What to look for in a Developer
If you dont have the time to learn how to build a website, need to have the website to function a certain way or have a specific look…and you have a budget, then your like most small businesses, and will want to outsource the work.
Be careful who you hire, though. A poorly developed Web site can cost you money, drive away customers, and hurt your reputation. Following a few basic steps will increase your odds of hiring a creative, technically savvy, and cost-effective design firm.
What do you really need?
The purpose of this web site is to show you the options available to you to build your own website and save you time or money. 90% of all Small businesses can utilize the options in this site to build a great website, but if you cant or dont want to do it your self, hiring a web design company is a wise choice.
The first thing any web developer is going to ask you is to explain your business, do you have an existing web site and if so, what is wrong with it? If not, then what do you see this new web site doing?
What is the purpose of the website?
Now some good developers may be able to brainstorm with you on the phone as to what your are looking for as well as advise you on direction. But really, you should have a pretty good idea of what your are looking for, and what you want the site to do. Having this together before you contact a developer will help get you a quote much quicker.
Research each developer’s work.
Once you find a few developers you like — through recommendations, local online searches or competitors’ sites — It’s essential that you research each web developer’s work or portfolio. You really want to make sure you feel comfortable with their design sense. Also, determine if they only deal with templates or both templates and custom design. If they do custom design, make sure the designer is in-house and specializes in web design…not print design.
Evaluate their services.
Decide if the developer meets your needs. If you want to sell your products online, look for proven e-commerce experience. If you’re considering a one-person firm, does the developer have the skills necessary to create everything you need? On the other hand, will you get lost in the shuffle at a larger firm with lots of other clients? Determine what extras the firms offer, such as copywriting, marketing, and other services.
Browsing a company’s work is helpful, but you also want to know how they work. A Web design firm can be the most creative in the world, but if it never finishes your site, it won’t do you much good. Call past clients and ask if the design firm:
- Adhered to deadlines
- Met their requests
- Was responsive to suggestions and questions
- Fixed problems promptly
- Worked within the original budget
Over the past year, hundreds of Web design firms of all sizes have merged, cut back their operations, or simply closed. Although it’s impossible to know for sure whether or not a firm will be around in the future, you have a right to ask questions if you expect to build a long-term relationship. You should also ask whether a design firm will accept payment in stages or whether they’ll demand most of their payment up front. Firms that aren’t willing to link payment to their own ability to deliver might not be worth the risk you’ll take to deal with them.
Professional Web Design Companies
SiteDesignZ is my own company. We specialize in small businesses and offer many solutions to fit your business. Again, this website is basically a way for you to know what tools to use to build a website yourself. However, we can step in at any point and give you the help you need…then step back out. We offer complete web design solutions, that include, hosting, email, on-going maintenance, SEO and internet marketing and much more.