Ask any experienced business owner how their site’s development went, and you will likely get an angry look or even a reply something like, which version?
Venturing into your very first site project can be a frustrating proposition without giving proper due diligence to the selection of a web development company. And it has one that may have long-lasting ramifications.
Throughout my career in web development, I have seen (or heard about) the very good, the poor, and the ugly. What I could tell you for certain is actually that the importance of an experienced consultant can’t be understated. Googling web design can carry just so much.
Below are actually 5 of the most important determining factors to consider when selecting a web development company.
Determine what website type is needed.
This might sound like a given, but not all sites are the same.
Google is a site. But it is driven by a multibillion-dollar infrastructure with several data centers around the world. Amazon and Facebook? Ditto.
While those might be extreme examples, you must distinguish differences in what makes up a site and its functionality, which is actually to say what you want the site to do for your visitors and the company of yours.
Are you going to sell widgets? Well, you are likely to need an e-commerce site, and it is unlikely your buddy’s cousin will be well suited for that task.
E-commerce brings several logistical and technological challenges. The company you hire should have experience working in this space and have an e-commerce solution that will scale with the progress of your business and provide support for the inevitable glitches that occur along the way.
For several small businesses offering professional services, a site’s primary objectives are actually to develop, convert, inform, educate, and trust visitors into leads. While there are actually plenty of web development companies that can handily accomplish this task, you can find several variables to consider, like the kind of content management system and where the website will be hosted. These factors can have a major effect on the website’s daily management and down the road when, not if, the website is actually redesigned.
Determine the compatibility of yours.
When you work with a web development company, you’re hiring a technology partner. This partner will probably be a part of the business yours for many years, given you’re pleased with the service theirs.
And that is the rub.
Spending a little extra time on the front side can save the business yours a large amount of cash and, more importantly, a lot of time. Moving a site from one provider to another may be time-consuming and costly.
Get to know who you’re hiring for this long-term relationship. While their job’s quality and efficacy is certainly a consideration, find out what they value, how they work, and the way they treat the staff members of theirs.
And while credibility and trust are also important traits, it is also nice if you love them.
Figure out the amount of support do you need.
Support comes in many forms, like helping with setting up email or even helping someone reset a password. With site support, you will probably need changes to the site of yours on a consistent schedule. It is widespread to realize a feature or perhaps element was left unconsidered before launch. And more importantly, a site is not, nor should be, static.
An effective development company will offer you the tools to add updated content, add new pages and articles, and make minor updates. For new features, you will likely have to depend on the technology partner yours. Most web development companies provide some amount of ongoing support. Still, it is generally a great idea to discover what level, turnaround time, and which staff members will be doing that work type.
Attention to details.
Recently, someone in my network announced the launch of the new site. I could tell from the post of theirs they were excited and proud of the new online presence. Obviously, there was a link to the new site in the post. But it displayed only the name and also the logo from the home page, Home.
Here is a chance to shine on social media. But since their web developer either did not take the time or perhaps did not understand how social media channels work, the opportunity was lost. More to the point, the absence of the correct title and description will likely harm the search engine rankings of theirs.
It is small details this way that, over time, can help make or perhaps break a brand’s digital properties. An excellent web development company has the experience and understands the value of how social media and search engines display info from sites. They work with your company to ensure these bases are actually covered to ensure that you will always be putting your best face forward.
And it shows attention to detail. That is the company type that ensures that everything is actually checked, then double-checked.
Factor in all the costs.
Site design and development pricing run the gamut from free to fix to hourly. Heck, some companies actually have tiered pricing based on the person type do the work.
Beyond the first design and development costs, there are actually ongoing charges which must be understood before signing the contract.
Almost every web development company charges something for hosting a site, but even this may vary widely. While it may be tempting, this’s the area that you do not want to get chintzy. Typically, you get what you pay for, and that means site uptime – you want the site of yours to be available all the time, not just several of the time. Do not skimp on costs here.
Once again, this’s an area where pricing is actually all over the board. Some businesses include a certain level of support in their hosting plans, while other charge time and materials for any change. It is essential to realize that you will make changes to your site, and there’s more likely to be a cost. It is much better to understand and plan for those costs on the front side.
There is no silver bullet, or perhaps a definitive guide for every company, and web development operate with differing business models. But with a bit of homework and a trusted guide, you can mitigate several of the cost of building (and rebuilding) the site of yours.