Businesses that follow traditional marketing and management tactics are struggling to keep up with the continuously evolving markets these days. One of the most impactful yet beneficial transformations is the arrival of the internet. Getting your business an online presence can not only help you stand out from the crowd, but it can also get you more customers, and in turn, revenue and profit.
A website can make or break the reputation and brand image of your business. However, never think that only building a website for your business can do the trick; you need to have a website and interface that attracts customers while providing important information and features.
If your website looks appealing, visitors are likely to spend more time surfing through its pages and end up buying your products or services. On the other hand, poorly designed websites have high bounce rates. Since business owners often do not have the expertise to develop a website, hiring a web development company is an ideal solution.
There are plenty of such companies available that provide different sorts of web design and development services. While having many options may seem like a good thing, choosing the right one can be quite hectic. You can’t pick one fancy-looking company blindly. Instead, it is recommended that you do proper research about the company as well as your business’s requirements before making the final choice.
In this guide, we are going to give a few tips for choosing the right web development company that is essential for the long-term performance of your business. Without wasting much time, let’s get started.
How to Pick the Best Web Development Company?
Having an Inside Out Approach
Before looking for the strengths and weaknesses of the web development company you are going to hire, you should look into your business profile. Understanding your business’s requirements, including its unique selling point and drawbacks, is important while choosing a web development company that can cater to your needs in the best manner.
First of all, you need to ask yourself why exactly you need a website. There can be different reasons for the same. You may need a website for, perhaps, selling your products and services, or only provide important information to your visitors or customers. Depending on your requirements, you may or may not need a chatbot service or a contact form.
In essence, you need to first get things straight with your business. Having an inside out approach can be crucial in choosing the right web development company as not all companies are not good at every single service.
A Glance at The Portfolio of Potential Companies
After you have determined precisely your business requirements, it is time to look for the companies that can fulfill these requirements. While all companies may claim to be the best at what you need, you need to think critically and objectively.
The best way to determine if a web development company can actually cater to your specific needs is by looking at its portfolio. A portfolio basically contains the business a company has worked with in the past and what kind of projects it has worked on. It would provide you with great insight into the capability of the company and also whether or not what they claim is what they deliver.
Always prefer those companies that have worked clients similar to your business. It will ensure that that web development team has a better understanding of your requirements, and it gets a head-start.
In case you cannot make your mind up only by looking at the past records, you should approach the company to ask for their work samples. Another great way to ensure that you are choosing the right one is by asking for referrals or approaching the businesses that have hired the company in the past. Companies that are confident about their work would never hesitate to share information about their past or current clients.
Cost Versus Quality
At the end of the day, you are doing business to earn a profit. It means that the cheaper the services of a web development company, the better it will be. However, this does not mean that you should compromise on the quality of your website. While reducing your expenses on your website may seem like a good move in the short run, low growth in the customer base resulting from poor design can be devastating in the long run.
Therefore, it is recommended to focus on the value the company you hire provides rather than the cost. Nonetheless, you are always on a budget, and businesses that have started recently certainly can’t use all their profits, sometimes non-existent, to build a website. Consequently, you may need to sacrifice some things to get the best value with whatever amount of money you have.
If you are on a tight budget, it is a good idea to focus on the functionality of the website rather than its appearance. In such cases where a business is looking to spend less, flashy design elements on a website tend to be unnecessary costs. Even though your website looks captivating, users will not be satisfied if it does not fulfill its obligations, like providing a smooth payment gateway or easy navigation.
Another reason why quality should be given more importance is that a website requires continual maintenance. It is needed to ensure that it works optimally, and all bugs are removed as they arise over time. If you choose a company that is cheaper to hire and delivers poor work, not only the design of your website will be of low quality, but it will become dysfunctional as time goes on.
It is advisable to stick with one company in the long run as you and the web development team would become familiar with each other’s work ethics, culture, and requirements. Moreover, as time passes by, your negotiation power, in terms of pricing, also increases as you become accustomed to the people of the company and get to know them better.
Consequently, you may end up reducing your expenses in the long term after hiring a company that charges significant fees but delivers high-quality work.
This quality is not limited to web development companies. Always look for companies that believe in effective communication and update their clients regularly. There are broadly two things you should monitor.
The first thing you should note is that how fast the web development company responds to your emails. If you are going to hire this company for years to come, you don’t want them to take days to reply to your emails as you can’t wait in all situations.
For instance, if your website has a bug that needs to be fixed as soon as possible, the company taking a whole day to respond to your request is the last thing you want. Quick communication at the initial stages is also crucial to determine whether the company actually values you as its customer or not. If you get quick responses to any query you raise, it is likely that the company is looking forward to working with you, and you are at the top of their priority list. On the other hand, if you receive replies after two to three days, you should look for other companies.
The second thing you should look out for is how effectively the company responds to your questions and requests. In other words, the company should respond to you in a way that caters to your requirements. If you do not get decent responses, it may be because the company has not understood your requirements properly. In that case, try to elaborate more. However, if it doesn’t work, it is time to move to another potential web development company.
Companies that assign personnel only for your business are likely to communicate effectively. So, you may want to ask the companies if they can provide a group of web development experts that would be assigned all operations relating to your business or not. However, understand the fact that such a demand may result in higher costs. Nevertheless, if you are confident that your strategy would yield high returns in the future, no cost is high enough for you to take a step back.
Never Do All the Homework
It may seem conflicting with the first tip, but you shouldn’t have to do all the homework, including understanding your business profile and requirements. It is expected from a good web development company to research about your business organization and analyze its web development needs before taking things forward.
Companies that expect you to tell everything there is to know about your business are basically asking you to do half of their work for them. Thus, find the companies that show a genuine interest in you and your businesses and are well-versed with your whereabouts.
Besides that, you should also make sure that the company is not a ‘yes man’. While it is vital that the company understands your needs and does work according to your guidelines, they should suggest some ideas and opinions on their own to make your website better. The reason behind it is that you may or may not have the required expertise to give the best instructions to the web development team.
A company that produces a replica of your words is a big no. If the members cannot suggest some alternative options or something better, they likely lack experience or genuine interest in your business.
In essence, you should always keep in mind that you are the ones paying for their services and not the other way around. Therefore, the company should be the one coming up with most of the creative as well as technical ideas. While your input and approval are of the utmost importance, the company should at least provide value equivalent to the amount of money you are paying to them.
Choosing the right web development company is essential for the success of your business. Thus, always take the matter seriously as it also involves spending money, and sometimes a lot of it. If you own a small business and are planning to go online, you should perhaps think again. Not all businesses can benefit from the internet. If you do not have enough resources to back your online sales and other operations (like delivery systems, customer support teams, etc.), hiring a web development company would only be a waste of money.
In the end, all we can say is take your time. The task can be overwhelming, and the list of tips mentioned above is definitely not exhaustive. So, try to do things at your pace and make sure you understand every bit of your selection procedure and shortlist potential companies accordingly.