8 Questions To Ask A Web Development Company Before Hiring Them
Creating a new website or re-vamping an existing website can be an expensive and time taking proposition if not done correctly. Before you hire or enter into an agreement with a web development company, make sure you know what you are getting into before signing on the dotted line. Some simple questions and research will go a long way to ensure that you are not making a mistake which can end up costing both time and money in the long run. Below is a list of 8 questions that you should ask before hiring a web development company to work with. This will give you an idea on the methodology, thought process and capability of the web development provider you are evaluating:
1. Is all your development and design work performed in-house? How many employees do you have? How long have you been in business?
Many web development companies outsource work and don’t have in-house development resources. Ensure that the company you are working with has the necessary design and development expertise in-house rather than outsourcing the work that you are providing. When you have middle-men involved, this will lead to more mistakes being made as well as it being more expensive in some cases. Try to speak to the web development professionals that will be working on your project to get a better understanding of their working style, expertise and opinions around your project. When you have all the resources you need under one roof, this will allow you to have group conversations with all the necessary people as well as a streamlined process for your work. Check to see how many employees they have as well as how long they have been in business which will give you a good sense of the capabilities/experience they possess or don’t possess.
2. Have you developed a similar website or project to mine? How long have you been working with this technology or CMS (Content Management System)?
Experience matters no matter what field of business you are in and the same goes when you are looking to work with a good web development company. The company you are evaluating should be able to show you other projects that they have worked on which use the same technology that you are looking for. They should be able to show you the front-end and back-end of similar web development projects so you can get an idea of how capable or incapable they are. Better yet, if they have developed a similar website in the same technology, this will give you an even better sense of what they are delivering to other clients. Experience matters and the same rule applies especially in web development.
3. Will you build a Responsive website (render correctly work across mobiles, tablets and desktops)?
It is estimated that more than 40% of websites today are being viewed across mobile devices. Even Google is now giving importance of mobile sites by displaying in the search results if the website is mobile-friendly as well as it is giving higher ranking preference to mobile-enabled websites. If the web development company you are looking to work with does not build responsive websites or hasn’t in the past, then this is a big red flag as they are not following web development best-practices. Ask them what their opinion is on this matter and if they will be able to help you which will give you a sense of the capabilities that they possess. In this day and age, it is really foolish to not have a responsive website especially if you are building a new website.
4. What type of warranty do you offer? Do you have a maintenance plan? Hosting options? How much does it cost?
Creating a new website is like buying a car. An automobile needs to have regular maintenance such as oil changes, filter replacement, brake replacement and so on. Just building a website is one thing but that website needs to be maintained and updated constantly. The CMS for example that you work with will need to get updated regularly to ensure that it is secure and has the latest functionality. Ask the web development company you are looking to work with what they offer in terms of AMC (Annual Maintenance Contract) and how much it costs so everything is clearly laid out. Check to see if they provide any hosting options or recommendations as well which is a critical part of a website project which is sometimes overlooked.
5. Can the company provide references? Can you show me samples of work you have done?
Work that has been performed and past client projects that have been successfully delivered is the biggest vote of confidence that a potential client can get from a web development company. This is one of the most important things that needs to carefully looked at when you are looking for a capable web development professional.
6. How do they track and show you the progress on your web development project? How do they communicate with clients?
They are many way in which a web development company can track a project and how it is being executed. Ask to see what type of software or interactive tools your potential web development partner is using to track the success of a project. They are tons of tools that are available across the World Wide Web that are being used by different companies. Check to see if you are happy with what they are offering as a collaboration platform. Lastly, ask to see how they communicate with clients and how they keep you updated besides the project management software that they will be using. For example, if you feel comfortable with a communication channel, check to see if they will communicate with you via your preferred method.
7. Who has access to the source code? Do I own and will I have access to the source code that is being created for me?
This is often one of the most overlooked things when it comes to a web development project. It is very important to have this clarity on who owns and who has access to your source code. Will the web development company re-use this code or will they hand it over to you once your project is completed? Ensure, that you have these points in writing within your contract to eliminate any misunderstandings or grey areas between parties. You should own and have complete access to your source code at all times.
8. Is the project hourly based or a one-time fee? What happens if it turns out to be more hours than initially quoted?
Clarity on the costing of your project is absolutely essential for the success of your web development project. Make sure you have everything in writing and all parts of the project are clearly laid out with the web development company you choose to work with. If a project runs over, how will they communicate this to you and get your approval on these additional hours? Ensure that all deliverables and timelines are clearly laid out in your contract so that there is no confusion for either parties involved. The more clear your project is laid out in terms of costing and delivery, the better it is for everyone involved.
Selecting a web development company to work with can be a daunting task if you don’t have clearly laid out objectives and goals. If you partner with a trusted and experienced web development partner, it can be a rewarding experience for all people involved. Ensure that you perform the necessary due diligence, take your time and make the best decision for you. By asking these simple questions and getting everything clearly laid out for both parties, you can avoid many mistakes that people make when selecting a web development company to work with. If you are looking for an experienced, trusted and capable web development partner to work with, please feel free to reach out to the team at Mind Digital Group for any of your development needs.
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