Whether you are running a big business or a one-man shop, having a strong presence on the Internet is an important way to stay relevant and competitive in today’s marketplace. For this reason, Better Business Bureau (BBB) would like to offer advice on enlisting a qualified web developer; someone able to assemble an easily navigated site which effectively represents your company. Your BBB can also help you check out businesses from our comprehensive database of BBB Reviews.
Web developers have become more relevant as technological advances continue to impact the way consumers interact with businesses. Nowadays, consumers are not only looking for convenient ways to shop online, they are also searching for a well-rounded user experience and overall visual appeal.
Your BBB offers business owners six tips on selecting a web developer you can trust:
- Have a plan. Before the first meeting, take time to think about your company’s wants and needs in terms of website functionality. What is your grand vision? Look at other sites to help illustrate your vision. What features are most important for your company? The better you are able to explain things, the better the developer can plan and execute a functional web site.
- Listen to the developer’s ideas. After sharing your vision, listen and consider the developer’s suggestions. As the expert, he or she will know the most effective way to deliver your desired outcome. The developer’s enthusiasm in the project may also be a good indicator of the type of work to be performed.
- Add strategically. Often times, developers get over excited about projects and suggest additional items you may or may not need. Make sure additions bring value to the user experience. If you feel the developer is trying to increase the price of the project by recommending items you do not need, consider looking elsewhere.
- Consider maintenance. With any website comes maintenance. Ask the developer upfront if you’ll be trained on how to use the site, if you will be able to make changes yourself, and if there are any limitations in terms of content. All this information will be beneficial to know at times when you need to change text, add pages, update products, or add new items to the site. Also, ask if the website can be transferred to another developer in the future.
- Don’t pay everything up front. Some developers ask for full payment upfront and then fail to complete the project. It is common practice to require 25 to 50 percent up front, and the rest after key milestones or when the work is complete.
- Don’t be afraid to ask “interview” style questions, just like you would if you were hiring a full-time employee. Ask for references, examples of “live” sites they have designed, and credentials.