles through TopTal.

You are able to set up a remote working relationship with some of these talented professionals and accomplish your projects.

If you wondering how to find a developer for your startup on this site, the steps include:

Step 1: Set Up an Account on TopTalToptal Logo

For those who are looking to hire a developer online, the first step is to create an account on TopTal. The TopTal website is very easy to navigate. When you visit the website, the first step is to click on the green button in the top right-hand corner.

After all, you are looking to hire developers for startup or a growing business. This will take you to a quick questionnaire.

Even though some people might not want to answer all of these questions, remember that there are a lot of successful freelancers and freelance developers on TopTal.

For example, if you are looking to find a programmer, and the website has to be able to connect you with the top talent in the industry. For those wondering how to find a developer, you will answer questions about:

  • Whether you are looking to complete a new project or hire someone to work on an existing project
  • How quickly you are looking to have the project finished
  • How many people work for your company
  • How quickly you would like to hire a developer
  • How you are planning on paying for the project (such as by the hour or via a flat-rate)
  • What coding languages you might be using for your project, if you are looking to build a website or design a mobile application

Once this is done, you will complete the demographic information to set up an account on TopTal. You will provide your email address, the name of your company, the name of your company contact, and your phone number.

Then, a member of the TopTal team will get in touch with you.


Step 2: Figure Out Which Industry You Would Like to Work With

Toptal Review 2020 €“ Is It As Good As It Seems?

Once you have filled out the questionnaire and created an account, you will be able to narrow down your options via which industry you need help with. On TopTal they of you can access. You might be looking for someone who specializes in more than one area.

On the other hand, you might be looking for someone to help with a very specific project. The good news is that you can quickly narrow down to talent on TopTal to figure out who is going to best meet your needs.

Some of the major industries that are represented on TopTal include:

  • AI Engineers
  • Android Developers
  • Data Scientists
  • Database Developers
  • Freelance Developers
  • HTML5 Professionals
  • iOS Developers
  • Java and JavaScript Development Professionals
  • Linux Specialists
  • Magento Developers
  • Mobile and Mobile Application Developers
  • Python Developers
  • Salesforce Specialists
  • Software Developers
  • Unity (or Unity Technologies) Developers
  • WordPress Developers
  • Web Developers

Obviously, a lot of these areas are going to overlap. Many of the professionals on TopTal are able to handle projects that landed more than one of these areas.

This simply goes to show the degree to which you can narrow down your focus when you are using TopTal. Once you figure out which industry you would like to partner with, you are going to be able to work with an industry expert.

Step 3: Speak with an Industry Expert Through TopTal

After you have figured out which freelance developer specialists your pocket is going to require, you are going to be connected with a member of the TopTal team.

One of the TopTal directors of engineering is going to work with you to understand exactly what you need to accomplish. Some of the topics that the TopTal representative is going to cover include:

  • What the ultimate goals of your project are going to be, such as hire a web developer to build an online store
  • Exactly what technical needs need to be met in order for your project to be successful
  • What facets of the project you were going to handle in-house vs. which facets of the project going to be handled by your freelancer
  • The exact dynamics of your team, such as who your point of contact is going to be
  • What the key performance indicators that your project are going to be
  • On what platforms your project is going to be run

Understanding your exact needs is going to be critical for delivering a salad final product.

After you have answered these questions, the TopTal representative is going to take a look at which of their talent is available.

See Related: Best Art Freelance Websites

Step 4: Work with the Hand-Selected Talent from TopTal


Within 24 hours of communicating with a TopTal representative, you should have a list of potential candidates who might be able to meet your needs. You are going to play a role in deciding exactly which freelance developers are going to be right for your needs.

There is also a chance that you might need to hire more than one developer. This is certainly an option as well.

Once you have decided which freelance developer is right for you, you are going to get started on the project by working out the best interview. You are going to be able to communicate directly with the freelance developer to make sure that all of your needs are met.

You are going to be able to set up deadlines for certain portions of the project, can specify which deliverables need to be provided, and what the standard of success is going to be for your individual project.

Along the way, the freelance programmer or developer is going to be in contact with you. If there are any questions that come up, you will be able to handle that immediately.

Furthermore, if anything doesn’t seem right, you can certainly request that something be changed or that the project be altered.

Even though you are working with a TopTal freelance mobile developer, you are still in control of the final project to budget for the developer’s pay.

This is one of the major advantages of working with TopTal.

Step 5: Handle Payment for the Project

Another major advantage of working with TopTal is that you are also in control of house payment is going to be handled.

Freelancers set their own bid, ideally, you are going to handle this before the project gets started; however, the reality is that questions are going to come up along the way.

