DECIDING ON A DEVELOPER
As you begin the process of evaluating website development companies, it is highly recommended that you research the marketplace, compare options, and ensure that these companies are competing for your business. If nothing else, speaking with a few different companies and gathering multiple proposals will accomplish several things:
- Demonstrate to your superiors, shareholders, or otherwise that you have performed sufficient due diligence.
- Allow for you to understand the general development process and proceed as a relatively informed customer.
- A proposal is often a leading indicator or representation of the level of professionalism and quality of product offered by a given company. You’ll be able to infer much about the candidate company’s organization and attention to detail.
- Allow you to negotiate additional deliverables, or items which may have been missed or overlooked into your deal.
- Provide leverage as development companies compete for your business.
- Allow for ample justification (through multiple proposals), that the price you are receiving is in fact a proper market rate.
- Compare pros & cons, up front cost vs. carry cost, and to otherwise craft a deal that fits best into your business plan. Any worthwhile development company will understand that you are making a significant business decision and they should be happy to formulate arrangements suited to your budget, cash flow, and marketing plan.
SUGGESTED DEVELOPER QUESTIONS
The following represent some suggested questions you may want to ask your prospective website developer. It is important to conduct sufficient research and comparisons in the early stages of the project in order to reduce the risk of surprises, let downs, hidden costs, delays, or other unsatisfactory outcomes down the line. Choosing a developer is an important decision as it relates to your business, your job, and most specifically, the success of your web site. Here are a few suggested questions to get a conversation with a developer started:
- How long has your company been in business?
- What are some design/development examples from within our particular industry or of similar scope?
- What Content Management System (CMS) will you employ?
- How do the features and capabilities of your CMS compare to the other major options in the marketplace?
- Do we retain ownership of the web site domain? The content? The design?
- What sort of customer support stucture or program do you have in place?
- Will we be able to manage the web site content in-house, or will we need to pay you or a third party to conduct changes?
- Will our administrator require significant computer experience? Programming experience?
- What plans do you offer for ongoing content management?
- Do you offer Search Engine Optimization consulting, maintenance packages, or related services?