How to Choose a Website Developer
A great web developer will make you money. A bad one will create a money pit where your website should be. Here’s how to tell the difference
A great web developer will make you money. A bad one will create a money pit where your Internet presence should be. Here’s how to tell the difference.
There are few personnel decisions you will make that are more important to your long term success than hiring your webmaster. Identifying a quality website developer is not always easy, but this 5-point plan will help ensure that your process results in a good fit.
Point 1: Look at the Web Developer’s Body of Work.
While it might seem obvious, there is no better way to judge of future performance than past accomplishments.
- Ask to see a portfolio. Get a feel for the developer’s style. Does it suit yours?
- Does the portfolio include businesses similar to yours? In this era of specialization, it’s important that your webmaster understands your industry.
- Does the portfolio include references? Contact them! Great developers, develop great reputations. We want you to talk to our clients!
Point 2: Do not base your decision solely on price.
As with most things in life, you get what you pay for when you choose a webmaster.
A great website will result in your selling more product. A quality web developer, like a top salesperson, will make you money. A poor one will leave you with a site that turns off potential customers and will need to be replaced, wasting time and money.
Any web developer worth considering will charge accordingly. And those who don’t will not be around long enough to maintain your web presence as technology evolves.
Point 3: Make your expectations clear, and get them in writing.
A great website developer will be a partner in your business, the partner whose work 80% of new customers will see before anyone else’s. As with any partnership, good communication is absolutely essential.
- Take time to have a substantive conversation, by phone and via email. Will you be comfortable communicating with this service provider on a regular basis? Do they communicate in a timely and professional fashion?
- Ask how long the webmaster has been in business. Get a sense for how viable the firm is, long term. Ask probing questions about areas of concern. Our industry is full of players who do not have the resources to last. We’ve been in business for 20 years; building websites is what we do.
- Get a proposal and, if you accept, an agreement in writing. Your presence in the global communications sphere depends on this relationship. Make sure you cover all of your bases to avoid difficulties down the road.
Point 4: Get a firsthand look at what a given developer will do for your business.
Business relationships are like any other. It’s easy to be on one’s best behavior for the first few “dates.”
To get a feel for what a web developer will bring to the table, ask for a written evaluation of your current Internet presence. Better still, see if they will mock up a few pages of a new website before you commit. Any work you can do together upfront will give you both an opportunity to test the “fit” between your organizations before you sign a contract.
Point 5: Work with people who know your industry!
Don’t just talk about websites; talk about audio. Does this website developer know enough about your individual business and your industry to represent you for years to come? Do they speak your language, or will you need to explain everything twice? Do they exhibit a true passion for high-end audio that will translate into meaningful followup after the build, or are they just looking for a paycheck?
Your website is the public face of your company. It is where at least 4 out of 5 people will get their first in-depth look at what you have to offer. Your web developer’s ability to capture and maintain consumers’ attention will directly affect your revenue. Choose carefully.
Using the 5-point plan outlined above, you can find a suitable web development firm, one that will help your Internet presence, now and in the future.
Contact us today for a no-obligation assessment of your current website.
Our expert staff will look at your current site from the perspective of customers and search engines, and email you a custom report of our findings and suggestions.