Availing the Best Web Development Firm

Websites are high on demand as it is through a website or web portal that more and more people are finding ways to earn some extra bucks. Besides these part timers, there are more serious people who wish to eke out a flourishing business through deft usage of Internet. The monetary prospects have resulted in a wide surge in the requirements of websites. This huge demand has subsequently led to the mushrooming of numerous agencies and individuals. This huge pool of providers can leave you perplexed in choosing a suitable firm or person.

If you are not able to decide from the number of proposals that you received from firms and individuals then you should better take decisions after considering the following things.

Go for an Experienced Firm

I have seen many people opting for freelancers and ruing their decisions later. Freelancers might come cheap but they are not trustworthy, they stretch a project too long (I have seen several instances where a person struck a unique idea and sourced it to freelancers which took it so long that the project lost its relevance), and they often tend to stop in mid-way. On the contrary, I know some freelancers who have truly satisfied the clients. My point is- if you have the money, choose a firm and that too an experienced one.

Prototyping

A genuine and experienced firm adept in the required technology will soon provide you the prototype of the website. Even if they ask for some amount for prototyping, you can pay them as it will help you to save larger sum in later stages. Firms that somehow manage a project would refrain from providing the entire solution as they have a system which manages the projects in bits and pieces. In fact, a prototype would tell you what to expect.

Signing of NDA

The more unique your project, the more protective you should be, as in case of any spillage you would lose the first-mover advantage. It has been seen that many small and ill-managed firms leak the project details or they try to copy it for their usage. So, it is advised to go for the firm which is willing and prompt in signing an NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement).

There are other things like cross-checking the references etc to help you get a professionally developed website.

Economize Your Web Development Effort

If you’ve locked yourself away in a dark room, subsisting on coffee and pizza while you develop the website that’s going to allow your business or idea to revolutionize the world, then stop right now, open the curtains, take a break and read this.

First off, it’s likely that whatever your trying to design or create has already been done in one form or another – even if your application is completely unique, the vast majority of your website will still have attributes that are common to other websites. For example, it may still need to manage users, have an about us page and so on.

Before you write a single line of code, it’s far more valuable to research what can be done with the minimum amount of cost. When I say cost, I actually mean any combination of time, effort, or monetary cost – in other words, the actual cost to you as a person.

What you’ll find is that it’s far more efficient to:

  • start with a well-tested, reliable platform such as a prebuilt website (based on Drupal) to cater for 80% – 100% of what you need
  • research whether any additional functionality you require is already available and can be easily added (remember that prebuilt sites are modular and can easily be extended in this way)
  • lock yourself in a dark room and write the remaining code (or pay someone to do it for you)

Instead of slaving away re-inventing the wheel, you are able to focus specifically on anything that is truly unique, safe in the knowledge that the rest of your prebuilt website is going to do a bang-up job.

Ta-dah…

Finding a Digital Agency: What to Look for in a Web Design or Web Development Agency?

Narrow down your digital agency selection using our handy top ten tips on choosing a web design agency.

1) Check out their own site

Do you like it? Does it sell to you? Does it contain all the types of skills that you’re looking for e.g. good web design, well designed user interface, well built, works on mobiles. Does it impress you?

2) Ask to look at their portfolio

Are the case studies recent? Do you recognize the company names? Do a Google search and check that the companies exist and have the same website that the agency designed. Do you like the website designs they have produced? Ask yourself: Do they represent the company well? Would you use this website? Do they have experience of website design in your field? Do the website’s meet their objectives?

3) Check References

Ask the web agency if they can send you references or testimonials from customers. And when you get these testimonials, make sure you check them out. Call the clients up and check that the testimonials are real.

Finally, ask how long the agency has been running. Age doesn’t always matter, but it does help to identify experience.

4) Capabilities

All agencies will be good at some things and not at others. Find out what they have experience in and what they do well, they often have a bias to one content management technology or another. Often, it’s helpful to get the CV’s of all staff employed. The best agencies will have a balance of online marketing, development and creative. If you have specific requirements – make a list and ask the agency what their proficiency is in the specific skills.

5) Availability – Service levels

Check that they can meet your needs. Quite often companies have a client account team in the UK but their main development team may be based elsewhere. Make sure you get a phone number not just an email address (and not a premium rate number either). Ask the web design agency what the turnaround time is for responding to emails.

6) Resourcing

You want your web design agency to be big enough to ensure that if your account manager is off sick or on holiday your business is not forgotten.

Do you prefer a larger, higher resourced agency or a smaller, more flexible agency? The general rule would be to find a web agency that’s resourced to reflect the size of tasks and projects you require. If you have 1000 employees but your actual marketing and development budget is reasonably low, you are only likely to need an agency of 5-10 employees. If you have 100 employees, but you are heavily reliant on outsourced projects, a larger agency may be more suitable. No one size fits all!

7) Age of agency

Age doesn’t always matter, but in this industry it can be an important factor. The web has seen many changes in a relatively short space of time, if a website design agency has been in business for five or more years it have obviously been managed well. The internet has seen the boom and bust of many company’s; those that live to tell the tale are obviously being run well.

8) Are the staff approachable and professional?

It’s important that you connect with the people managing your account. The best results will be created when you forge a partnership with your web agency.

Do they provide an off the shelf package, or do they tailor their resources to your needs? Do they use a lot of jargon or explain things clearly? Have they provided relevant suggestions suitable for your business? Far too often, company’s try to sell you products that you don’t need and are not tailored to your needs.

9) Check out the agency’s terms and conditions

This is quite important and helps avoid problems further down the line. Here’s some helpful questions to ask:

  • Are there any hidden costs, like set up fees or holding fees?
  • Can you make staged payments for your web project?
  • Are updates and maintenance included in the website design fees?
  • Are bug fixes charged for?
  • Will you get a copy of the source files?
  • Who owns the source code?
  • Who owns copyright of the design?
  • Are the files back-up?
  • Will it work on smartphones?

10) Do they outsource their work?

Check to see if your project will be developed in house or if it will be outsourced. Ask to meet the design or technical team. If work is going to be outsourced, find out where, are you able to contact the team? There are many cases of company’s who have an account management team, and an outsourced development team. It’s common for technical development to be done off shore as resources abroad are cheaper. The problem with this scenario is guaranteeing the quality of the work produced. Does the account management team check the back end code? Does it meet current guidelines and legal requirements? Can they be flexible enough to meet your needs?

Want a web agency with a difference contact Alchemy Interactive