If you’re thinking about building a website or updating your existing one, choosing the right company to get the job done is critical. You’re probably looking at a sizable investment, and you don’t want to look back and wonder why you ever thought using XYZ Webs and More was a good idea.
And although I’m generally not opposed to nepotism, please don’t even consider using your nephew because he built a really cool blog where your sister can talk about her life as an underwater welder. No, we’ve seen too many instances where that train jumped the tracks before it ever left the station.
So just how do you go about choosing the right company to get your website up to speed? Let’s consider first things first.
If you have an in-house design team, and you’re generally happy with the overall layout and look of your existing site, then your focus will likely be on finding a good web developer who can work with your designers and artfully add whatever functionality or features you need. And of course, I think our team can accommodate most reasonable requests and we’re generally easy to get along with.
No matter your choice of developers, whether it’s a new site or a rebuild, it’s critical that your designers convey what they want while framing it in the context of the web. It’s not such a big deal these days, but early on, too few designers understood that what they’d done with print just didn’t translate well to the web. These days, most designers are pretty web-savvy, but make sure yours talk with the developers you’ve chosen before selling everyone on a design that can never come to fruition on the web. No need in setting unrealistic expectations, eh Timmy?
Lost in translation
And that’s not to say that developers should dictate design – rather that everyone should be on the same page from the start. Good developers can accomplish most anything, but no one likes to go over budget and/or miss deadlines because things turn out to be considerably more messy than originally thought.
Now if you don’t happen to have a designer on your team, what’s the first thing you should look for as you start your hunt?
Well, being as you’re already here, I’d like to suggest that you look no further. We’re a one-stop shop when it comes to web design, development, content creation and custom programming. Not to mention that we have plenty of experience. I’m not exactly sure how many combined years there are, but it’s a lot. Maybe somewhere around 80 or so, between four of us? Sounds about right, give or take a few years. Not that it matters.
But what kind of questions should you ask us or anyone? What should you be looking for in a company to develop your website? Well, that depends. Maybe you want a team with experience relevant to your industry. Maybe you don’t – perhaps a group with a fresh take on things and no pre-conceived notions. How important is a portfolio? What about testimonials and such? Is their company culture similar to yours? Are they vegans?
It gets so confusing Timmy. So I’m gonna throw all of those things that The Google says you should look for out the window. For my money, it boils down to a few key things which you can sort out in short order.
Asking the right questions
First and foremost, there’s that matter of competence. While that’s not always an easy thing to judge, you can get a pretty good idea of a company’s strengths by looking at past projects. And just talking about your project with them. While some folks suggest that you should check their references, are you kidding me Timmy? Who do you think they’re gonna suggest you call? Or maybe those Google and Yelp reviews? Probably not a good idea either. Trust your instincts. Not someone else’s jaded or biased view of the world.
And how important are communication skills? They’re high on the list for me. Projects move a lot faster and more smoothly when people communicate clearly. While I’m old school and prefer verbal communication, I fully realize that it is not the way things are done nowadays, nor is it necessarily the most effective. But it has its place. It’s often quicker to talk about something than to email back and forth. No matter the form of your communication, clarity is the key.
Then consider that you’re probably gonna be working with the folks you hire for a while. Several months, and possibly longer. So they best be likable. I’ve worked with some very competent people who weren’t at all pleasant, nor fun be around. Got the job done, but boy was I glad when it was over. Kinda like goin’ to the dentist. Personalities matter to my way of thinking. Life’s just too short.
So all that said, if you’re looking for help with your website or need some custom programming, we’d appreciate your consideration. We know we’re not for everybody, but we might just be right for you. And that’s all that really matters.