Who you choose to develop a website or web app, can have a fundamental bearing on the success of your project. There’s lots to consider if your looking to start a new web project or even just change existing features to your websites, so you need to ensure you get the right person for the job. In this article we layout the most important things to consider when you choose a web development company. The first point of call however, is to look inwards, at your own company’s needs and desires.
What to look for when you choose a web development company?
Before you look for a web development company, you need to consider your own company needs, the type of project you are wanting, and the successful result your hoping to achieve. First, things first, what is your web development project?
Your business’ needs
Why do you need this web development taking place?
Many people say, ‘we need a new website!’ but many fail to convey WHY they need a new website. Is it because it doesn’t currently work well for your users, it is not in line with your existing branding or you many have changed your business model completely. Once you know the real reason why you need to commence a website project, then you can focus on this aspect to drive the next question, what is the project.
What is your web development project?
You need to consider what your web project actual is before you approach any company. Is it a website? If so what style of website is it (brochure, ecommerce, blog etc) and what kinds of interactions will your users take on it (find information, buy products, book an appointment). It may just be that you need to improve an existing feature on your website to improve its usage rather than a full-fledged redesign. You may have just a basic idea but the more you can flesh it out, the quicker and more accurate a development company can be when they initially look at the project.
What does a successful outcome look?
This can be drawn from the first why questions, what is your goal for the web project and what does a successful outcome look like? If you want to change your website because it’s currently difficult for users to buy your products, then the goal would be to increase sales. Whatever your reasons behind the project you need to make sure your goal is definable and measurable. Use the SMART Goals format to decide how you will measure the achievements of the project.
Choosing a web dev company
Now that you have decided on what you want to achieve, now you can look at the best way to reach it. When you are looking to work with someone, just like when your looking to make a consumer purchase, the majority of us do a lot of research before we buy. The case is the same when looking to work with a web development company, you need to research them thoroughly before even approaching them.
The first place to look is at the website developers own website, to find out what their business specialisms are from a technical standpoint as well as an experience one. Read through their list of services and find out if they work in the technologies you require, the platforms you use or project types you are looking to do. Every development company is different, so you need to carefully consider what services they offer and whether they will be able to work on your particular project.
Linked to their specialisms, its good to check out their existing portfolio of work and any case studies they have. To see if your project matches up with their experience, look for; projects with similar styling or type, web projects in the same industry as yours, development using the same technology, platform or language. If they have case studies you may be able to find projects that had similar goals to you and the results the development company was able to achieve. Don’t forget to look at their testimonials and reviews, not just on their website but also on other review sites such as Google, Facebook or Trustpilot.
Relationships & Values
Now that you have a good idea of the services and experience your prospective web dev company has to offer, its probably the right time to engage with them. Set up a meeting with the company and let them tell you all about their business and its values. Make sure their ethos matches up with your own and find out if they follow these principles in practise not just on paper. It’s a lot easier to judge a company’s style and ethics when you meet them in person, and better yet at their own office space. You may be working quite closely with the team so its good to meet them face to face and find out if they make you feel at ease with the process. Trust is key in a good working relationship. You don’t have to fall head over heels but if the employees make you feel confident that they can pull your project off, you are in for a winner.
It looks like they have the perfect service, great experience and a team that fits your principles, but sometimes its good to put the brakes on before you jump head first in to works. You should have a conversation early on about your budget, because regardless of how impressive the company looks, if a budget doesn’t fit the work load, both parties will be disappointed. We talked about what does it cost to build a website here but only you can decide your budget.
After the web project is complete
Website or web app completion is often not clear cut. The initial project might have ended but it is often in the months afterwards that you will find that a feature doesn’t work how you wanted it too, or customers are still getting stuck before they get to checkout etc.. Testing is a key part of a web development companies job, so be wary of companies that do not mention testing within their proposals or services package. The web development company should work hand in hand with their customer to make sure thorough testing takes place.
If you are looking for a quick and inexpensive website or piece of development work, then chances are your budget is quite low. However, don’t be tricked in to thinking that a small, inexpensive website is simple to administer or can’t be attacked by hackers. No matter your type of website, big or small, you should make sure that website maintenance is performed consistently and frequently. You need to choose a web development company that offers support packages as standard with their development. If they built or fixed your site, they will be best placed to maintain it in the years to come, keeping you and your business safe and your web project looking it’s best.
Many web development companies also provide many other services such as digital marketing or design services. If you’ve worked hard on a website, then you may want to advertise it to existing customers, or push it out there to attract new ones. Working with a website development company that has a marketing focus will allow them to plan the work out so you reap benefits from day one. It also allows you to have one point of contact for many services, making it easier to manage work and get things organised.
Choose the right web development company
If you would like to talk about your next project, pick up the phone and call 0345 200 26 50 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us all about it. We’ll help you make your next big idea happen.