Find Web Developers
Find Web Developers

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How Do I Find a Great Web Development Company?

Friday, August 24th, 2018

A company’s website is a critical part of an overall marketing plan. Choosing the right web company as your partner is equally critical and can greatly improve your return on investment (ROI). A good website can enhance revenue streams while conversely, a “not so good” website can actually drive traffic away from your business. As retail giant Wal-Mart experienced, online sales increased by over 30% to approximately $10 billion, accounting for nearly 8% of its $114 billion in quarterly sales.

So, while not every business can do $114 billion in quarterly sales, here’s a few things to keep in mind when making your selection.

To have a functional, successful website, the partner you choose should have several skillsets, which is rarely found in just one person.

Graphic Design

Art is subjective and normally, when someone looks at a website, they initially decide whether they like it or not. What’s important to realize is that while it is your website, the design needs to be appealing to a large audience that could potentially be your future customers. Make sure your web design partner understands your targeted demographic.

Marketing

Do the companies on your short-list have a solid understanding of digital marketing? Do they know it well enough to structure the content, images and navigation? Remember: if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter.

Coding & Development

When a development team looks at the design of the website, they obviously need to make it function. Professional developers have a ton of tools at their disposal and often times, a team has people with different “specialties” which could include a specialist that will make sure the website is crazy-quick.

SEO

Search engine optimization is a topic that a lot of people claim to know a lot about, but in reality, it’s a niche segment that plays a very important role in being successful online. Can the team handle both on-page as well as off-page SEO? A good rule of thumb: if they can’t do it for themselves, how can they do it for someone else?

Professionalism

You need to trust your development team. A reputable, professional web design & development team has ethics. They should be looking out for your best interests and help you do things right the first time. Ask about images. How do they acquire them? Are they properly licensed? Then, ask them for proof of licenses. Since it’s likely that you’ll be working with this team for a while, make sure they’re organized, make sure you know who your contact(s) is/are and you all get along. It really is a kind of “business marriage”.

Copyrighting

If you can’t provide all of the original content for the site, you might need to have that content written. Some development companies don’t write content; they depend on the client to provide it. Ask your team if they have (or work with) a copywriter. If copyrighting is needed, is the cost included?

So, now that you know the major skillsets to look for, you might also consider the following:

– How are updates handled?

If you, or your staff wants to be able to make changes to the site, will the site be developed to accommodate that? If not, you’ll need to pay for future updates. It’s always nice to have both – the ability to make changes yourself, but also that “safety net” as a backup.

– Local or Non-Local

Does it matter to you whether your web development company is local? Theoretically it shouldn’t matter, but if you look at this as a relationship and not just a one-and-out, it might. Either way, your team should have a proven track record and a reasonable response time.

– Technical Stuff

You need to own your domain name. Make sure it’s registered the right way. If you’ve ever wondered whether you own it, do a quick check at who.is. You’ll see some technical stuff on the results page, but what you want to look at is the “Registrant” information – that’s who has full control of the domain.

OK, so we have an idea of the things to look for. Now, where do I find a good developer and how much is all of this going to cost?

First, ask around. Referrals are earned by offering awesome service. Ask colleagues, clients, vendors, other people in similar businesses. If that route ends up as a dead-end, check out search engines. Do simple search on “Web Design & Development (CITY)”. The results should give you a short introduction of a company. Start compiling your short-list.

When you’re talking or meeting with companies, it’s CRITICAL to make 100% sure that you’re describing and asking the same questions to everyone; compare apples to apples.

Ask about their design process. You’re looking for a company that has a structured, trackable, well-documented and systematic process.

You should expect them to be asking most of the questions; questions that relate to your business and your goals. Getting to know your business is the only way they can effectively create a plan, which in turn will create an effective website.

Look for a design portfolio. You’ll get a feel for how they design websites. Do they all look the same? If so, they probably use a template – move on. Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions about specific designs. They should be able to provide insights as to how it benefits that client.

Do they have an in-house graphic designer? If not, do they work with only 1? Every graphic designer has their own “flavor” and working with more than 1 is always best.

Is initial on-page SEO included? It should be. Every page should have title tags, header tags, proper META information, good keyword density, “alt” tags on images and if anyone mentions the word “Flash”… move on.

Check reviews online, but if you can have a conversation with one of their current clients, that’s the best option. That way, you can get a true sense of satisfaction. Be sure to ask about responsiveness, professionalism and how smooth their project was. Were they completely satisfied and were promises kept?

Talk about post-launch. How is the site maintained? Some firms will charge a monthly fee whether you use them or not, others charge for the actual time spent doing actual work. If you’ll be making changes and run into something over your head, where does support end and billable time begin?

Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. Can they meet yours? Is the deadline realistic? Most reputable design companies are on some type of “lead time”, where they’ll be able to begin your project XX days after you officially engage them. That’s a good thing. Try to avoid design companies that can start the project immediately. Good design & development firms are busy – at least steady. It’s like walking into an empty restaurant… if no one is eating there, chances are, it’s for good reason.

Let’s talk money.

