Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Web Design Company

Having a modern, user friendly website and web-presence in general is of the utmost importance and a great tool towards the success of your business endeavours. Whether you have no web home at the moment and are planning to obtain one, or if you feel that your current web-presence is outdated and could benefit from a revamping, the most crucial decision you have to make is choosing the right web development company to entrust the job to.

There are tons of such companies out there, both local, national and even from abroad. Some are really good, some others claim to be but are not. You are literally spoiled for choice, but you may end up making the wrong choice and pay for it dearly. So, here’s a few tips to keep in mind when making your selection, to maximize the chances that the web development company you choose is indeed the most suitable and right one.

  • Having clear requirements from them
  • Finding a web developer with the right experience
  • Ensuring the right kind and level of support
  • Making sure the site is also SEO ready
  • Testing and measuring effectiveness

Having clear requirements from them

To be able to choose who will undertake your web development project, you first need to have a very clear picture and solid understanding of what your specific needs are. Handing someone the mandate through the sentence “I want a website” is not enough. Having a clear set of requirements in your own head, will surely save you time and money and will help the web developer match your specifications and deliver the kind of website you require without much trouble and back and forth. To be able to provide such a clear work description on your part you need to map out the answers to the following points:

  • What is the exact purpose of the website? Is it a full e-commerce site or is it more informational in order to showcase your offering and can thus contain more static pages?
  • What is your own expectation from the site? Who is the target audience you wish to reach out to? Are you aiming at increased traffic in general, boosting online sales in particular or better answering customer inquiries online?
  • What are your preferences regarding the site’s structure and layout? Having at least an outline of this will help the developer in the process of planning and drawing up and will ensure the smooth function and operation after launch.
  • How about the actual design and the all-important user experience? Looks matter but a website that looks great but doesn’t work or is hard to navigate is pretty useless! This is why design and navigation ease need to be addressed simultaneously and complement one another, always having in mind the needs of the potential end users.
  • Learn from others, imitate the good and don’t be like the bad! Draw a list of sites that you really enjoy and feel your own should look or work like they do and another list of sites that really annoy you and share these lists with your web site developers as a guide of what to pursue and what to avoid.
  • Who are your competitors and what is their online presence like? Solid knowledge and comprehension of what your competition is doing online will help you avoid their mistakes, create something unique to differ from them and be able to offer similar levels of good functionality and navigation in an improved, better manner.
  • Do you know who much money and how much time you have? The developer will work better if you give them from the start a clear picture of your available budget and the timeframe they have to work in, based on when you want your site to be up and running, as they will thus be better able to accommodate your constraints and deliver the best possible result.

Finding a web developer with the right experience

Unless what you are looking to build as a web-presence is truly simple and has minimal requirements, it is better to assign the project to a company that has successfully worked on similar projects in the past and its team members have experience in your specific business area. Don’t be shy to ask for proof of such previous projects and do ask the developing companies to show you examples of previous similar work they have undertaken. By looking at the sites they have already worked on you will be able to make useful conclusions about a developer’s quality of work, their professionalism and attention to detail. Moreover, you will be able to get ideas or identify things to avoid.

Ensuring the right kind and level of support

Designing and building your web presence is important, but equally important is having ongoing support for your website and overall web presence. Ongoing support can be divided into two broad need categories, namely simple updates and ongoing maintenance. Websites are not static by default, so you can expect to have to make updates and small changes to your content often, in order to keep the interest of visitors alive. In this case having to call your web developer every time will be time consuming and make the process cumbersome. Therefore, for minor changes, such as updating some text or changing an image you could use a content management system (CMS) that you can learn to use in-house. To be able to do this, you need to ask your developer to provide you with such a CMS and also provide the necessary training to the in-house staff who will be doing the updates. In terms of ongoing maintenance this is crucial as it ensures the backend of your site is up-to-date and secure, not allowing access to hackers or other security threats and safeguarding that no unexpected events will be able to take your site down and disable it for long periods. Make sure your developer can offer this type of ongoing maintenance services in a timely, efficient and effective manner, at a logical cost.

Making sure the site is also SEO ready

Since usually the majority of web traffic comes via the most popular search engines like Google, making sure your site ranks high in search engine results is crucial and vital for its success. This is where SEO (search engine optimisation) comes into play as it is the amalgamation of various techniques that make your site rank as highly as possible. Therefore, it is an essential requirement to have from your developer to deliver to you a site that is fully SEO ready. Ask them to explain which techniques they plan to use to safeguard a high search engine result ranking for your web presence. The significance of SEO has been analysed well in previous posts which you can refer to, but as a swift recap bear in mind that your developer should give you a site that is viewable and operable well both on mobile devices as well as desktops, ensure all pages load without problems and at a fast speed that that all content can be searched and navigated well, both by humans but also by the crawlers of search engines that gather data to compile the search engine result rankings.

Testing and measuring effectiveness

The correct and effective working, operation and performance of your website is the responsibility of your developer, so you will need to ask and find out how they plan to test the site before it goes live and how they will ensure that everything works as it should. Even if you don’t understand or don’t want to know the exact details of how it will be done, you still need to make sure that your developer will perform all the necessary tests for the navigation of your site, will carefully proof-read all content and rigorously test all e-commerce related systems. Don’t hesitate to be demanding and ask for perfection, since all good developers would be happy to explain how they will test and might even ask for your own input for a pilot testing period. Remember that it is important to make sure every runs smoothly before taking your new site live.

At Netresort we are proud of our long experience and healthy track record of satisfied customers. We can undertake all parts of the development of the web presence for companies of any size and across an array of business fields. In close and honest collaboration with clients and with full transparency along the way, we can deliver professional, immaculate websites, beautifully designed pages and effective and efficient e-commerce solutions. If you are looking for a partner to deliver the best possible results, then talk to our team and let us walk together towards the path of online success!

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Posted by

George Milios

SEO Expert, Marketer

When I’m asked what I do for a living, I debate in my head how to answer the question. Should I say: "I’m an SEO" and wait for the inevitably confused look? Perhaps I should go with my best friend’s answer, instead: “He looks through and organizes information on the internet to get high rankings on Google.” You have to admit, anyone who can organize the internet is probably pretty cool. Should I keep my answers brief, or should I take a little time and educate them about the awesomeness of SEO?

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Published: Sunday 03 February, 2019