Choosing a web development company is one of the most important decisions that you will have to make before venturing into a web project. Your website is the first thing potential customers see when they are thinking about where to spend their hard-earned money.
The design and the efficiency of that website can either make or break your company. That is why it is essential to choose trustworthy website developers regardless of how big or small your company is. There are many things you need to keep in mind when picking developers for your upcoming project.
Tell the web development company what type of website you want
I know that sounds obvious, but you really need to think about what functions will be offered on your website. Amazon, Facebook, and YouTube are all websites, however, they all serve a different purpose.
So the first thing you need to consider is exactly what products and/or services will you offer to your potential customers via your website. After you have determined that, look for website developers who have experience in that area.
Do you want your developer to create an original website or build you one from an existing template?
Original websites are more time-consuming and, needless to say, they will cost you extra. However, they are highly customizable, so if you are planning to offer a unique service it is the way to go for you.
If you are constrained by time and financial resources building a website off an existing template and putting your own twist on it might be a better option for you.
Does the web development company have relevant experience?
Once you know exactly what type of website you want, it is time to start comparing web development companies. The first thing you need to determine is whether they have previous experience developing similar types of website.
A developer may have all the necessary qualifications but that does not necessarily mean that they can deliver on all of their promises. Someone with a proven track record is often a better fit than someone who has only studied development in theory. No matter how extensive and exhaustive their study might have been.
Do you foresee rapid business expansion in the future?
As your business grows so will the traffic to your website. This is why scalability is an important factor that should be discussed with your developer. The last thing you want is your website crashing when the number of visitors spikes, because this experience may damage the reputation of your business as a whole.
However, even if you do not expect the world to flock to your site and crush your website in the near future, it is still wise to factor in the minor and inevitable changes you will likely have to make once the website is up and running.
It is always a good idea to ask the website development company you are planning to hire if they offer ongoing support. There are some companies which offer support gratis, on the other hand, there are those that charge for any small changes. If you plan for any unforeseeable changes in advance your wallet will thank you down the line.
Does pricing match the service?
Once you have narrowed down your choices to experienced web developers the next question you should ask yourself is how does their pricing compare to that of another company.
The best way to go about it is to use your common sense. If a company is giving you a much higher quote than other companies, try to find out why. It is not unusual for an experienced developer to charge a higher price. But, do not overpay because of somebody’s ego or simply because they think that they can get away with it.
Can they be trusted?
Before you make any purchases it is always a good idea to inquire about the company’s reputation. Most have a website, so it should be relatively easy to find people who have used their services before. You could also contact them for references or example projects if they aren’t listed publicly. Make sure to do your homework before you hand over your hard-earned money.
Will your website be mobile-friendly?
In the 21st century you need to have a mobile/tablet friendly website. According to reports nearly two-thirds of US adults own a smartphone, and a growing number relies entirely on it for internet access.
So, when discussing your future website with the web development company be sure to include smartphone compatibility as a requirement. Also, make sure that the company in question has experience in building online platforms of this nature.
Know your customer base
If you are planning to target a specific demographic, notify your developer before they start. Both company and the client are responsible for conducting thorough research into the target audience for the website under development.
Make sure that the company you are about to hire is all caught up on the latest research techniques and is in tune with your potential client base. Knowing exactly what your clients crave is the only way to ensure customer loyalty and a steady flow of traffic to your website.
Time is money
If you are paying hourly rates you should know the completion date of the project. Website development is done in stages and can sometimes take up to several months. So if a company promises you excellent results in a blink of an eye that should raise a red flag.
Depending on the type of your website there may be some other factors that need to be considered. However, the criteria above should be regarded as essential.