How To Choose The Best Web Development Company
Since your business website is a strategic asset for your business, when you are planning a new website for your startup or planning to revamp your existing website, choosing the best web development company you can find is important.
Some of the best web development companies today happen to be located in India. India-based web development companies have the technical expertise to design a superb website with the right aesthetics to appeal to discerning online visitors. A state-of-the-art website today will have not only the latest web technologies but also offer a smooth and seamless user experience and intuitive navigation. The best and most popular websites all adhere to common web standards in terms of their menu options and placement of buttons such as for logging in/out.
The best Indian web development companies take care not only of the front-end web development but also the back-end. The back-end requires expertise in Linux admin, database experts in MongoDB, Hadoop and other latest database technologies.
Finding and choosing the best web development company in India will be a smart business decision that will help your business to grow. Outsourcing your web design and development work to India will save you up to 50 percent in costs but that is nowhere near the top reason for you to go for outsourcing. Even the best global technology giants — Apple, GE, IBM, Microsoft and others — go for strategic outsourcing and benefit immensely by doing so.
So, how to choose the best web development company/agency out there? Here are a few key pointers to keep in mind that will help you in this endeavor.
Check The Web Development Company’s Own Website
The quality of the website design company’s own website should pass muster. It should reflect the expertise the web design company claims to possess. A poor quality website or one with spelling mistakes or grammatical errors are definite red flags.
The company’s website should be complete and provide as much information as possible to the website visitor. The website should list the company’s core areas of work and expertise and provide the business’s physical address and other contact information. It should link to the company’s social media accounts and so on.
Check The Web Development Company’s Social Media Profile
Every business is present on social media these days since that is where the customers are. Social media such as Twitter is where customers go these days for customer service as well as to complain about the company. It’s common to see people complain on Twitter about delayed flights and other air-travel-related woes.
The sign of a good business is one that is present on social media to address customer complaints. For a web development company, it is a requirement and it is expected that they should be savvy enough with social media to have active accounts on different social media platforms.
You should search for the web development company’s name on Twitter to find its Twitter handle. Such a search will also show tweets, if any, from people regarding the company — either positive or negative. Appreciative tweets from clients should weigh in favor of the company while too many negative tweets where people complain about poor project execution or some other failure to deliver by the company can be pointers to real failures or problems on the part of the company. When you negotiate with a web development company, you may wish to seek clarifications about such negative social media mentions.
Check The Web Development Company’s Portfolio
Checking the web development company’s portfolio will give you much better insights into the company’s capabilities then just looking at the web development company’s own website. If your requirement is for a Magento-based ecommerce website, then the prior websites developed by the company and showcased as part of its portfolio will help you make up your own mind about whether the capabilities of the web development company are in line with your expectations.
Same thing applies if you are looking to develop a WordPress-based content management system or some new smartphone-based dating app to take on Tinder or any other startup.
If the quality of the websites in the web development company’s portfolio is consistently low and leaves much to be desired, then the company may be in the business of outsourcing its work to freelance web developers and may be operating as just a middleman. You should steer clear of such amateur setups for your strategic web development project.
Check The Web Development Company’s Contact Information
The contact information provided by the web development company can help you decipher the truth about the company’s operations. There should be multiple ways to contact including phone numbers and email. The company’s physical address and location should also be clearly identified on the company website.
Check The Web Development Company’s Core Services
The web development company’s website should list out the services offered by the company. These can offer some insights into the capabilities of the company. While there is no way for you to actually test out the company’s claims and whether it is actually capable of offering those services that it claims to offer or is merely making claims, the portfolio of the company may offer further insights into the company’s actual delivered work.
So the core service offerings combined with the portfolio will assist you in judging the web development company as a suitable potential partner for your web development project.
Check The Web Development Company’s Staff Strength And Credentials
Different web development companies provide different levels of details about their staff on their website. Some companies are small, niche operations with 10 or so staff in total and they sometimes list out their names, credentials, hobbies and more on the website. These can probably be verified through LinkedIn.
Even larger web development companies can follow the smaller ones and list out their employees on their website in different categories such as web development professionals, php professionals, SEO professionals, website QA, Magento experts, WordPress experts, and so on.
