Get This Right & Avoid Problems Later.
Picking the right web developer, or web development company is an important business decision. It’s a decision that can be worth your money if done correctly, or one that will cost you in the long run if you make the wrong choice.
Now more than ever having a strong presence online is crucial in order to succeed as a small (or large) business. How you appear in search results, how your website looks and feels to users, and how it performs overall takes work and consistent fine-tuning. These days thanks to the beauty of the internet, there are infinite amounts of web developers (devs) to choose from. While this is exciting to have so many possibilities and price ranges available, this can make it hard to know that the dev you’re working with is the best fit for your job. We want to make it easier for you. Obviously, we’d love for you to just stop reading here and give us a call and hire us, but we’re more about helping people be informed before they just jump right in.
As great as it is to have a million different options for web development: web dev companies, contract companies like Fiverr, the different web developer services on many website platforms– not all developers or development companies are the same. Some are lacking in skills that would be considered basic, some are doing fine work but overcharging, some are doing things poorly and just getting away with it (we see this a lot and we HATE it).
But– we get it– you’re not a web developer, how are you supposed to know which skills are important and necessary, and which parts are just a bunch of fluff?
Here’s our list of must-have skills when it comes to choosing the right web development company.
Technical Proficiency– they should know what they’re doing and be able to explain it to you.
Responsive Web Design Expertise– if they’ve only dabbled in responsive web design, move along (RUN!).
- With the increasing use of mobile devices, it’s essential to have a website that adapts seamlessly to various screen sizes. We can’t emphasize the importance of responsive design enough (learn more about it here). Make sure whichever web developer you’re working with has expertise in creating responsive websites that deliver a consistent user experience across different devices.
Creativity and Design Skills– you want your website to look as nice as it functions
- Obviously, functionality is important when it comes to a website, but if it’s ugly or feels confusing for a user, the functionality means nothing. An attractive design is crucial for engaging visitors and leaving a lasting impression. Look for a developer who demonstrates creativity in their designs and has an eye for user experience (ask for references and work samples). A good developer will be able to strike the right balance between aesthetics and functionality.
Understanding of SEO– they need to know about more than just keywords and backlinks
- A good web developer should have a basic understanding of search engine optimization (SEO) principles. Either that or they should have someone on their team who is dedicated to optimization. They should be able to implement SEO best practices during the development process to improve your website’s visibility on search engines and attract more organic traffic. When a developer builds a website and forgoes the SEO, this can lead to complicated (and likely expensive) remedies down the road.
Problem-Solving Abilities– need we say more?
- Web development often involves encountering challenges and bugs that need to be addressed and dealt with promptly. These can happen during a build or later on. A developer who knows their stuff will have strong problem-solving abilities and the tenacity to find innovative solutions to complex issues.
Time Management– you want them to build your site and answer your emails in a timely manner
- Timely delivery of projects is crucial for your business’s success. Look for a web developer who is organized, can set realistic timelines, and has a track record of completing projects on schedule.
Portfolio and Experience– don’t be afraid to ask them about their past work
- Review the developer’s portfolio to gauge their experience and expertise. Go to the websites they’ve provided and see if you like how they look, feel and behave. Their portfolio should include a variety of website types from simple to complex, with different features and functionality.
Customer Reviews and Testimonials– make sure they are who they say they are
- Don’t hesitate to ask for references or read online reviews from past clients. Positive testimonials and feedback from satisfied customers are a strong indicator of a good web developer’s reliability and professionalism.
Cost– prices that are too high or too low are a red flag
If the developer’s fee seems really low, it might be because they aren’t that experienced, and like the old saying goes– you get what you pay for. If their fee seems ridiculously high, make sure you do your research on them to see if they’re actually worth what they’re charging. We’ve mentioned before that there are a lot of developers out there who do things poorly and get away with it– and charge an arm and a leg. The price for web development should feel like an investment, but shouldn’t feel like you need to take out a home equity loan. Check out our web development page for a price reference.
We don’t want you to pick the wrong web developer, but if you do– we’re here to help clean up their mess.
Hiring a good developer is a really important decision that can significantly impact your success online. You want a developer who will build you a website that is functional, beautiful, responsive, makes sense for users and complies with the latest SEO recommendations. It can be hard to know what you’re getting yourself into, but at least now you have a few key points to consider when making your choice. And if you like what you see here and you’d like to get started, let’s talk!