The way the technologies and the Internet have advanced over past couple of years, it has opened new avenues for businesses. In this changing landscape, taking a business online is not just desirable but has become essential for success. It doesn’t matter if you are a 100 year old shipment company or an AI specialised firm; to have a presence on the Internet, you just need a website. It is no brainer that to develop a website you need experts. Fortunately, there are some fantastic and truly knowledgeable web development agencies that cater to wide range of services for web development as they are the ones who keep themselves updated with the evolving online technologies from which any business can leverage their business.
Whether you are a multi-national business or a sole entrepreneur, note that while it is easy to hire an external web development company, you must still have a check-list handy to make the right decision and avoid any setbacks in the process of getting your website developed. So, go ahead and make you decision after considering the following.
1. Are they able to understand your requirements and give inputs as per their expertise?
Any good agency will first listen to your requirements, ask you questions so as to understand your business and then come up with inputs to help you better your requirements. Because they are the ones who are expert with web development technology, they will guide you as to what will work for you at the present moment and what you could expect in future. Try to know the process flow they follow while developing a website.
2. What kind of experience do they possess? What is their clientele?
While a company may not be too old in the business of web development, check out what kind of websites have they developed. Also, look for the diversification in their work. Do they work for similar industries or they have a portfolio where they have built websites for different types of business and varied scales of brand.
3. Are they going to handle the entire project of developing the website in-house?
You might wonder how this question is relevant and matter here. So, it might be useful to know that in any case if some agency does not have enough resources to handle the project. For instance they lack a developer with certain technological skill or are short of some technological software then they might consider outsourcing the requirement, in which case, a third party comes into picture which might prove to be an overhead on your budget or even time. Make sure to have transparency with this information.
4. How many web designers and developers do they have in the team? What kind of time management do they practice?
It is on an agency to fulfil the requirement once they commit to it. However, you as a client can also ask for a basic idea about the kind of team that would work on your project. This will be useful when sometimes you have to communicate with the designer or the developer directly. It also helps to keep in mind the kind of experience they hold and kind of clients they have dealt with in the past to build a favourable rapport.
5. Are they going to develop a mobile-friendly website?
Needless to say that most of our work has come to smaller screen. Your customer also deals with and is exposed to information on that screen as they spend most of the time interacting over their phones or tablets. In such a scenario, it will be beneficial to have a mobile-friendly website that opens and runs on mobile devices without any glitches. Make sure to discuss about this point.
6. Does the web development company have knowledge of SEO practices and can design an SEO-friendly website?
If you are getting a website built, you might as well make it search engine friendly which means your website will appear on the search results of a search engine. A search engine caches crawls and caches your website. So, it should be easier for the search engine to read your website. Moreover, as future scope, you might want to run digital campaigns and if your website is SEO-friendly then it becomes easier.
7. Do they focus on the backend equally well as they do for the frontend?
The frontend is the look and feel of your website, i.e. the UX design. It is how appealing and easy to use your website will look and interact with user. The backend is the part which makes the frontend possible. Here servers, databases and application come to picture. All 3 must work in great sync and that is a good backend. You need good servers to ensure proper running of website, strong database connection for data management and agile application for a smooth functioning of the website.
8. Is the price they are quoting reasonable or too good to be true?
Any qualified team of developers know the value of their work and will not shy away from asking particular rates. They will also quote a price by breaking up the amount for particular kind of work. It is fishy if the price is too good to be true. Of course, you must compare the cost in the market but ensure you hunt for quality over cost if you want to achieve ultimate cost-effectiveness.
9. How are they charging you? Is it hourly rate or per page or a flat-fee?
You are a business and we need not remind you that you must know a value for a service. Always make sure you have discussed the payment policy from rates to rates for re-work and maintenance. Also, time plays a factor here. So, seek for some time-commitment, not stringent but a tentative one.
10. Do they provide web hosting services and domain name?
For a website to go live, you need a website name which is ‘domain name’ and you need to host it via some provider. Check if the agency provides such services. Talk to them about warranty, AMC. Also, sign a proper formal contract and agreement stating all the clauses.
Jatin Panchal is Founder & Managing Director of Rlogical Techsoft Pvt. Ltd, a custom web & mobile app development company specialized in Outsourcing Web Development Services, Android, iOS and IoT App development.
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