When it comes to creating a new website, clients tend to be the least familiar with the development phase – the actual building and coding of the site itself.  Unfortunately, this unfamiliarity often leads to confusion once the development process has begun. Clients come in with certain expectations – on timeframes, deliverables and costs – and when those aren’t met, they become unhappy or unsatisfied with their experience.

To circumvent this issue, the best web development companies should invest time into communicating with their clients: discussing with them the details of the development process, outlining the specific deliverables, and walking them through the timelines and expectations of each phase.  Through this, firms can ensure a stellar, more-than-satisfactory client experience every time.  Are you currently looking to design, develop and launch a new site? Here are 5 secrets you should know about the development process before heading into it:

Development isn’t just a one-time cost.

Continuous maintenance is crucial if you want your site to be successful. You can’t just launch a site, and expect it to work perfectly from now until the end of time – not with the way technology moves and advances in this day and age. Browsers are changing all the time, new devices are released and plug-ins and software need updating regularly. These all require subtle changes within your site’s code, and if you want to ensure your site is working properly to all clients, all the time, then you’ll need to allot for a few development costs annually.  We don’t push these costs because each website project is different.  Some need monthly maintenance while some can get by with quarterly or even yearly.

It takes a lot of time.

A site isn’t built in a day – no matter how experienced the developer is. Even the best web development companies can’t guarantee a customized, fully branded site in shorter than about one or two weeks. It’s just not possible. There are so many layers to the web development process. There’s the actual coding, there’s staging, there’s quality control and usability testing and finally, there’s the launch. All of these takes time and hard work to execute to perfection.

Testing is one of the most important parts.

One of the biggest roles of a developer is to ensure their sites work seamlessly across all devices, browsers and screen sizes. This requires a mind-boggling amount of testing, editing, and re-testing in order to ensure the utmost usability. Often, this can even be the most time-consuming part of the development process. So if it’s taking your developer a bit longer to execute the QA phase than you’d like, don’t fret. Remember, he’s doing it to ensure your site is as effective as possible for your customers.

The right hosting package is crucial.

Sure, you could opt for a budget hosting provider, but if your developer suggests otherwise, you should probably listen. Many platforms and types of sites are simply more vulnerable on less-than-ideal hosts. These hosts threaten the security of your site, and they can lead to hacking, theft, outages or even breaches of your customers’ privacy. If you want to ensure your site is always working its best (and that your customers’ data is safe), go with the hosting option that your developer suggests – every time.

It’s not as easy as it looks.

Professional web developers make building a site look like a breeze. But in reality, it’s actually a painstaking process that takes an immense amount of skill, knowledge and expertise. It’s not something you can just “pick up” or “try out;” it’s something that requires years of training and tons of on-the-job expertise to execute properly. Unfortunately, many business owners tend to think they – or someone on their team is up to the task. Once a site is launched – and the development company is no longer in the picture – they try to make changes and updates on their own. More often than not, they end up breaking the site, making a fatal error or ruining the careful code that was created in the first place. Your best bet is to keep your relationship with your web developer open, that way you can call on them when you need changes or edits to your site. Don’t try to be a developer if you’re not trained to be one.