HOW TO CHOOSE A WEB DEVELOPMENT COMPANY
You may be asking yourself if you even need to hire a web development company at all. After all, creating a website on your own is simple these days, right? Well, it turns out building your own website is not such a great idea. Yes, anyone can create a website, technically. However, just like anything else in life, if you want a good quality product that looks professional, you will need a professional. (Go ahead and rebuild the transmission in your car and then we can discuss why we need professionals.) Alright, if you have decided to go with a professional, you have made the right choice. But where do you start? What do you need to begin? Is the firm you select going to treat you fairly? You need to choose between a web design firm or freelance web developer. You need to choose what type of platform you want the site built. You need to choose what type of budget you have for the website. And, there are many other decisions you’ll need to make before you even decide on a specific web developer. Believe me that these are all questions that everyone has pondered over at one time or another. If you decide to open up your wallet, then you will certainly need to do a little homework on the fundamental needs when creating a website.
The selection of a web development company will be one of the most important decisions you will make for your business. It will be right up there along with selecting logo design and individual leadership within your organization. There are no successful companies out there that have a humdrum or unimaginative websites. Finding the web developer that can deliver this product is going to have a massive influence on your business’ success. This is why it is worthwhile to do research and to know exactly what sort of product you want to buy. You wouldn’t go into an auto dealership without having an idea of what you were looking to buy, right?
There will be several considerations and factors that you must weigh in order to find the right team to develop your site. You will have to consider things like coding ability to customer service to artistic design to cost. There will be a myriad of factors that all play a distinct and extremely important role. Many people are hesitant to jump in to website production because the process seems daunting. You most certainly have dozens of questions about content and pricing; perhaps you do not even know what you want your website to do.
Web developer or web designer?
To many people, these terms are interchangeable. However, there is a difference between the two. Web designers commonly ae more focused on aesthetics and creating a visually appealing website (front end developers). Web developers are the ones that make the magic happen via the programming and coding (back end developers). So how do you select between designer and developer? That is not a terribly simple question to answer. If you are looking for someone to build a new layout for your homepage, you would want a designer. If you need someone to build an app for your business, you would want a web developer.
Truth be told, you will have the most success using a combination of the two. This is why a freelance web developer or designer may not always be the best option. Using a company like SEO Design Chicago will give you the best of both worlds. We have award winning designers and developers that work in conjunction with one another to provide excellent results. We also offer services like website hosting and website backup.
Website developer reviews
One of the most integral aspects of selecting a web developer is their track record. One of the truest measures of success is an excellent track record. A good web developer should be able to give examples of their past work for clients to examine. This will give you an opportunity to get a sense of the different styles they are able to produce. You want each site to feel polished and stylish. It should navigate well and should provide an excellent end-user experience. If you are familiar with code, you should take a look at the actual code on the websites within their portfolio.
Not all web developers have a portfolio on their website. Or, they may only offer a limited selection of sites to view. This should give you pause. SEO Design Chicago has portfolio examples from all types of fields. We have created and reworked websites for everyone from small businesses up to websites for complex organizations.
Once you’ve had a chance to look through their portfolio, you’ll want to look over reviews online and make sure they are positive reviews. If you are unable to find any reviews online for a web development company online, that is not a good sign. They could be relatively new. Ideally, you should be looking to work with a developer that has several years worth of good reviews available online. If, while you’re reading the reviews, you see something that concerns you, ask the web developer about it.
Interview potential web developers
Just like anyone else that you hire, you will need to interview any potential web developer. This is someone that you will be working with closely on one of the most important aspects of your customer facing business tools.
It is essential that you not only feel comfortable working with this developer, but that you also see eye to eye. Now, you may not be asking him or her about long-term goals and plans for the future. However, you need to focus on process. How do they overcome obstacles? Also, this is a great time to discuss communication. How often would you like to be in communication. Is your potential web developer going to be available in the evenings to answer questions? In addition, how does your potential candidate stay on top of trends? Does he or she read blogs, maybe publish their own blog? Questions like this, even if you are not familiar with the publications or lingo will still give you a much better representation of their abilities.
