How to choose a Web Development company. Three important guidelines.
So lets be totally honest. Web site development is one of the most difficult services to offer in digital marketing. It is so incredibly subjective, and time consuming that unless you have been through it, its hard to understand and comprehend the processes and cost. There are many so called developers doing websites out of their basement for a fraction of what an agency might charge. But so often those websites never get done, or turn into a train wreck.
In any case, as you shop around I would suggest you look for these three things:
- A portfolio of completed websites, and happy customers (with emphasis on the latter)
- A designer/company with a process for building a website (Phase 1, 2, 3, etc. and a hard deadline with deadlines for deliverables from you)
- A designer/company using a popular platform and not one that they built (i.e. WordPress is hands down the best)
The look of website in a portfolio is almost secondary to if the customer was happy, and if the project was completed on schedule (Caveat: many website timelines are thrown off by the client not meeting their deliverable deadlines).
A company must have a process. Phases. A schedule. Deadlines and targets. If not, an already subjective and amorphic process is almost doomed.
Platform is key. WordPress has millions of users, and thousands of contributors. No single company can keep up with a massive platform like this and hope to compete in a constantly changing environment. And think about it, when you commit to a companies platform, you are committing to them. Did I mention WordPress is pretty much free?
Choose wisely. Choose a track record of success. You will find it will be worth the extra money.