Starting a new business, building a mobile app, or revamping a legacy app? How do you even start to find the right development partner for your specific needs? A poor fit could be characterized by poor quality design and coding, offering clients the wrong e-commerce options, or regularly missing deadlines or estimates.
Working with the wrong team has various consequences but the end result usually comes down to wasted time and money. There are important criteria you need to consider to protect your business from these potential mistakes. We have compiled some tips and questions to consider when looking for that website developer who will ultimately make or break your new solution.
Why is it hard to choose a tech or web development vendor?
Before starting the search for a tech partner for your website or mobile app needs, the first step is actually to understand your specific need. What is the question you need answered or the obstacle you are trying to overcome? Before you can design a good solution, you need to correctly understand the problem. This means you need to be careful with partners to quickly jump to “solution-mode” or have canned responses to your unique problem.
Regardless of how specific your understanding of your problem may be, it is still challenging to choose the right engineer(s) for your project. In most cases, digital agencies core competency is really marketing; not engineering. Agencies also may specialize in a particular business industry or accumulate their experience working with one specific platform or solution (ie. WordPress, Shopify, or Pay-Per-Click Ads).
With that, here are our top 5 tips when looking into a web dev partner:
1. How well do they understand your business requirements?
The initial interview should indicate how they approach the obstacles your are trying to overcome, or the questions they ask to understand your needs. Get their client list and check the solutions they have delivered in the past. His or her solutions should be customized according to each client’s business.
Do their solutions all look the same? Did they examine the clients’ target audience or randomly built templated websites? Did they have intelligent designs that reflect the brand or just common trendy designs?
An experienced web development company puts itself in your shoes and offers solutions that meet your needs, brand, goals, and audience.
2. Look for Specific Cultural Fit
Cultural similarities and differences between you and your web development company determine the success & failure of the project. Examine how their culture, personality, and paces match your own. Ensure that the agency follows an agile development culture, which can respond immediately to unexpected changes via constant information sharing and interaction mechanisms. Also, ask the technology partners about their tactics to adapt to evolving technologies and trends.
This ties in with the benefits of keeping your talent onshore. While all of our tech developers are onshore in the United States, this allows for better communication and collaboration. Which leads us to the next question:
3. How do they Communicate & Collaborate?
The communication skills of web developers are a vital aspect. If there are any gaps in the communication process, your project can go haywire. Before signing the contract, contact the vendor and assess their communication culture with the following questions:
- Is their communication & collaboration process at par with what you work on?
- Will the team be available on multiple communication channels like phone, e-mail, Skype, etc.?
- Who will be the point of contact for your concerns, queries, feedback, etc.?
- What would be the response time for your queries?
4. Go beyond Back-end Development
In addition to coding and programming, various processes are involved in web development. Short-list the companies who possess demonstrable experience in both developing and designing responsive websites.
If you want something more than just a website developed, it is better to find a company that offers more services along with web development. These can range from mobile app development, automation to QA support. Keeping all the teams under the same roof not only guarantees a cohesive approach, but also an enhanced turnaround time & communication.
5. Ask for references and work samples
Partnering with a web development company is a big decision; consider the reviews of those who have already undergone the process with the agency. Feedback coming from the client who has worked with them previously provides more visibility. So, reach out to their clients and discuss their experiences with project management, availability, deadlines, responsiveness and more. Also, go through the work samples they have showcased and scribble down what you like and don’t like.
- How often they back up the site?
- How long the backups are retained?
- How fast is the processing power of the hosting platform?
- What is the assured uptime?
We have certainly covered a lot of ground on this article. As a consulting agency that invests ample time training our developers to be client facing, we understand the importance of being well-rounded consultants. Any questions about your upcoming projects? Let’s connect.