5+ Tips on Choosing the Best Web Development Company
In the early days of the internet, and even as recent as 10 years ago, building a standard business website wasn’t particularly difficult. Of course, the more complex your business model, and the larger your company, the more complex your website will be. In 2020, building a website has never been easier. There are countless website builders (some available for free) that can build you a modern, clean, and simple website in a matter of minutes.
However, what do you do when you need a more custom website? What about a large-scale eCommerce site? Or a B2B lead generation website? This is where hiring a web development company comes into play. Choosing a good web development company can be separated into a few key areas, all of which we cover in the following sections.
Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur looking to build your first business-centric website, or you’re an existing business that needs a more custom platform to manage your online commerce activities, use the following tips to choose the best development company for your needs.
Take a Look at the Company’s Client List and Portfolio
Taking a look at a design/development company’s list of past clients and their portfolio should be the very first thing you do when prospecting for a service provider. It doesn’t make any sense to go with a development agency that specializes in eCommerce if you’re looking for a simple corporate website for your business. Likewise, if you need an advanced, customer eCommerce deployment you shouldn’t go with a company that specializes in creating websites for restaurants.
The value of looking at a company’s past work is that you get to ascertain whether or not they will be a good fit for your specific project. You also get to view real-world websites that they’ve developed, which can aid in narrowing your selection.
Look for Testimonials and Other Reviews
Apart from looking at a company’s website, the other aspect you need to consider is what that company’s past clients are saying about them. There are several reviews websites within the development/IT world that can be used to research a specific company.
Clutch.co is one such website that aggregates many reviews on IT companies around the world. If the business happens to have a Google places account, you can also look at the company’s reviews on Google.
Get in Touch With the Company’s Past Clients
Every single web development business that is established will have a long list of past clients that they should be able to provide as references. If a company isn’t able to (or unwilling to) provide some type of references that should be an immediate red flag. If the company does provide you with references, you should ask very specific questions that you’re concerned about. Below are some common questions that may be asked:
- How long did it take for X company to finish your website?
- Did the website come out exactly as you had hoped?
- What were some issues that came up during the development process?
- Were there any delays?
- Did the company provide any on-boarding process and/or support after completion of the website?
Review the Company’s Website
This should be rather obvious, but if the development company’s own website is lacking, or not up to the quality you’re looking for, why would you hire them to build your website? Development companies typically build their own website to be as updated, modern, and clean as possible. You should be careful to avoid any development or design company that has a tacky, outdated, or poorly designed website.
Take Note of the Company’s Communication Timeframe
There’s nothing worse than being on a development company’s backlog. This is especially true in eCommerce and similar industries where having a clean and modern website is essential for bringing in new business. If the company takes a long time to respond to your initial query, that might be a sign that they’re simply too busy to take on another project (at best), and simply not good with communication (worst case scenario).
You should look for a company that responds to your emails, phone calls, etc. in a timely, professional manner. Avoid companies that take long to respond, aren’t professional, or simply lack clear communication. Trust me, this will save you lots of headaches down the road.
All in all, your top priority should be finding a company that specializes in whatever industry you operate in. From there, you should narrow selection based on the portfolio, clients, and communication level of each service provider.