There are two common ways that payment for TopTal service is going to be handled. The vast majority of people pay by the hour. Some of the most common hourly setups include:

  • In rare cases, payment is handled in one lump sum at the end of the project. This is common for smaller projects.
  • For larger projects, developers might request funds at the beginning of the project, particularly if there are overhead costs related to materials. This is a common method of payment for projects that require more than one freelancer developer.
  • Many developers get paid as each piece of the project has developed. When certain deliverables are sent for approval, you will provide payment and chunks to the developer in accordance with the hourly rate you set in advance.

If you do not want to pay by the hour, it is also possible that you can negotiate a single flat rate for the entire project.

Even though this is less common, it might be possible to work this out through TopTal.

Step 6: Publish the Project and Move On to the Next One

Toptal Dashboard

Once the project is approved, you can publish or complete the project and move on to the next one. Now that you already have an account on TopTal, it is easy for you to work with the same freelance developers in the future.

If you have future projects that come up and you had a positive experience the first time around, then you are certainly welcome to work with the same freelance developers or find a new freelancer to interview and work with on the next project.

On the other hand, if your next project is a little bit different, then you might want to reach out to TopTal again and see if they have other industry experts who would be willing to help you out.

You are able to tailor the TopTal experience to meet your exact needs.


Alternative Freelance Websites to Hire Developers

Even though TopTal is one of the best websites to find a freelance developer, there are alternatives available as well.

Some of the other options for finding freelance web developers and mobile application designers include:


Working At Upwork: 532 Reviews |

Upwork is arguably the most diverse platform that you can use to find freelance talent for just about anything. This includes freelance design and development.

In order to find a developer on this platform, you are going to post a job with a project description that is going to outlines the skills that are required from each candidate. Then, the platform is going to match the descriptions of these profiles against the available freelancers.

You’ll be presented with a short list containing the most suitable candidates. Then, you can reach out to the candidates, set up an individual agreement, and complete your project.

It doesn’t get much more straightforward than this. Some of the benefits of using this platform include:

  • It is straightforward and easy to use
  • It provides you with rapid access to a wide pool of talent at reasonable prices
  • There is a time tracker built in to ensure that you are not paying for any hours that are not worked

Some of the drawbacks include:

  • This is not a platform that is specifically designed for finding freelance programmers and web developers
  • The platform does have high fees, taking as much as 20 percent of the payment that is supposed to go to the freelance developer

It might be possible for you to contact a freelance developer around this platform and work with the talent directly; however, this also removes the security going to comes to processing payments.


Youteam Logo

Another option that you can use to find a freelance developer is called YouTeam.

YouTeam is a marketplace that is specifically designed for technology professionals.

The goal of this platform is to connect businesses and startups with talented software developers and designers who can help you complete your projects. It is possible for you to browse the profiles of some of these talented developers on the website.

Then, you can reach out to them and personally interview them.

Similar to TopTal, everyone who works on the platform undergoes a strict vetting process to make sure they meet the highest standards in the industry.

Through this platform, you are not going to work with freelance developers but with team members who work on a full-time basis at various software agencies. Therefore, the setup is a little bit different, but the results are going to be the same.

Some of the pros of working with YouTeam include:

  • All of the developers on this website are strictly vetted
  • This platform is very easy to use
  • The marketplace is free to use and you only pay for the work that is delivered by the talent

Some of the drawbacks of YouTeam include:

  • This platform is not designed for shorter projects
  • You could end up working with a large agency instead of an individual developer

This could be a platform that can meet your needs at a reasonable price.

There are several ways to learn how to become a freelance web developer. And once you find one, you would need patience and perseverance while learning.

See Related: Best Time Tracking Software for Freelancers


Moonlight · Github

MoonLightWork is a community of software developers and project designers. This is a community where you can hire freelance developers.

In order to hire a freelancer through this platform, you are going to post a job description, which will alert the platform to find the perfect match for you.

Then, you are going to work with the applicant on a pagefile project. If the trial is successfully completed, you can those developers either as contractors or full-time employees.

Then, you can either pay the developers on an hourly basis through the platform or higher than directly.

Some of the pros of MoonLightWork include:

  • The platform is straightforward and easy to navigate
  • The payments are secured with advanced encryption
  • The free trial period is great for businesses and freelancers

Some of the drawbacks of the platform include:

  • The community is quite small and the vetting process is not that strict
  • Because all of the talents is generally based in the United States, the prices can be high

This could be the right platform that will help you meet the needs of your business.

Also, managing taxes is also what we do as a freelancer or self-employed. Some of us would want to use tax software to make things easy for us.

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