Ask the companies to explain their fee structure and be sure to get an estimated project cost. Make sure that things are spelled out what’s going to be provided at what cost. You don’t want any surprises. Some companies work on a project basis, others work on an hourly basis. What’s the average hourly rate a reputable web company should charge? Great question, but a tough one to answer. Numbers are all over the board, but normally, you’ll find companies charging between $50 – $150 per hour.

Talk about a little thing known in the industry as “scope creep”. Web design & development projects very rarely go unchanged during development. How do they handle that? Change order / change fee? Make sure it’s understood.

Make sure you get and understand their billing process. Some want a percentage down and the rest upon completion. Other companies have variations on that, albeit milestone payments, timed payments or whatever. Make sure payment terms are completely understood and agreed upon.

There ya have it. Hopefully, this information will guide you on taking the first step to finding the perfect, reputable web design & development company for your project. Remember – you’re hiring them, they’re not hiring you. Remember your priorities and make sure they know them too. If things don’t feel “right” to you, move on.

Inherent Qualities of a Good Web Development Company

Thursday, August 23rd, 2018

With the world shrinking at such a drastic rate because of the internet, every company is working with the aim of gaining a prominence in the virtual world to expand their business outreach, thereby generating more sales. With the help of proper designing and development techniques, if executed in the right way, the company can certainly develop an informative and visually attractive website that is user-friendly at the same time. But for most of the professionals the question lies that “where to get the best service in this field?”

Finding the right web developer is one of the most crucial things as because, this particular person or entity will be the sole responsible one to develop the online face of the concern, thereby enabling the business professionals to communicate with the customers in the virtual space. Catering to this issue, following here are some things to consider while making the right choice when it comes to hiring a web development company.

Competence

Apart from experience, knowing the competence level and area of ease of the considered web developer is important to know. It is certain that a person cannot cater each aspect with the same consistency. Different organizations will be having different area of operations and different set of work processes. Thus, before one, the business professional must know that whether the personal skills and attitude of the web developer matches to the work culture of the company or not.

Work Culture

A good web development organization must have a structured coding system that allows the designers and programmers to work with greater ease on the same project. This system mainly uses a set of specific tools, libraries and components for better code maintenance and future growth.

Capable in Both Front-End and Back-End Solutions

A credible web development concern is an expert in both back-end enhancement and front-end production. Furthermore, there are a number of back-end progression solutions such as ASP and Dark red on Track and each of them have their own set of specifications. A good web progression company is always flexible about which type of technology will be ideal for a particular company depending on their requirements.

Bottom Line

On a concluding note, the chosen web development company must take into account the marketing strategies of the company that help them to work in line to the work process of the business. Make sure to ask relevant questions related to the qualifications and accreditation of the company that helps to know about the reputation and credibility of them, thereby enabling to take the right choice.

Why Is Front-End Web Development Important for Businesses?

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2018

The era of the World Wide Web had begun in the late 90s, and now it has reached the point of utmost complexity. Almost every market and industry has gotten into this web of virtual global connection. The sheer magnitude of the online services and our growing reliance on them clarify how significant and robust all of its varied components are to keep the technology sustainable and contemporary to present times.

Out of its varied components, front-end web development is one that owing to the growing concerns over UX and UI is getting much attention in present days. Sure, back-end development, database connectivity, and all the protocols are as important, if not more, as what is in the front, but they are mostly taken care of by the specific service providers. Or in other words, there are already big hosting service providers around the globe that are taking care of these technical concerns.

Therefore, it is only the front-end that remains in the hands of businesses that want to leverage the potential of the internet for the growth of their business.

What is Front End Development?

For those who have just begun the journey of their business’s digitization, the term front-end development may not carry much sense. So to sum up what the term means, here is a brief description that will also hopefully clarify what specific services should one expect when certain web development companies offer their custom services under this title.

Front-end web development, as the name suggests, includes the processes involved in the development of the front-end of the website, i.e. the face that users will see when they visit the website.

To create this face, developers use HTML (The backbone of any website), CSS (sophisticated cosmetics to make the website look better), and Javascript or WebAssembly (making the content of the website somewhat dynamic). Using these tools to the best of their capabilities, developers will try to create a bespoke web application that ideally matches with the theme of one’s business and the services it offers.

It is evident now that why most companies are focusing on this specific part of web development services. It is the face that constitutes to their identity in the online world. This will be the first thing their online clients and customers will see and make judgement out of.

This is why so much focus is being laid on the UX and UI of web services. The UX or User Experience is the key element that decides what will be the overall experience of users when they are on a website. This includes the look and feel of the webpages, the ratio of the expectations that were met, the time it takes for a user to find and reach the element they are looking for, etc.

UI or User Interface is not much different from UX, and both the terms are almost always used together with each other. The only difference between the terms is that the former is used to point at the specific interface that connects users with the website, whereas the latter is a comprehensive term used to describe the whole of the user’s experience.

Clearly, both the elements are equally important for a successful front-end development of a website. They define the users’ actions and also whether or not they will be willing enough to convert. So it matters little whether a website is on a great server with the lowest latency and high response time, or even if the business is actually performing fairly well on offline modes. As far as the user engagement and ultimately the revenue through online sources is concerned, front-end development of a website is the most important component for any business that is aspiring to maintain a sound online presence.