If you want to put up a website for your business, get it done right by hiring the best web development agency. Developing a website isn’t an expense. It’s an investment that can pay out dividends attractively and consistently for your business if it does what it’s supposed to do.
And building a website doesn’t have to be expensive. There are web development agencies that can design a website to fit your budget without compromising on its functionality, effectiveness, and aesthetics.
Do it right, do it once by trusting your website with the best web development agency for your business. We’re here to tell you how.
Why Do You Need A Website For Your Business?
A website allows you to capitalize on opportunities that are available on the Internet every day. You’re no longer limited by 4 walls, geographic location, and hours of operation. Your business can be accessed 24/7 by anyone from anywhere in the world that has an Internet connection.
Think about it. Potential customers from different continents are exploring your website to learn more about your business and if you could be a supplier or strategic partner – while you’re sleeping.
If you have a fully-functioning, secure, and professionally-managed website, customer inquiries could be responded to within hours via chat or email. Prospective clients could be viewing your videos or reading your content. Buyers could be providing you with their email addresses and contact information.
The website becomes a machine that constantly generates leads, enhances your online presence, and builds your business brand.
A Poorly Designed Website Is Bad For Business!
On the flip side, a website that isn’t accessible to mobile devices frequently encounters technical issues and doesn’t assure visitors of data protection and safety will do the opposite for your business.
Your brand will be tarnished. Your website won’t appear on the first page of the search results – probably not even on the second or third page.
Prospective customers might view the poorly designed website as a representative of how you run your business – inefficient, irresponsible, inept, and inadequately managed.
How To Qualify The Best Web Development Agency For Your Business
Problems on the website happen because entrepreneurs don’t spend time qualifying the web development agencies that offer their services. They search the Internet or ask friends for recommendations and once they have the contact numbers, they’ll reach out to them and ask for a proposal.
What are the duties and responsibilities of a web development agency? In addition to designing a website, running tests, and working with graphic designers, a web development agency performs the following tasks:
- Run frequent website audits to look for potential technical issues, unused and outdated plugins, and other pain points.
- Perform maintenance work on the site.
- Conduct repairs if the site goes down.
- Protect the website from cyber-attacks by equipping it with the latest security software and instituting safety procedures.
Thus, what you are looking for is a web development agency that can be your partner in running the business by keeping your website in excellent working condition every day.
We’re here to tell you that the qualifying process should start even before you request a proposal. Finding the right web development agency is important because the website is an asset that will be instrumental in growing your business.
1. Conduct Due Diligence
Like other businesses that are operating in an industry with high growth prospects, the technology industry is teeming with fly-by-night web development agencies that are out to make a quick buck out of their clients.
Even if the recommendations come from friends and associates, always conduct diligence on the web development agencies before reaching out to them.
- Run a Google Search – Just type the name of the agency on the query box and run a Google search. You might be surprised at what turns up!
- Check Out Their Websites – The proof of the web developer is on their website. Click their URL and assess your experience.
- Did their website load fast – under 3 seconds?
- Are the icons working properly?
- Can you access all of the pages without issue?
- Does the website set up properly on your smartphone?
- Does the website have SSL certificates?
- How do the visuals appeal to you?
- Is the content well-written?
- Are there errors in grammar and spelling?
- Are there client testimonials?
- Visit Their Social Media Pages – Go to the agency’s social media pages. Find out how many followers it has. Read the posts and assess the level of engagement.
Read the comments. Are there complaints about the quality of work? How did the agency respond to these complaints? Was the response time fast?
- Ask Around – Ask people who have been in the industry for a long time about the agencies that were recommended to you. Find out if there are red flags and get their opinions if you should do business with them.
2. Find Out If The Agency Is A Good Fit For You
A partner is someone you can trust in the long haul. Like all relationships, you must be compatible with the web development agency. A better way to put it is that the agency must be a good fit for you.
The level of fit can be assessed during your meeting by asking questions that uncover the Why, the What, the How, and the Who.
Tip: If the owner of the web development agency is the person who meets with you – THAT is a very good sign of fit! If an agency values you NOW as a prospect that the owner took the time to meet with you, it’s a good bet, the agency will value you more as a client.
- The “Why” – Ask why the owner/founder decided to open a web development business. Find out if his motivations are similar to yours when you started your business.
- The “What” – Ask for examples of their work and for client referrals. If the agency gives you a list of clients, reach out to them and ask about their experiences working with the agency.
- The “How” – Learn more about the agency’s approach to web design and development Find out if they offer dedicated web hosting services and how often they run website backups.
- The “Who” – It’s okay to get a bit personal. Divert the business talk to more personal matters. Talk about family. Ask the owner what he does in his spare time. Exchange beliefs and practices. Share common experiences.
Uncovering the “Who” helps you figure out the best way to work with the agency.
3. Do They Understand Your Business?
Not all websites are the same. There is a type of website for every business. Before the web development agency can design a website, it must have a good understanding of your business and what you expect it to do for you.
