Over the past 12 years, our professional team of 150+ individuals has had the pleasure of delivering more than 1000 projects in nearly three dozen countries.
Unfortunately, we have also worked with a number of clients who fell for false promises and unrealistic claims made by other so-called web development companies.
In this short article, we hope to help you avoid disappointment, frustration, and lost earnings by offering guidance in the selection process.
When it comes to choosing a web development company, who do you trust? How do you know who to work with?
Elance, oDesk, Guru & More
Thanks to the unprecedented global reach of the internet, numerous freelancing platforms have emerged in recent years. Virtually anybody can create a profile on a website like Elance, oDesk, Guru, and several others – and in turn proclaim him or herself to be an expert of any variety.
While there are some freelancers online who can deliver a high quality development project, we would caution that most cannot compete with the results of an established web development company.
- Freelancers do not have the reputation of an established brand to maintain or protect.
- Freelancers will often favor rapid turnaround over client satisfaction.
- Attaining authentically verified credentials for a freelancer is next to impossible.
- In most cases, revisions, changes, and iterations will result in an additional expense.
Of course, these generalizations are not true in every instance – but they certainly do present enough risk to make sourcing a credible web development company a good idea.
How to Choose a Web Development Company
Choosing the right web development company will vary significantly based upon your individual needs. That said, what we are aiming to do here is to provide a list of seven questions you should use to vet prospective companies.
Can they suggest a plausible solution based on your budget and timeline?
To begin, you need to be transparent with a prospective web development company about your budget, timeline, projected ROI, and specific needs. Those needs may include an increase in lead generation or other measurable targets.
From there, let the web development company provide you with an appropriate solution.
If the company you have contacted is expecting you to describe the solution you need, it is a possible indication of a ‘one and done’ approach to serving their clients.
Can they provide a realistic action plan to achieve that solution?
Once that solution has been clearly established, ask the company how they intend to deliver that solution.
- What specific actions steps will be taken?
- What sort of timeline is this company projecting?
Any claim made by the company should be backed up in writing. If they aren’t willing to substantiate their claims with a legal contract, do not proceed.
What methods or processes will they follow to complete your project?
It is important to have a solution and an action plan – but what methodology or processes will be followed to achieve those actions?
To put it in lay terms,
- The solution is to eat a pizza.
- The action is to order a pizza.
- The methodology is to have that pizza ready and delivered.
Although that may be oversimplifying things, presenting ‘order a pizza’ as an action step does not explain how delivery of that pizza will be facilitated.
How do they measure and track results?
Before beginning any web development project, it is important to note how success will be defined. What milestones will be measured, and what will success look like?
This should be quantifiable. And if the company has confidence in their ability to deliver exceptional service, they should be enthusiastic to provide you with detailed analytics throughout development.
How established is their business?
It is a good idea to establish whether or not this web development company has a proven track record of success. Although it is not the only indicator to consider, investigate:
- How many years have they been in business?
- How large is their team?
- How many clients do they serve?
- Where is their office located?
Do they have references and an extensive portfolio?
Before hiring a company, give consideration to past web development projects they have done.
- What types of projects do they do most often?
- Do any of the samples they are showing you pertain to your project?
- Can they connect you with previous clients who can provide a reference?
What type of ongoing support do they offer?
As with any web development project, there will be modifications, upgrades, improvements, and new iterations to develop.
Does this web development company offer any type of ongoing support, or will you be on your own to deal with any technical challenges that arise later?
As the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
While it may seem excessive, a credible web development company should be willing to satisfy your every curiosity prior to taking on your project. After all, the burden of proof with respect to expertise is on them.
Choosing the right web development company will show in the finished product, especially if their development team follows a distributed Agile methodology.
But just about anyone can claim to be an expert in their field, so doing a little digging at the onset can save a ton of headaches down the road.