Ask any experienced business owner how the development of their website went and you’ll likely to get an angry look or a reply something like, “which version?”
Without sufficient due diligence in the choosing of a web development business, embarking on your first website project can be a painful experience. And it’s one that can have long-lasting ramifications.
Throughout my career in web development, I’ve seen (or heard about) the good, the bad, and the ugly. What I can tell you for certain is that the value of an experienced consultant cannot be understated. Googling “web design” can carry one only so far.
The following are five of the most significant criteria to think about when selecting a web development firm. Decide on the type of website you require. This may sound like a given, but not all websites are the same.
Google is a website. But it’s powered by a multibillion-dollar infrastructure with several data centers around the globe. Facebook and Amazon? Ditto.
While those may be extreme examples, it’s important to distinguish differences in what makes up a website and its functionality, which is to say what you need the website to do for your visitors and your business.
Are you going to sell widgets?
Well, you’re going to need an e-commerce website and it’s unlikely your buddy’s cousin is going to be well-suited for this project.
E-commerce poses a number of logistical and technological difficulties. The company you hire should have experience working in this space and have an e-commerce solution that will scale with the growth of your business — and provide support for the inevitable glitches that occur along the way.
For many small businesses offering professional services, the main objectives of a website are to build trust, educate, inform, and convert visitors into leads. While there are hundreds of web development companies that can handily accomplish this task, there are several variabels. One must think about, such as the type of content management system and the location of the site’s hosting. These elements can have a big impact on how the website is managed on a day-to-day basis, as well as when, not if, the site is changed in the future.
Find out if you are compatible.
You are engaging a technological partner when you engage a web development business. If you are satisfied with their work, this partner will most likely be a part of your company for many years.
And therein lies the problem.
Spending a little more time up front can save your company a significant amount of money and, more importantly, time. It can be costly and time-consuming to move a website from one provider to another.
Get to know the people you’ll be working with on a long-term basis. While the quality and effectiveness of their work is undoubtedly important, learn what they value, how they work, and how they treat their employees.
While credibility and trustworthiness are crucial qualities, it’s also wonderful if you enjoy them.
Determine the degree of assistance you require.
Support can take many forms, such as assisting someone with setting up email or resetting a password. You’ll probably need to make modifications to your site on a regular basis if you need website support. It’s not unusual to discover that a feature or part was overlooked prior to launch. Furthermore, a website is not, and should not be, stagnant.
A reputable development firm will give you the tools you need to update information, create new pages and articles, and make minor changes. It’s likely that you’ll have to rely on your technology partner for additional features. Although most web development firms offer some kind of ongoing assistance, it’s always a good idea to check.