An online presence is almost as significant as oxygen to the life of any business today. Operating without any footprint on the World Wide Web is equivalent to giving your competitors a free pass to snatch your customers from under your nose.
A big part of online visibility has a website where users can find out about you and your products. But in this day and age, you cannot afford to have a site that idly sits in cyberspace, hoping visitors will come across it. It needs to be an active marketing tool that aggressively pushes your brand to online users.
In addition to a well-designed, user-friendly, and fully-functional website, you need to have a solid presence on the social platforms where your target audience spends time. Most small businesses won’t have this expertise in-house, and this is where web developer services in NYC come in.
Here are some tips on knowing which web development company will best meet your needs.
1. Determine Your Needs
Though the terms are used interchangeably, there is a difference between what you can expect from a web developer and a web designer. The former will be more concerned with the website’s functionality beneath the interface, while the latter will be interested in the look and feel of the website.
Even among web developers, there are distinctions. Front-end developers take the designs web designers produce and turn them into the actual website interface. Then there are your backend developers who deal with storing information in databases. They are the ones you call if you would like information displayed in a different way or in a different section of the site.
In a nutshell, if you’re more concerned about making it easier for visitors to interact with your site, a web designer is whom you should call. If the challenge is more to do with functionality, call a developer.
2. Check Out The Company’s Portfolio
The best way to judge the quality of work a web development team is capable of is by looking at their past projects. As you engage potential developers, ask to see their portfolios. But any web development company worth its salt will already have this readily accessible online for you to peruse without engaging them.
As you browse through each potential contractor’s work, look for the signs indicating they really know their stuff. How easy are those sites they’ve worked on to navigate? How much traffic do those sites generate? How well do the web pages of those sites rank in search engine results?
In addition to technical capacity, try to see if the company is the right cultural fit for your brand. Also, try to get a feel for how well they adapt to and incorporate changes in the tech space into their projects.
3. Ask Around For Referrals
Is there a website you’ve seen that is unbelievably intuitive to use and has a nice, clean interface? Get in touch with the owner and find out who made it for them. This is a quick way to get a development team to produce the kind of site you envision. Or, if you have a trusted voice in tech matters, you could lean on them for recommendations.
4. Get Quotes From Multiple Companies
Just like having the practice of window shopping at three or four outlets before forking out on consumer electronics, you need to source quotes from multiple service providers when getting your site done. This is one of the ways you can assure yourself of getting value for your money.
Besides the final figure the company will charge you, ask for the complete list of services they offer. Do they offer both UX and backend design? Will they hand over the website complete with a content management system (CMS) to make it easy for you to update the content?
In addition to the cost of the final product, the quote should state the level of support the company will provide and how much it will cost you. Several quotes from various providers, including all this information, will make you better equipped to make the right choice.
5. Read Reviews Online
If you can’t think of anyone to contact for web developer referrals, you can dredge up online reviews of the contractors you’re contemplating hiring. Even a casual Google search will bring up discussion forums where you can read candid feedback from past customers.
Begin With the End
A clear idea of what you hope to achieve with your website and how you want it to look is the best place to start when sourcing for web developers. Once you know what you want, you will be better positioned to know who can deliver it.
Few developers will be willing to admit they’re not the right fit for your business, even if they know they aren’t. It’s up to you to do your homework well to ensure you get value for your money.