A web development company that lists out its employees in this manner should get good marks in your book for transparency as you can verify these details through LinkedIn and other social media and assure yourself that the company actually has the qualified staff it claims to have and needs to have to execute the projects it says it can.
Having detailed information about the staff of the web development company will give you some sense about whether the company is capable of taking on your project.
To be able to partner in a comprehensive web development project, a web development company should have expert staff to take care of both the front-end web development as well as the back-end aspects and the server or cloud hosting aspects such as Linux administration or Amazon EC2 expertise.
It’s better to opt for the best web development company in India that has the entire spectrum of expertise required for successfully executing a web development project rather than having to go for multiple web development companies with expertise in different domains.
Check The Web Development Company’s Business/Company Size
These details may be available in rare instances — e.g. when a web development company is really large and well established. But there are clearly no web development companies of the size of Google or Facebook. Not many web development companies are publicly listed. Hence, these details will be hard to come by for most web development companies.
Check The Web Development Company’s Project Management/Project Staffing Rules
A well-established and reputed company will have various standard operating procedures. It will be well acquainted with the established principles and practices of project management. Web development companies are no different from other companies. They too should be familiar with the project management principles and implement them for successful project execution.
You can interact with the company’s sales persons and ask to be informed about the company’s project management tools and software.
You can ask about the web development company’s project staffing policies and back-up staff so that projects go on unhindered — and projects don’t get delayed — when staff disruption happens.
You can enquire about the number of project managers employed by the company and check out if they are listed on the company’s website. If they’re not listed, you can enquire why not.
You can query regarding the web development company’s criteria for a project’s size which qualifies a project to have its own dedicated project manager.
You can ask about the level of access provided to clients like you during a project’s execution phase. Do clients get daily updates or online access to the online project management software used by the company so that the latest status of the project is instantly available to the client at any moment?
Check The Web Development Company’s Content Expertise
The best web development companies in India provide the entire gamut of services related to web development under one roof and that includes content development expertise.
Check and enquire if your potential web development partner company plans to write the website copy using its own in-house content experts and copy writers or if it expects you, the client, to provide it with the website content.
You should preferably opt for a web development company that is able to come up with some of the website copy if not all of it. This will demonstrate what sort of prior experience the company has in developing websites catering to different business domains.
Check The Web Development Company’s Digital Marketing Expertise
The best web development companies in India provide a full-spectrum of services to clients and this includes digital marketing services. Since web development is not a one-time activity but part of a larger business expansion plan, a web development partner that also offers digital marketing services makes sense as a better option.
As part of a web development company’s digital marketing expertise, it should have demonstrated capability to execute a digital marketing campaign.
The best Indian web development companies will have digital ad buying experts and experts in different forms of digital advertising such as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, banner ads, static and video display ads and mobile advertising.
Digital marketing also often includes content marketing and social media marketing. Your potential web development partner should possess expertise in these areas by having in-house content marketing experts and social media marketing professionals.
Check The Web Development Company’s SEO Expertise
Last but definitely not the least is checking the web development company’s SEO expertise. It’s a basic requirement for any web development company to have in-house SEO experts.
SEO works best when it’s baked into the website from the planning stage rather than if it’s tacked on to the website after web development is otherwise finished.
SEO professionals will play a part in many different aspects of web development including the aspects listed next.
✓ SEO professionals will ensure the right META and ALT tags are used.
✓ On ecommerce websites, SEO professionals will ensure that the product descriptions are properly optimized.
✓ SEO professionals ensure the URLs of each webpage are optimized.
✓ The images used on webpages need to be optimized for faster loading on mobile devices for a ranking boost on search engines.
✓ Schema markup use also helps with a website’s SEO.
All these and much more are to be taken care of by the SEO professionals. While researching your potential web development partner, ensure that the company has in-house SEO experts. Talk to those experts and ask them about how they plan to go about making sure a website has got the right SEO.
Choosing the best web development company requires due-diligence and thoroughness. As you short-list a few such web development companies and spend time interacting with some of their personnel over phone, Skype, and email, you might sense differences in approach, style and temperament among these companies and their people.
Perhaps you’ll feel more in tune with one of these companies and you might get bad vibes about some of the other companies.
You should be objective and data-driven in your approach and trust only what your due diligence has revealed but you should also trust your gut feeling and go for the company that feels right and let a beautiful relationship begin.
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