The 5 Tips to Ensure You Find The Right Web Development Company
by Wilf Voss
If you are looking to invest in a new or updated web presence you need to be sure that the web development company you select is the right one. With over 11 million web developers worldwide it can be a difficult choice, therefore here are five key tips to help you ensure that you select the right company the first time.
1. Know what you require
Before you start, take the time to understand what you need from a web development project. All too often clients will just say ‘I want a website’ without a clear idea of what is required. Taking the time to work out a basic requirements’ specification will save you time and money and will ensure you get exactly the website you require first time.
You should consider the following elements:
- What is the purpose of the website? – is your site mostly a location where you sell products and services or somewhere to showcase your products or both? For example, a brochure or informational site is more likely to contain more static pages than a full e-commerce site.
Decide what you want the site to do, this may be to increase online sales, customer inquiries or general traffic and who is the target audience
- What site structure do you require? – an idea of the layout of the site is vital and the process of drawing it out can be useful for planning and considering how you want the site to operate.
- Design and User Experience – what do you want your site to look like and how would you like it to operate. Both need to be considered hand in hand, there is nothing worse than a site which looks great but cannot be navigated! Think how your potential user will navigate the site and what they will need to do.
- Websites you want to be like (and the ones you don’t want to!) – make a list of the sites you admire. This will give the developer an idea of the sort of site you want and if there are sites which you find frustrating or difficult to use list them to give an opposite position.
- Who are your competitors? – it is important to understand your competition and what they are doing online. You don’t want to copy their site, however, you want to ensure you at least offer a similar level of functionality – just better!
- Budget and timescale – have a clear idea of what you want to spend and when you want the site live. This will enable the developer to give you the right balance for you your constraints.
This may seem like significant work, however not only will you save time and money on your web project the process will give you a clearer idea of what you require from your new website.
2. Does this company work on similar projects?
Unless you have a simple requirement, you will find that working with a web developer who has experience in your business area will be a benefit. Ask the company if they have worked on similar projects and ask them to show you examples of this work.
The joy of the internet is you can view past projects easily and see how they work. Look at the sites objectively, are they responsive and simple to navigate. Is the design professional and support the organisation’s branding. Even seemingly simple things like spelling mistakes on pages can give you an insight into the developers’ attention to detail.
3. How will you support me?
Once your web development project is over how will your site be supported? There are two levels, simple updates, and ongoing maintenance. No website stands still and you don’t want to have to call your web developer every time you need to make minor changes to your site’s content. Most sites can be easily updated using a content management system (CMS) which will allow you to edit text and images and make minor changes in house. Ask if your developer will provide a CMS with the site also if you will get training in how to use it effectively.
Ongoing maintenance involves ensuring your sites back end is kept up to date with security patches to prevent hackers getting access to your systems and fixes if there is a sudden and unexpected problem which takes your website down. Ask what sort of ongoing support is available also what the service level is, you don’t want to be panicking if your site goes down and find your web developer has a three-day turnaround!
4. Will the site be SEO ready?
The vast proportion of your web traffic will come via major search engines like Google. Ensuring your site is ranked highly is vitally important (how many times have you clicked on page two of the Google search recently?)
SEO is search engine optimisation and uses techniques to ensure your site will rank as highly as possible. These can include ensuring that headers and titles are used to help both humans and search engines navigate the site, making sure pages load quickly and are viewable on both mobile and desktop browsers.
You should ask your potential developer what they will be doing to ensure your site SEO ready, they should be able to explain what they can do to ensure you have the best chance to rank as highly as you deserve.
5. How will we know that the site is effective?
You need to understand how the developer will be testing the site and what measures you will be using to ensure your site works correctly and is effective.
Even a simple site needs comprehensive testing and review to ensure it is correct and does what it should do. Your developer should tell you how they will be testing the site and what measures will be used to ensure it is working correctly. This should include tests for the navigation, proofreading the content and tests of any e-commerce systems.
Good developers will be open about the testing they carry out and assure you that the site will be handed over to you ready to go live.
Get it right first time – Choose Web Choice UK and Mighty Marketing Group
Working in partnership Web Choice UK and Mighty Marketing Group have years of experience in developing and delivering professional websites for clients ranging from SME’s to major organisations. Jointly they can provide support for every part of the development process from the design of great looking pages to the development of industry-leading e-commerce solutions.
You also have peace of mind with full support and both ad-hoc or ongoing maintenance available to ensure your site is protected from any future security risks. Contact their professional team today on 0330 133 1364.
December 9, 2016