It is about that time. Your business has grown and evolved but your website – not so much. It is time to find that special person/agency that can help you escalate your online presence with great aesthetic and modern code to keep up with todays technology!
So where do you begin and how do you choose that special partner? Here are some things you should think about when making this difficult decision!
DO: HAVE A BUDGET IN MIND
We get it, cost is a factor in your decision. But just like anything in life, you get what you pay for. If you are buying a car would you expect a Ferrari on the budget of a Kia? It is the same with web development. Since many web developers base their rates on the hours they will require to complete your job – it can be costly – and the better service you want the more you can expect to pay.
A good web development and design agency will allow hours for at least a consultation, wire framing, design, SEO discussions, customer support and communication. If you want good programming, design and communication – those are things that are worth paying for.
Can you get a website for $500? Of course, but will you get the communication, support and level of experience and quality you would expect? Probably not.
DON’T: TELL THE WEB DEVELOPER HOW TO DO THEIR JOB
This happens on occasion and it can be frustrating for everyone involved. You are considering a web developer because you cannot do it yourself – so why not leave them to do what they do best. When you have that consultation don’t try and tell them what is and is not working and why you want that feature.
For example – you love FLASH and expect that your potential developer will have no problem including that in your website. When you are given some resistance because the developer knows that FLASH offers a horrible user experience, increases load time and is not search friendly – and you are upset, think about why you reached out to them in the first place. Developers spend many hours learning about the latest technologies, customer usability trends and so much more. Remember, they would never tell you how to do your job – you should trust them to lead you in the right direction!
WARNING: If you meet with an agency or developer who just tells you want to hear and agrees with you 100% – we would suggest you use caution. A good partner will not be afraid to be up front and honest and educate you about best processes and details.
DO: MAKE SURE YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE
Humans are given instincts for a reason – so use them. If you are on a consultation with a developer that you are considering and all of a sudden your inner self is saying – run, then run. You should feel like your developer is a best friend – that they are listening to your needs and wants and giving you honest and ethical feedback to help you succeed. If you are made to feel dumb for asking questions or talked down to or hurried to get off the phone, then you know what you need to do.
DON’T: HAVE UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
“How soon can we launch” is a common question that a developer hears. But remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you have waited this long to begin your search – you should understand that there is a lot of time needed to have a properly designed and programmed website.
For a traditional site without a lot of custom features you can typically expect a 3-4 month turnaround on a web project. Can it be quicker? Possibly, but usually at a higher cost and a possible risk of quality.
DON’T: LOOK AT YOUR DEVELOPER AS HIRED HELP
Most developers really do care about their clients – and you should embrace that! Don’t treat them like hired help and just assume that once the site is launched your relationship is over. When building websites, most developers want to work with you on your journey and can help significantly as your business changes and the scope of the web advances. Treat them as part of your business and you will have a dedicated long term asset to your team.
DOUBLE DO: BE NICE TO YOUR DEVELOPER!
Respect their time, their value to your business and their partnership in helping you be successful online. Developers typically deal with lots of different businesses and can be a great asset to you for referrals in the future. If a web developer sees what a great person you are and how well you treat them — they can only imagine how wonderful you would treat your own customers and would gladly share and talk about you as needed to help you get new business.
Remember, building a website should really be a fun process for you – yes, there will be some stress, but it should be a project you embrace and enjoy. By partnering up with the perfect development team you can get that level of comfort that you are in good hands!
Jill Caren brings over 12 years of WordPress and SEO experience to help you improve and grow your website. She has spoken at several events on SEO and has been published in several top SEO publications. You can contact Jill here.