So, you’re in the process to get a new website for your business and you have a certain vision for it but not the time. Being a go-getter, coding it yourself, or setting it up on platforms like Shopify or Wix isn’t a problem for you, but is it the best investment of your time? More importantly, is it a practically scalable solution for the years to come? The best option is to hand over your web development project to a trustable agency. But given today’s competition, even searching and selecting the best web development company for your website is a task in itself.
While every agency that you hear of may sound the same, it’s only when you dive deeper that you understand the true values that distinguish them from each other. Here are 5 important things you must know before you outsource your website’s development.
First, let’s understand if you should go for an agency instead of hiring professional freelancers.
Deciding between the conviction of a web development agency and the flexibility of freelancers is never easy, especially when the area lies outside your expertise. Who can be trusted with your website? Who to give this huge responsibility to? Should it be an independent software developer? Or a company that specializes in web development?
Building a website is a lot like building a home. For instance, let’s take up a house, a lot of elements go behind building it – excavation, framing, interiors, exteriors, and so on. All of this, done by a crew of skilled workers. Think about it, would you hand over something as important as your house construction to just one person who claims to fulfill all these elements? Similarly, developing a website is not a one-man job and requires a team of individuals with many different skill sets. Overlooking the importance of hiring a full crew of experts just out of the desire to get to market quickly or simply because of a lack of clarity can be harmful to your business in the long run.
But this doesn’t mean that you should completely neglect the role of a freelancer. If the required work is something like a UI upgrade with motion animation or rethinking your digital branding, then a professional freelancer can be of help. However, keep in mind that freelancers are proficient with a limited skill-set. Rare are those who are trained to work for complex and dynamic projects. It can cost you a lot of time and mental energy to find that one perfect individual.
Based on the comparison the first thing you should decide is what your priorities are. If freelancers better suit your requirement then go for platforms like Behance and Freelancer to seek out the best designers and developers. But if a website development agency is a better fit for you, keep on reading! Let’s break down the characteristics and qualifications of top web development companies.
5 important questions to ask the shortlisted web development agencies
1. What are you expecting from the web dev firm?
Make sure you clearly communicate your expectations from the website/platform – create a feature list and share references so the agency can share a practical approach, quote, and turnaround time. For instance, if you need a portfolio website at first and then want to translate it into an eComm website at a later phase, talk to companies who can put up suggestions and assess the approach for you rather than just executing it. Don’t ask them for all their work, ask them for their best work and base your evaluation on it. All this will answer one question for you – can this company develop the sales engine you need.
2. How long will it take to complete the web development project?
Once the agency understands your goal and vision for the website or platform, they should be able to give you a timeframe. A website can take anywhere from a week to 3 months and user portals take higher. It can take a longer or even shorter time depending on your goals and requirements. Check to see if the timeline fits your needs or just clearly communicate the project deadlines. It’s always a good idea to spare extra time for unexpected changes or new additions.
3. Do they offer other services than website development?
Apart from developers, if your web development company also has graphic designers, SEO experts, and marketing professionals then they will be able to create a high-performing website that exists to generate leads and not just look pretty. Sometimes web development agencies offer additional services that you may need such as branding, web copywriting, SEO, and more. It is not always necessary but can be a great advantage, especially if you’re looking for a long-term partner who can manage and support your brand in the longer run.
4. Speaking of, will they be able to provide long-term help?
When looking for a web development company, you shouldn’t just be looking for someone that provides a quick service and vanishes. The relationship between you and your chosen agency should ideally represent a lasting partnership, through which you can support other spheres of the business tomorrow and not just the website. Indeed the most important task of any web development company is to provide their clients with an attractive and functional website. But the viability of any website is proven only after 2-3 months after its launch through the collected data and depends on your marketing strategy. Therefore, when choosing a website development company make sure they are willing to form a long-term relationship with you. This way your needs are met, not just initially but for a longer period.
5. How will the communication and documentation be managed?
Communication is the key to any successful web dev project. Every agency has its preferred communication method, and it is a good idea to understand the process for your project. You can directly ask them if they will provide a project manager or one central contact, who that person will be, and how often can you expect them to contact you. On the other hand, the documentation helps you understand the phase-wise breakup of the deliverables of the website and accordingly set up reviews to avoid delays or too many iterations. Make sure you stay in touch with them throughout the process and take swift and hard calls – to make sure you don’t up the work and the project fails to meet its deadline. A quick check once a week or a round-up call after each project milestone can be a good practice to go with.
What do you think?
We hope this read helped you gain some clarity! Your hard-earned money and time deserve to be invested with someone who can help you achieve what you’re looking for.
At Spark Eighteen, we don’t make a website for you, we make it for your customers. This simple difference makes a significant impact on the lifetime sales of any startup or established business.
If you’re interested, feel free to check out some web development projects that we’ve done in the recent past or you can directly get in touch with us here. We’ll be happy to help!