How to Find the Right Web Development Partner to Build Your Site
Your website is the face of your brand. It’s often the first impression people have of your business. Finding the right web development partner to create your online presence can improve your conversion rates.
Choosing a company to design your website isn’t an easy decision. You’ll want to think through your expectations for your website, how much technical knowledge they need and your ongoing support requirements. Paying someone a lot of money only to find they don’t bring your dream to life is beyond frustrating and expensive.
How Do I Choose a Good Web Design Company?
In August 1991, Tim Berners-Lee published the first website. Today, the internet has grown to house over 1.88 billion sites and counting. While not all are active at all times and some are repeats of others, that's a huge growth in the last three decades.
Some sites are homemade, others completed by professionals, but all are in a coded language internet browser can translate. Even if you plan to do some of the work yourself, you will likely need the help of a professional developer to complete some of the more technical tasks.
Here are some steps to take to find the right web development partner to build your website:
1. Examine The Company’s Portfolio
Your best indicator of whether or not the web development partner can create the site of your dreams depends on the work they’ve already done. Check out their client sites. Do any of them have the features you want on yours?
Have they worked with others in your industry and have a good feel for the colour palettes and styles required for your type of business model?
2. Choose Someone Who Knows Coding
The best web developers understand several types of coding and can customise your site accordingly. Some of the languages they should know include:
- PHP (Laravel and other frameworks)
- Repository management
- SSH Access
Of course, additional languages are helpful if they’re creating an app for you or doing other functions. At a minimum, they should be proficient in the ones listed above.
3. Read Reviews
Search for reviews of the development partner. In your search browser, type “Company Name Reviews.” You should come across any complaints on consumer review sites. Read through issues, and see if there was a resolution to the problem.
Reviews paint a picture of the company’s ongoing customer service. You might find they had some complaints at one point but have worked hard to resolve them and now have excellent customer experience (CX).
4. Seek References
Ask the web developer for references. They should have a long list of satisfied clients willing to speak on their behalf. You can message these people and ask if they’re happy with the service and if there is anything you need to know before hiring them.
However, don’t only ask those who provide for you. Look at the development company’s other clients. Message them via their websites and ask about the developer.
5. Learn the Chain of Command
The theory of Reciprocal Determinism involves descriptive language. For example, if a site has a bug causing it to crash, the developer doesn't just throw it down the field to the next player and assume the team will score. Instead, they list out an action plan of what needs to happen to fix the problem. They also put safeguards to ensure there is follow-through and the problem gets solved.
Talk to the development partner about how they handle a crisis with your website. Who is in charge? What is the process to resolve issues? If they can’t answer this question clearly, you may want to seek a different design team.
6. Visit the Company’s Site
What is the development partner’s website like? If you hate the design for their own site, which is the face of their company, then you probably won’t like what they create for you.
Check out every feature on their pages. Does everything work the way it should? Do forms give a confirmation? What is their call to action? Is the CX all it should be?
You are their customer, so ask if their site is likely to convert you from a browser to a lead. If not, you may want to seek a different option.
7. Test Customer Service
You want a web development partner that’s available when you need them. You may encounter communication issues if you choose a company in another time zone. For example, if it is 4:25 PM in the United Kingdom, it is 2:25 AM in Australia. If you have an immediate need, the company may not open for hours and see your support ticket. When they do, if they have questions, it will be in the middle of the night in the UK.
Send an email and see how long it takes the brand to respond to a simple question. Is the response from a bot or a real person? Canned responses might make it seem as though they are responsive when they aren’t.
Trust Your Gut
Once you’ve narrowed your options down to a few web developers, you should trust your instincts. Some things are hard to pinpoint until you work with a designer, such as whether the person communicates well.
If you follow the steps above, you likely have a list of excellent designers from which to choose. If you make a mistake and you and your web development partner aren’t clicking, you can always walk away and go with a different company.
If you have a Web Development project please do get in touch via our contact us page.