Finding the right web site development firm is hard enough. It can be even harder to find right in your own backyard because so many companies are vying for your attention. Just because a web site development firm is number one on Google, doesn’t mean they are the right fit for you or your business. Your website will be your branding statement on the internet. It is important that the company you choose will take your project seriously.
The following step-by-step guide will aid those anyone in search of a web site development firm. As an example, we will use San Diego as your hometown.
1. Create a mock design of your web site. You don’t have to be fancy here. Just get a sheet of paper and write down what your site needs. The key here is to assess your needs, not your wants. So, if you need a bio page, service page, blog, contact page, and newsletter page, then this will be a basic five page web site for you. Also, include up to three to five web sites that you like that are similar to your vision. This will give the web designer a better idea of how to bring your site to life.
2. Create a budget. Before you start searching for a web site development firm, you need to determine how much money you can spend. Look into your finances and determine how much you can afford. If $1,500 is all you can do, then this is your budget. Don’t go over this no matter how smooth the web developer tries to get with his pitch.
· Please heed this caveat, if you decide to go cheap with your website, you will only end up with cheap results. Unless you know the web designer personally, or have an excellent relationship with the web site development firm, never go the cheap route. This is your brand after all. People today will easily exit out of a cheap website. To make matters worse, they can spread ill propaganda about you on social media. You want to hit the ground running when your website is launched. You don’t want to be playing catch up with your competitors.
3. Start digging in your backyard for potential companies. Meaning, start your search for web development in San Diego (remember, this is just an example). Type in key phrases like web site development in San Diego or affordable web site development in San Diego. You will witness a plethora of sites hitting you all at once. Take a deep breath. This is a good thing. Now, click on them and begin reviewing each one that strikes your interest.
4. Narrow down your choices. Pick about three to five web development firms that show high success in your hometown. Get a notebook and create a section for each company so you can compare companies when you meet the designer. Yes, you will need to either meet the designer face to face or over the telephone. This brings us to the next step.
5. Contact each company and ask tons of questions.
· Here are some sample questions: Do you take a half or full deposit? Do I have to sign a contract? Will you teach me how to update my content? What other services do you offer besides web development? Can I see your portfolio?
6. Never forget to ask for a portfolio. Every company should have a portfolio on them in person and/or online for customers to see.
· If they don’t have a portfolio, this could be a red flag.
7. When you have seen the portfolio, write down some of the clients they have worked for. Then, contact those clients. Ask them how the service was and most importantly, ask if that company lives up to their reputation.
· Many people fail to do this and pay a very steep price. Some companies con people by conjuring fake portfolios of companies that they never even worked. If you did a little background
· checking, you could be saving yourself from falling into a scam. This is a critical step that must not be skipped.
8. Compare companies. Never be too hasty and make a decision on which company is best for you. Now that you have all the information needed for each company, it’s time to compare them. Compare pricing, packages, and other assets and liabilities that will benefit or hinder you and your brand.
9. Make a decision. Follow up with the one company that strikes you and make your dream a reality.
Once you have followed these steps, you will easily find the right company for your web site development needs. Don’t be hasty. Patience is your best friend when it comes to an investment like this. This is a serious commitment and requires delicate handling. This process is like taking care of a plant. You have to provide sunlight and feed it water. Take your time and sure enough the right web site development firm will present itself to you.