Experts in web development integration
Perhaps your website or business already integrates with a third party system. You need a web development team that has the know how and experience to integrate with any third party systems that you may have. Your existing platforms and tools should be central and your site should be built around it rather than the other way around.
Does your company already use a third party system to accept payments or to schedule appointments or meetings? Do you need e-commerce integration? Do you need integration with popular platforms like Shopify, Magento, Typo3, and WooCommerce? It is important that your web developer is able to combine the new website with these programs so that you, and more importantly, your clients don’t miss a beat when using your website.
Another question to ask is what other additional services does the web development firm offer? Is development all that they do? If so, that is not inherently a bad thing for them. However, when your site is up running for a little while and now you need help driving traffic or just updating all of your business info (hours, telephone numbers…) into various sites, you will need to turn elsewhere for help. All of these are great reasons to use a firm like SEO Design Chicago due to the large scope of services offered.
Web developer coding
Your web developers should have expertise in creating and working with many different types of code. Not all websites are created equal and some need specialization. The last thing you want to do is have to find someone else to create a custom page or add on. You want perfection on your site because that is what your customers are expecting. SEO Design Chicago’s web development team has the expertise to create whatever product you want flawlessly. There are a number of Content Management Systems out there today. SEO Design Chicago has experience with many of them such as: WordPress websites, Shopify Websites, e-commerce websites, Drupl Websites, Joomla Websites and Magento websites. We can do custom coding in house with our Chicago based team. No matter your online needs we have the expertise to create your website.
Web development client support
The right web developer will walk you through every step of the process and collaborate with you to provide the exact results that you want. It is possible, perhaps likely, that something will come up during the development process. It is important that you are working with a web developer that is willing and able to flexibly work with these issues to correct them right away.
There are certainly a vast number of web designers and developers that are very good at what they do. However, they are not very good at collaboration and working with others to develop a team dynamic. For that very reason, it can be frustrating to work with some individual web designers. SEO design Chicago has been working as a team for about a decade. We pride ourselves on consulting and delivering a product that is outstanding and exceeds any and all expectations.
Web design team integration
Excellent design and integration into your website are paramount to its success. A great website with poor design will fail every time. (Just for fun, go ahead and search poor website design and see what we mean.) Therefore, it is important to have a web developer that works closely with a good design firm. Even better though is to have a web developer that has an excellent in-house design team. SEO Design Chicago has its own in-house photography, videography, and graphic design teams.
Trial web development
A website is a big investment to make for your business that will have a lasting effect on your company. Not unlike purchasing a vehicle, it would be wise to take the web developer out for a test drive. Before contracting a web developer for a web development project, don’t be afraid to test them out on a small project. Try contracting the web developer to make changes to your current website. By having a web developer complete a small project for your company, you’ll be able to get a feel for what working with them for a website project will be like. A small project is a low-cost way to see if the web developer will be a good fit for your company.
Website development proposals
Alright, you have narrowed your options down to a few developers, ask each to put a proposal together outlining the specific costs and what is included in the project.
Once you have all the proposals, you will be able to make a well-informed decision based on those proposals and your prior research. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as great cheap web development. It takes a tremendous amount of time, effort, and expertise to produce a high quality website. Those people that offer you an inexpensive website will not be providing you with anything more than a headache that will end up costing you big money to fix in the long run. As the old adage goes, “you get what you pay for.” SEO Design Chicago prides ourselves in transparency. We do not want you to be surprised by any additional charges.
Let’s face it, there are a whole bunch of giant companies out there who will gladly take your money. Many, but not all, of these companies will outsource your work to a foreign designer or developer. Large national corporations often do not provide the customer service and the pride in the community that you will find with a local business. SEO Design Chicago takes pride in the city of Chicago and can offer guidance on giving back to the community. We also offer a scholarship for college students who are interested in digital marketing.
SEO Design Chicago
It is very possible that you had not considered all of these criteria already. That is alright. SEO Design Chicago is available to answer any questions and guide you through this process. We have a great number of years of experience and are experts in these fields. Reach out to us and we would be happy to show you what we can do for your business.