In present time online business has become the direct second and indirect first option to prosper. People in many areas are already shunning the practice of visiting a brick and mortar shop. They perform most of the shopping for daily use or luxurious stuffs from the confines of their homes. Technology has changed the mindset of customers 3600. The companies must change their thought process likewise. The first step to transforming your company into a modern day powerhouse is to develop a feature packed and easy to use website. The person who would help you achieve such a goal is a web developer or a web development company. So, the choice of a web development company partnering you in a bid to create great online image is important. So, the first interaction between you and the sales representative of the web development is vital. Some business owners feel that price negotiation and some formal agreements are all that is important about this meeting. Far from it, the first meeting (whether it is physical or online meeting) is important to judge whether the web development company can deliver the quality you are looking for. The costs of web development are not getting any cheaper by the day so you have every right to be choosy about the service provider. Turn your initial meeting with the web development company into a thorough interview session. I have listed out around 7 questions you must ask before hiring a web development company. You can ask any question that you deem important.
What do you think about website’s usability?
The question helps you differentiate the experienced web developers against the inexperienced ones. The take on website usability also portrays a message about the company’s focus area. Does the company keep the most important aspect in mind while developing the website i.e. the visitors? If a company is not able to answer this question satisfactorily then the company may build a website that they like and not one that you want. Always hire a web development company that gives utmost importance to user centric web development. Experienced companies would be glad that you asked them this question and they will readily share opinions or experiences about the topic.
Can you sight some projects that were based on attaining the user centric goals?
Always ask for reference websites that have user centric features in them. If you want to develop an event registration tool for your website, then ask the representative to show a website having the same feature. After seeing the website you can go ahead and ask the company representative about development details and challenges that came about while developing the feature. Compare the goals of the example project with your own website. It may happen that the company has not built any website with the similar features you are looking for. It may happen to even the most reputed company. But, then too, the company should be able to give a detailed project plan and the challenges that are present in the project. Always remember a basic concept, your intention is not to hire a company with a huge portfolio but one that can meet all your needs. A company that has built wide range of features and designs is the perfect match for your project.
Is there any limit to revisions?
Most of the communication between the company and you is going to happen online. Though everyone is very comfortable with online meetings and communication but there is always a lingering chance of misinterpretation. Often you mean a thing and the developer picks something different for a meaning. This can lead to loss of time and effort. Now, there are many web development companies which limit the number of revisions. It is a viable option for them. They do not want their employees to work for nothing. But on the other end you do not want to be delivered a website that is of no worth. So, make sure that there are enough scopes to revise the work and get a website that you need.
Can I meet your team?
This simple question will reveal whether the work will be done in house of outsourced. Never fall for the cheap prices or other lures of companies that outsource work. The chances of goof ups go many counts higher when there is a triple layer delivery process. The worst thing is that the such web development companies in their bid to keep high profits will outsource the work to a fresher web developer and you know how disastrous that can be.
Can I select my own team?
This is a question that will tell you about the depth of the organization. If the web development company has only a couple of web developers then they will say “No” straightaway. If they have a team of experienced web developers then they would be more than delighted to share information about their web developers. Some of the companies even assist their clients in selecting the right candidates for the job. Companies having only a couple of web developers will not be able to support your website in case there are absences.
How can I make future changes?
One thing that is consistent about technology is that it is ever changing. So, no matter how well thought your approach is to web development you are bound to make changes later on. What is hot this year will change the next year. There are different policies that web development companies have in this regard. Some of the companies will perform the changes by charging an hourly rate, while others will set up an easy to use content management system. CMS is a great way to update and change things without relying upon the web development company. But there are certain instances when, no matter how elaborate your CMS is, changes have to be carried out by the web development professionals.
How do you measure the goal centric results for a website?
The ultimate goal for any online business owner is to get lots of traffic that can use the website with ease. So, it is important that the web development company have some idea about how to measure the results. Though the conversation might sound too technical, but it is important to ask the question. The professional may utter words such as unique visits, bounce rates, page views, etc. If you are not aware of any jargon ask the representative to explain what it means.
Though there could be more questions that you can ask and should have been in the list, I believe that the above mentioned are very important and among the basics you should ask.
Do you think there could some more specific question that should be in the queue? If yes, then please share in comments below.