- What kind of website do you need?
A responsible web development agency will conduct research about your business. You’ll know off the bat if the agency you’re dealing with is dependable if, during your first meeting, the representatives present you with detailed research on your industry.
They’ll ask you the right questions and seek clarification of your goals and objectives.
If you want to use the website to sell products, the agency can recommend an e-commerce site or a basic business website with a built-in e-commerce portal. For brand-building purposes, the agency might recommend including a blog page plus social sharing icons.
- How should it perform?
A website must be functional and user-friendly. Ask the web design agency what the criteria for a top-performing website are. The criteria should include the following:
- Fast loading
- Fully-functioning buttons for sharing
- Strong CTA
- How will it look?
Yes, people are attracted to beautiful websites but aesthetics should never come at the expense of functionality.
The web development agency can present to you a design that’s worthy of the Louvre in Paris, France but if visitors can’t make heads or tails of where to go after the homepage, they’ll click out of your website.
- What would its features be?
The features of your website will depend on what you need and what your goals and objectives are.
Going back to our example, if you need an e-commerce site to sell your supplement line, the web development agency might recommend having a zoom-in feature so that visitors can closely read the ingredients on the label.
If you’re coming up with a website for your resort business, the agency might recommend having a 360-degree feature on a standard room, the facilities, and other amenities.
4. Negotiating the Cost of the Website
One of the most commonly cited reasons by business owners as to why they don’t have a website is its cost. Many believe that a website costs a lot of money and that the monthly cost of maintaining it is unsustainable.
The cost of a website would depend on the type of website you need. A basic business or personal website shouldn’t cost more than US$500 while an eCommerce website can cost anywhere from US$5,000 (up to 100 products) to US$55,000 (1,000 products_.
An informational business website can cost you from US$2,000 to US$9,000 depending on the number of pages.
Ask the following questions when you’re negotiating the cost of the website:
- How many mockups?
- Is the Agency open to a trial/test period of 3-4 weeks?
- How much will the monthly management fee cost?
When you receive a quotation from the web development agency, keep in mind 2 things.
One is that the quotation is probably on the high side as they are expecting you to negotiate a lower price. Two, everything is negotiable – so negotiate!
5. How Does the Agency View the Relationship?
There are some web development agencies that won’t say anything until they’re asked. Since this is your first website, you’re unaware that unless you say so, the web development agency will own your website.
100% make sure YOU own the website when it’s been turned over to you. If the worst-case scenario happens and you lose ownership of the website, its contents, design, and other assets could be used for another website.
A web development agency that doesn’t disclose the final ownership of the site cannot be trusted. Getting full ownership of the website must be established before work can start.
It’s important to cover the engagement with a Confidentiality Agreement and it must be stated in the Memorandum of Agreement that you own the website after it’s been turned over to you.
Bonus Section: Top 10 Questions To Ask A Web Development Company
- What are the stages of your web development process?
- How long will it take to complete the website and have it turned over to us?
- How would I be involved in the development of my website?
- Will you dedicate a day in the week to update us on the developments of our website?
- How many pages are covered by your proposed budget?
- Can you give us examples of the websites you’ve designed and developed?
- Can we talk to your clients?
- What is covered by your monthly management fee?
- Will you accommodate us if we need consultation after you’ve turned over the site?
- We want to own the website and its assets. Are you agreeable to this?
Hiring a web development agency is similar to hiring an employee for your business.
You want to hire the best talent in the market; the one who can help you grow your business. This is the employee who dutifully performs his functions and consistently delivers the desired results.
To find the best talent, your job applicants go through a process that may look something like this:
- Resumes go through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
- Recruiter reviews the resume.
- Candidates are scheduled for the preliminary interview.
- Candidates go through a series of tests – Basic office skills, group work, and Psychological/Behavioral testing.
- Candidates go through a final interview.
- References and work documents are reviewed and verified.
- Salary and benefits are discussed and negotiated.
- Candidates are given contracts and hired.
The hiring process might seem tedious and won’t guarantee that you’ll get the best employees for your business. But the risks of hiring bad eggs for your business are much less compared to not having a system and just signing up whoever comes along.
And when it comes to a website – a tool that keeps your business running 24/7 – those are risks that you simply do not want to take.
We wouldn’t be writing this article if we didn’t know the topic by heart. We’ve heard the horror stories from our clients and we’re grateful for the opportunities they gave to us to turn their businesses around.
If you’re thinking about having a website for your business or having your current one improved upon, give us a call or drop us an email.
We design WordPress websites for our clients and several have signed up for our WordPress Extreme Care packages. Each package has been customized to meet the business needs and budget of our clients.
Once you avail of our Extreme WordPress Care package, you can sleep comfortably every night knowing that your website is safe, secure, and protected by trusted people. Let’s have a conversation over coffee or a chat over the phone to get started.
And if you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with a friend or associate who wants a website for their business.