So you’ve had a moment of inspiration and conceived an idea for a new website that will change the way people everywhere use the internet. That’s a great start, but finding the right people to build it can be a challenge, especially for first timers.
1. Utilise your search methods
Word of mouth is a powerful tool and not something to be sniffed at, but appointing someone on the basis of a single recommendation is a huge risk. There’s a wealth of talent out there, so make sure you dig deep.
The web has some great sites where creative folk can advertise their expertise. Comparing work side by side allows you to make better judgements on who’s style fits your vision. And with ever increasing ease of communication, it’s not a necessity to stay local.
2. Do your homework
If you are new to the world of web design, much of the jargon is going to fly over your head, especially the acronyms. Do some research into SEO, AJAX, CMS and PPC and avoid a situation where you sit nodding vacantly whilst being bombarded by random letters and talk of cookies. Of course, if you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask for a plain English explanation.
3. Make sure you’re on the same page
It’s vital the developer understands your ambitions for the new business. Go through your business plan with them, explain your annual projections. All these details can feed into the design process ensuring the site is tailor made to your goals. A good relationship with your web developer will last long beyond this initial stage, so explaining future development is essential.
4. Look at past work & get references
Employing a web developer is no different from hiring a new employee for your business. Get references from past clients. Have a search on Google to find sites they have designed and built.
When you find someone to quiz make sure you ask the right questions; Did they deliver on time? How were they to work with? Do they have good after care services?
Source the references yourself, if you rely on them providing client details for you to contact, you’ll most likely end up with a biased view on the quality of their services.
5. Get the correct balance between experience and ability
The scale of web development firms is vast; from the one man band to large commercial agencies. Deciding who to go with is going to depend greatly on your priorities.
If money is no object and deadlines are tight, appointing an established, professional agency may be your best bet. A large office will likely be reliable with regard to hitting deadlines, the depth of their experience and wealth of knowledge is going to bode well for a smooth and well delivered project.
Young companies and freelancers may be less experienced but there’s a good chance you’re their number one client. Working with a small team can provide a more personal experience, and new starts generally have bags of enthusiasm and energy which is great to feed into the creative process.
If you are more flexible, working with a young, energetic team could provide the spark your site needs to take off.
Appointing the right people will make a huge difference to the future success of your business. You’ll be itching to get started, but putting the time and effort in now to make the best decision you can will pay off massively in future.