Balancing the heavy boatload of options for web development can be incredibly tiring. There's a whole lotta' companies to choose from. It seems like everyone claims to have the ability to develop and customize a website for you. From fancy national companies with hundreds of designers to your teenage next-door-neighbor, the options can be tough to wade through.
How do you choose a web development company?
Are you supposed to pick the nerdiest looking guy with the hope that he speaks HTML and can customize your site to a "T" the fastest, even though you expect he won't offer much by way of customer service?
Or do you choose the company with all the bells and whistles, the folks who will meet you at Starbucks and buy you a latte while you leisurely sift through colors and fonts... only to turn out a disappointing product that you could've created yourself?
Harumph. I know, it's tempting to just take a shot in the dark and skip all the educated decision-making business. BUT before you spin the bottle and randomly select a winner, let me give you three teensy pieces of advice that might do you some good when it comes to choosing the right people to develop your website:
- Cheap isn't always best.
- Big promises don't mean good results.
- Philosophy is what ultimately sells.
Most of us part with the contents of our wallet veeeeeeery skeptically. I get that. But please don't make finding a cheap option the most important goal of your search.
I understand that web development can get pricey, and it might feel incredibly difficult for a business owner or marketing executive to invest in a website they can't feel, touch, smell, hang on the wall, hand to customers, or pass out at events. Remember, though, that investing in a website in 2013 is one of the most important things you can do. People no longer make decisions based on T.V. commercials or billboards. They are searching online for great companies, services, and products 24/7. Being visible to your target market online shows that you care enough to be present there, and will land you immense opportunities that you wouldn't get otherwise. I encourage you to not downplay the importance of your website and not opt for the cheapest choice you can find.
Realize, too, that many companies are willing to negotiate within your budget confines. The price they advertise may be up to discussion!
A company can whisper sweet nothings into the phone (or your ear, for that matter) all day, but do they have the skills, experience, and smarts to deliver? You want a fast-loading, well-designed site with intuitive navigation, custom elements to fit your target customers, and eye-catching graphics. You also want your site to convert visitors into customers. Before you choose a company, ensure that they have achieved excellent results in the development of other websites!
Every developer should have a portfolio to show you. It's crucial that you take a look at the websites they have developed and, more specifically, talk to them about how the websites have helped their customers meet important marketing and business objectives.
Why does this developer do what they do? Do they understand the importance of their product as a marketing tool and as a huge asset to your company?
As writer, speaker, and author Simon Sinek has said, people want to do business with people they believe in and with whom they share values. Does this company share your values? Do they understand what a great website needs to do, and why, rather than just simply "getting the job done" without a lot of thought to it? Do they model integrity, dedication to problem-solving, and hard work?
If you can find a company with the right philosophy about why they are creating websites, and the skills to do it right, hire them!
When you evaluate potential web development agencies, don't be cheap, ensure that they can deliver on their promises, and make sure you like their philosophy.
You deserve an outstanding website to showcase your one-of-a-kind company - so don't settle!
If you'd like a little extra guidance in your decision-making process, check out Tips On Hiring a Web Development Company. It's short, sweet, and filled with savvy tips to help you out.