In the first part of this article, we looked at the initial considerations when it comes to hiring a web developer or development agency. Issues such as internal management, industry expertise and the value of a solid CMS were all covered in part one.
We’ll complete our assessment now and analyse five more vital issues which should help you to make up your mind in making this, your biggest online decision.
- SEO – do they understand Search Engine Optimisation? Can they explain how the infrastructure, design and content has an impact on your search engine performance? Have they created websites in the past that have retained a good ranking? Ask them for a list of web projects that include SEO and check out where they are listed in the search engines (but be sure to remember to clear your temp files, cookies and history before doing a search – this will ensure you see their true listing in the SERPs.)
- Tender – it’s important that their tender answers your questions and provides a solution to your needs. Some tender documents start with pages and pages about themselves and their company and this approach often gives you very little real information. It should start by answering your questions and describing what they will do for you, followed by samples of projects and their staff biographies.
- Price – whatever you are buying, it’s never a good idea to pick the cheapest because it’s the cheapest, you should of course pick the company that will provide the best solution for you. And remember, there is always room for some negotiating or shelving some development options until phase two when you will have access to more budgets.
- Are they invested in you? – it is important that the company you choose is invested in your project and will do everything they can to ensure that your site gives you a good return on your investment. Designing a website is so much more than design and development. They need to do their research and understand your market. Your web agency should see you as a long term partner.
- Working with competitors – are they working with your competitors? If so they are not the best people for the job. There is a total conflict of interest and they should disclose any potential conflict at the start.
- Gut feeling – sometimes the oldest ways of picking a service provider are the best. If it does not feel like a right partnership, then it most likely isn’t. You have to trust your instincts.
We hope this gives you a solid overview of what you need to consider when making this major business decision. If you’d like a little more insight, we’d be glad to sit down with you and analyse your particular requirements. Talk to us today