Getting a new website built for your business can be expensive, but it is essential – in this day and age – and it certainly is a no waste investment. Believe it, a website helps keep your business running round the clock, throughout the year, which definitely leads to a better growth. However, before you jump on deciding on a certain web design and development firm, make sure you know what you are getting into. Below is a list of some vital questions that you need to ask to a firm that you are considering hiring.
1. How do you handle all your development work - in-house or outsourced? What is the size of your team? How long have you been developing websites, i.e. your work experience? Most web-development firms outsource their work. This is not entirely bad, but it creates a little bit of complication. In such cases, try to find out if the intermediary – the firm that you are considering hiring—has enough wits to understand your precise requirements. This way, they will be able to understand your requirements and convey them to their outsourced partner who will deliver the real solution. The communication gap will be minimal in case the firm has an in-house development team. The size of the team, whether in-house or outsourced, matters as it is directly related to the speed of the outcome of your project. The experience affects the quality of the outcome. More experience equals better quality.
2. What are the different technologies that you can work with? Can you show me the back-end system of some of your past or demo sites? Knowing what technologies they can work with gives you a choice – a choice that you can make, suiting your requirement and budget. While getting an early peak at the back-end system (content management system), on the other hand, can be very helpful. It will give you an idea about how your website’s back-end is going to be. Easy-to-use back-ends are in demand for not-so-tech-savvy business owners. Tech-savvy business owners, on the other hand, are demanding for versatile content management systems that would allow them to manage every cornerstone of their website.
3. Can you deliver responsive web design, which help render the website on different devices with different screen sizes and orientations? Most people today access websites through smart devices (tablets and smartphones). Your website should serve these people, as well. A responsive web design will help you in this regard. With a responsive web design, your website will change its entire layout and render ideally to the visitor, regardless the type of device the visitor is using.
4. Do you provide a hosting service? Do you offer after sales services, like website maintenance? If you do provide such services, what are the costs of those services? After your website is built, you will need to host it with a web hosting service provider so that it becomes accessible on the World Wide Web. Hosting your website on your own can be a bit difficult; hence, find out if the web development firm can help in this regard. As far as maintenance is concerned, it is necessary. No matter how secure a website is built, new viruses are emerging every day, marring the performance of a website over time. Besides, technologies are also evolving, contributing toward the performance of the website. For these cases, regular maintenance is necessary. Find out if the firm is offering such services and at what additional costs.
5. What pricing options do you offer? Do you charge hourly or flat-fee based on the project? What is your payment policy? Do you often complete the projects on-budget? Can you provide the breakdown of the total costs? Answers to these questions will help you choose the firm that best matches your budget.
Of course, doing these activities is time – consuming, but you are making a potentially big, one-time investment, and you want to ensure that you do not go awry. It makes a significant difference in choosing a good web design and development firm and choosing a not-so-good firm. Make a careful decision, and best of luck.