Whether you want to increase online sales, boost your brand visibility or educate your online target market, a powerful website can do wonders for your business. But when it comes to hiring a web agency, not all web development companies are made equal. Some specialize in design over app development, others focus on one particular CMS such as WordPress, which is why you should always ask a lot of questions before choosing the company to go with. So, here are 8 key questions to ask any web development company.
Any reputable web developer or web agency will have a portfolio of previous work ready to show potential clients. Through browsing their portfolio, not only can you judge the quality of their work, but you can also understand the types of clients they’ve worked with before. This can be a big help in understanding whether they’ve worked with organizations in similar industries to yours, with similar KPIs. It’s also worth testing any advanced features they’ve created, for a better idea of their technical skills beyond aesthetics.
The world of web development is a huge space, with a whole range of specialties. You’ll find that some web agencies are specialists in ecommerce tools, while others are clued up on mobile apps. The building of each requires a specific skill set and deep knowledge. It’s then crucial to understand the types of projects that a web development company has worked on before and uncover their specialisms.
For instance, if you’re building a mobile app or are looking for backend development, you’ll need to identify a full-stack developer. Or if you’re looking to build a WordPress website, it’s key that you flag down an agency, that’s up to scratch on the CMS behind this.
From understanding the type of web development expertise they have, it’s crucial that the technologies used match up. You certainly don’t need to have expert knowledge in these frameworks. But, by asking this question, you can re-affirm that they do.
For instance, if you’re looking for a web agency to build an Android app, it’s likely that they use Java or Kotlin. But, choosing web agencies that use PHP, would be a wise move, if building a WordPress site.
You’ll likely have an ideal time frame envisioned for when this web development work needs to be completed. As well as producing high quality work, meeting these timelines can be just as important to your business. Understanding a realistic timeline, before any web development begins, is crucial for meeting and managing expectations.
It can be tempting to opt for the web agencies who promise lightning-fast turnaround times. But instead, choosing those who are realistic and show well-thought-out planning in their estimated timelines, is often a safer bet.
Whether you’re in the market for a mobile app or ecommerce tools; the cost of a project is usually customized to the intricacies of the work itself.
It’s important to discuss pricing with a web agency, once all the ins and outs of your key deliverables are understood. There might be additional elements to the project, which bring further costs (whether that’s certain API integration fees, or even project maintenance check-ins long-term).
Pricing models will also vary from one web agency to the next. Some developers will price per deliverable, which can be great for transparency and separating any future expenses.
When finding a web agency who have clearly honed its expert craft, you might feel like you’ve hit the jackpot. But, it’s just as important that they also appreciate that this is a partnership, between your vision and their development work.
With their work representing your business, it’s important that your voice is regularly heard. Hunting down a web agency that sets aside time for regular meetings with you, is essential. Through these check-ins and reviews of prototypes, your feedback can shape the direction of their work.
Beyond meetings and calls, it’s important that your chosen web agency is accountable for its progress. This can be tracked by sending regular progress reports, keeping you in the loop on project timelines. Often, web agencies adopt software tools for ongoing progress monitoring. Popular choices are both Trello and Miro.
This question is vital for a number of reasons. In understanding whether you’ll be able to edit the website or application, you’ll learn how much control you’ll have, post-project. If editing the development work requires special skill or coding knowledge, you’ll need to be prepared to out-source another specialist or keep this web agency on hand for project maintenance.
Alternately, if editing your website doesn’t require specialist skills, it’s great to gauge whether the web agency will give you a tutorial into its CMS (content management system). Getting to grips with the CMS, can give you the reassurance of control, on hand-over.
As a business owner, you appreciate the value of metrics and understanding customer behaviour. It’s then imperative that your website, or internet application, is able to provide you with a clear picture of exactly that.
If your web agency only sees deliverables from their own perspective (e.g. the time taken to complete this project), then it’s likely that your long-term goals won’t be met. It’s vital that you’re able to access a dashboard of website analytics, complete with valuable metrics. For example, average dwell time, conversion rate, and bounce rate. Google Analytics is often a popular choice for metrics.
Either way, your web agency of choice should dedicate time to help you understand how to access and use your dashboard of analytics. This is key in understanding the value of your web development project, long-term.