A great website is more than great design. It also needs solid development if you want it to function properly, support your content and ensure your message gets across accurately.
When creating a new web presence, many people tend to only focus on the design – the front-end, customer-facing product. While the front-end is certainly important, it’s not all of a website. In fact, the development of the site is much more important to the site itself. It’s the backbone on which every other aspect relies, including design.
Because of this, it’s crucial that you hire a solid web development company rather than a design firm. If the company you’re talking to offers both design and development, that’s great, too.
The Right Web Development Company
Just like you would with any potential partner or vendor, you need to compare potential development agencies. Ask for proposals, schedule face-to-face consultations, and meet the folks that 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, then your chances are even greater. 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.” Thanks to Google’s recent algorithm change, having a mobile-friendly site isn’t an option any more. There are thousands of different devices and screen sizes 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/admin area? 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 content management system, then you’ll 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 go-to for the foreseeable future. Here at Mediagin, we do not offer hosting. However, we do offer support and maintenance plans for a nominal monthly fee.
- 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. The problem with this lies when you need a change later. Changes can take weeks or even longer if the developer that worked on your site can not be contacted. 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.
Once you have sufficient answers to these questions, then compare prices. Comparing prices first will not get you closer to the website that works best for your company. We have seen inexpensive websites perform better than more expensive ones. We’ve also seen inexpensive websites fall very short of expectations. It all depends on the communication up front.
Are you looking for a great web development company to handle your company’s site? Then consider Mediagin Creative. We can help design, develop and launch. Contact us today for a free consultation.