The quality of questions you ask when choosing a web development company would determine the quality of your website ultimately. Getting the best solution for anything, including building a website for your business, is directly dependent on asking the right questions.
So, you are trying to get a web development company for a web design project and don’t know for sure the exact questions to ask them? Of course, there will always be the question of cost, but what comes after that? What other questions should you ask to be sure you are choosing the best partner for this project? (yes, your web designer is your partner).
Your web development agency is like your marketing partner. The website they make for your business is going to play a crucial role in your business’ online presence. So, whether you want to redesign an existing website or build a new one from scratch, your choice of development company will play a significant role in your website success.
Web development is one of the buzzwords of this dispensation and there are so many companies designing websites for businesses and individuals today leaving you with so many options to choose from. This may be quite overwhelming.
The best option, therefore, would be to use a rigorous hiring process similar to what you’d do when hiring a new employee. Once you do this properly, you’d know for sure which company to work with on your website design project.
To help you in this interview with your potential web development companies, we have put together these 7 thought-provoking questions you should ask before letting them handle your project. These questions are based on the experience of industry experts, web developers, business leaders and tech enthusiasts.
Have you worked on projects similar to mine before?
This comes off the assumption that you’ve already briefed the web development company about your project and its peculiarities. It’s important to know whether or not they’ve worked on similar projects in the past and the reason is simple – experience.
You want to be sure they have the required experience for your kind of project. Your preference on the type of experience may depend on your type of project. You may want a company that has experience with varieties of projects or one that specializes in particular line of projects. What matters is listening to their response to see that they have at least done something in the past that’s related to what you want. This will sure save you both time and make delivery on their part more efficient.
Tell me about your SEO Strategy
You don’t want to spend time and resources building a website only to see that no one even checks it out. That may mean that you’ve only built the website for yourself. Well, except you have huge budget to continually roll out for Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is your best bet for visibility on search engines. This is why it’s important you ask your web design company about this.
Ask them about their SEO strategy for your website and how it will help you rank high on search engine result page (SERP). If a web development company does not respond by talking about optimization strategies such as keyword research, then it’s best to check another company out.
The whole essence of your website is to work as a platform where visitors and potential customers can explore, get information that would arouse their interest in what you do and ultimately convert. But when they can’t even find your website in the first place, then the whole effort is pointless. And this is basically where SEO comes in. Hence, a site without SEO is one that’s well on its way to failure from its launch.
Will I be able to edit on my own?
Websites need to be constantly updated with latest information about the business. You may also need to make some organizational changes on your website later based on personal preferences or trends. Therefore, it’s important to ask your web development company questions with regards to how all of these can be possible after the job is done.
Ask if they will be setting up easy access for you to be able to make changes when you deem necessary. Also, find out what tools or software they would give you for this and be sure it’s one that’s worth it.
You have the right to decide how much editing access you want to the website after it’s built. However, you have to be careful to not go beyond what you can handle.
Can I reach out to some of your past clients?
To get honest opinion on the job of your web development company, there is no better place to turn than to their previous clients. Their feedback would go a long way in letting you know whether or not you are making the right decision.
If your web developer won’t facilitate this for you, then it may mean that they either do not have experience working on projects in the past or they did not do a good job on their previous projects. What this means ultimately is that they are not the company you should be working with on your project.
Will the website be mobile friendly?
This is as important as asking “can you build a website?”. This is because majority of people access the internet with their mobile devices these days. And search engines now consider mobile-compatibility as a major factor for ranking on SERP. In other words, mobile-friendly sites rank high on search engines. So, make sure your web developers are capable of building responsive and mobile-friendly website so you don’t lose out on a large chunk of the market.
Ask to see previous websites they’ve built and see if you can easily access them on your mobile devices. The goal here is to make sure the site responds according to screen size of all devices.
How long will the project last and how many reviews can you do?
You most likely have a deadline for your website to be built. It’s therefore important you work with a company that can meet up with your deadline.
Web developers take different times to finish up projects depending on the type of project, experience of the developer and familiarity with tools and languages, and other projects they are working on. You just have to make sure you are choosing a web development company that will meet your deadline.
Having said that, you sure don’t want a rushed work so you don’t want to give an unrealistic deadline. Some companies would agree tovwork with any deadline you give them just because they don’t want to lose you as a customer. But in the end, what you’d have is a rushed work if the deadline given is actually too short. Set a realistic deadline and get a web development company that would deliver within the set time.
Similarly, you should ask your developer questions on the number of reviews they permit. Usually, web development companies have different plans and only the premium allows for unlimited reviews. Nevertheless, the company should have provision for reasonable number of reviews after the job is delivered.
Nothing is ever perfect on the first attempt, so the possibility that there would be need for reviews is quite high. Your developer should therefore be willing to work with you in making sure things are done correctly and all errors fixed.
What is your provision for security?
Security, as it is a major concern offline, remains a serious concern online as well. There are several stories of websites being hijacked by hackers. This explains why the question on security is indeed a crucial one.
Ask your web development company about arrangements for security. For instance, do they use firewalls? Has any of their previously built sites been hacked before? If yes, how did they manage to fix it?
Get a bit more technical by asking if they know the best coding practices to stop SQL injection attacks. Finally, in case the unwanted eventually happens, what are their backup plans and recommendations? Their answers to the questions should be considered before you give your project to them.
There are several web development companies in Toronto and other parts of Canada. However, there is still always that challenge of getting the right fit for your business. It’s not just okay that they can create good website design – the question is can they deliver exactly what you want?
The above 7 questions would help bring out the answers that would reveal to you if the web development company you have is the one you need.
Also, these questions will help pave way for what would turn out to be a healthy work relationship/partnership. Your web developers get to understand you and your business needs better and you also get to know their mode of operation. Now, you both can make magic together.