How to Choose a Great Web Development Company
In 2017, having your own website isn’t just an option – it’s a necessity. We live on the internet. Your customer base no longer uses a dusty old phone book to find a company – they use Google. Creating and maintaining an online presence is more important than ever now. While you can easily create a website for free, working with a web development company that knows what they’re doing is by far one of the best choices you can make.
Websites aren’t simple anymore. They have complex structures and need to meet special requirements based on your preferences. Today, they are also going to be your main source of incoming customers and conversions. Lead generation is moving away from cold calls and business listings. Attracting customers through impressive website design and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is crucial.
Due to the importance of a website on the internet today, you can’t just pick the first web development company you see and use their services. If you want a website that is clean, structured, and meets your needs, there are more factors to consider. Markers of a good web design and development agency include obvious factors and less prominent signs.
Features to Look for During Your Search
1. A Great Website
This is a no-brainer. If your goal is to find a web development company that will create a stunning site for your business, it stands to reason that they should have a gorgeous website of their own. Your first course of action should be to look their website up and click through it. See if they present their information visually, that their site is easy to navigate, and that they have informative pages that answer questions and showcase their services.
2. Extensive Portfolio
Almost all web design firms have their own portfolios on their sites. Samples of their previous work in different fields for various clients will be showcased here. For example, Vestra Inet has a diverse portfolio sorted by different filters. The portfolio can tell you many things about the company you’re considering to hire for your own website design. These include:
- Their level of experience in your niche: Your individual industry might have unique needs that can only be understood if they have prior experience dealing with companies in your field. Look through the portfolio to find similar companies to yours for which attractive websites have been developed.
- Capabilities: The larger the portfolio, the more skilled the web development company is. For example, Vestra Inet has over 500 successful websites in our portfolio, and that’s just for web design! A diverse portfolio will give you useful insights into the capabilities of the firm. Practice makes perfect, after all.
It’s a good idea to visit the previously completed websites in the portfolio to see how they have been designed. While this isn’t an accurate predictor of a great development agency, it should still give you a general idea of the quality of work they do.
3. Client Testimonials
When a client is happy, they usually say so. Web development companies that have satisfied clients are proud to show them off to the rest of the world. Look for a “testimonials” section on the firm’s website. You might see feedback from companies that are well-known in your specific industry. A higher percentage of satisfied clients means you have a greater chance of a successful website being designed for you too.
4. Pricing Structure
Most “standard” website creation platforms have a set pricing structure. WordPress, for example, has plans with their own yearly (or monthly) prices. A great web development company doesn’t state their prices, because a custom website greatly varies in cost based on requirements. If you want complex features, you must be prepared to pay for them, after all. A good rule of thumb to remember here is that if the company repeatedly boasts of cheap or cost-efficient web design, there’s a good chance of it not being up to your standards of quality. Steer clear of cheapness – this is an investment in the future of your business.
5. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
To the average business owner, this may not seem like a priority when getting a website designed. You’re looking for a web development company that can create a simple, aesthetically pleasing site, and that’s it. SEO is far more important than you can possibly imagine, though. Google, the world’s biggest internet search engine, boasts of billions of searches run every day.
If you take your industry’s online searches, it’s possible that hundreds of thousands of people in your area of operations search for your services on Google. That’s hundreds of thousands of potential customers you’re missing out on without good SEO. Web development companies usually implement SEO as an add-on to their standard website designs. With properly optimized websites, your company is going to be the first on the list of results when people search for your services. Higher search engine rankings = more clicks to your website = more conversions and sales.
6. In-House Team
Outsourcing is all too common today. When you’re in the market for a web development company, don’t take the risk of being outsourced. Your company is way too valuable to let this happen. Instead, make sure that the team responsible for designing and programming your new website is in-house. Call the companies on your list of considerations and ask about their location, facilities, and staff on-site. An in-house team is more readily available to meet with you at a whim and discuss your needs, implement changes you make on your end, and discuss additional features and special requests.
After you’ve done your own research, it’s a good idea to compile a list of web development agencies you’re considering. Cross off companies that don’t have one or more of the features we mentioned above. When you’ve narrowed down the list to 10 or fewer firms, it’s time to start calling in and asking for quotes, capabilities, and options.
Communication is key here. When you speak to a consultant at the web design company, look for friendly, yet professional attitudes. See if they offer a free initial consultation. Give bonus points to companies that offer on-site consultations. List off your unique requirements for the website and see if they agree to meet your needs. In the rare situation where the web development company begins to suggest their own take on some of the features you require, know that you’ve struck gold. You need to work with the agency to create your site, after all. With these tips in mind, you should find the perfect development and design firm to bring your company to the Digital Age.