A great website doesn’t just require a great design. If you want it to function properly, support your content and imagery, and ensure your message gets across clearly and accurately, it also needs solid development, too.
Many people forget about the development aspect of a website. When creating a web presence for their company, they tend to only focus on the design – the front-end, customer-facing product.
While that’s certainly important, it’s not the end-all be-all of a website. In fact, the development of the site is much more important to the site itself. It’s the very backbone on which every other aspect (including design) relies!
To put it simply, without good development, a site is basically useless.
Because of this, it’s crucial that you hire not only a good web design firm, but also a solid web development company to go along with that. (If they offer both design and development, that’s great, too … just make sure both sides of the spectrum are up to snuff.)
Finding the Right Web Development Company
Now that you know how crucial a great web development company is to your site’s success, it’s time to talk about how to find that company.
Just like you would with any potential partner or vendor, you need to vet your potential developers. Ask for proposals, schedule face-to-face consultations, and meet the team who will be working on your site.
When speaking with them, make sure you ask these vital questions. If they can’t answer them or don’t answer correctly, it’s time to move on and find a new provider:
Do you have experience in my industry? If you want a great site, you need to choose a web developer who has a history of producing great sites. If you can find one that has experience in your exact industry or sector (and those sites have seen success), then your chances are even greater. Be sure to ask to see examples of any experience they tout.
Can you make my site mobile/responsive? The answer to this should always be a resounding “yes.” Having a mobile-friendly site isn’t an option any more. There are thousands of different devices and screen sizes on the market nowadays, and if your site can’t function properly on all of them, you’re going to miss out on a huge chunk of potential leads and sales.
Can you make a user-friendly back-end? If you want to be able to add content, update your blog or just make minor changes on your site, then your developer needs to make the back-end user-friendly for you. Specifically, they need to build your site on a content management system, which makes editing and changing your site a breeze. If you don’t have a CMS, you’re going to need a pro to make every little change you want in the future – and that’s just not cost- or time-effective.
Do you offer hosting, support and maintenance? If you want the easiest, most seamless transition from development to a live site, then you want a web development company that offers hosting, support and maintenance, too. Then, they’ll be able to help you launch your site, and they’ll also be able to help you with security updates, site changes and other needs in the future. Basically, they’d be your company’s web arm for the foreseeable future.
Where are your developers located? This is crucial when hiring a developer, as many companies like to outsource to save cash. Often, they’ll send your site off to low-cost, unqualified developers overseas who just don’t have the skills to deliver what you want. If you want a good product, you need to make sure you’re dealing with real, local people you can trust.
Do you do quality testing? The key to great web development is in constant testing – testing across browsers, screen sizes and devices, testing for usability, and testing for quality. Make sure your web developer has a process for all of these things. You don’t want your site to go live, only to find it doesn’t work on Apple devices or won’t display correctly in Chrome. Those are crucial mistakes that could cost you customers and sales in the long run.
Are you looking for a great web development company to handle your company’s site? Then consider Steadfast Creative. We can help design, develop, launch, host and even market your site. Contact us today for a free consultation.