Important steps to consider when selecting the right web developer

You have received your website quotes back and you don’t know where to start? Here are some important steps to consider when selecting the right web developer.

1. Budget and timeline

Who was able to meet your budget and timelines? Are they clearly communicated in the proposal what they can deliver by when?

2. Who is loading content?

Does it clearly list who is loading content? This is often missed and the developer will only load content on some pages, its important to clarify this if you want the developer to load all your content

3. SEO guarantees

What has the developer guaranteed in terms of a SEO compliant site? Have they discussed SEO strategies in the proposal? Some will include a separate charge for SEO set up. Just check your proposal carefully.

4. Does it include all your page designs and specifications?

Does the proposal include all the pages, design and technical specifications as you listed in the brief? Discuss how they propose to build each major section to ensure you get what you want. Ask for examples of previous work so you can see how similar sites work.

5. What CMS system are they proposing?

There are open and close source CMS systems. Both have pros and cons

Open Source Solutions

Open Source Solutions can include WordPress, Joomla, Wix, etc.

PROS

  • Can easily change website developer if things don’t work out, as there are thousands of companies that specialize in open source websites
  • Plenty of plugins to enable good website usability. This usually reduces your website build cost as its not a bespoke solution for you.
  • CMS systems are easy to use
  • You can host your website with any host you would like. You are not restricted to be held with the web developer. It’s usually recommended that you always use a separate host to ensure you have flexibility to move or change developers in the future.

CONS

  • Open source solutions are more vulnerable to hacking, so you need to be careful with site security
  • Having to many plugins can slow your site and cause issues, as they can rely on one another to work
  • You need to ensure you’re always running the most up to date versions of the software and plugins is imperative from a operational and security point of view.

 

Closed source, custom CMS systems

PROS

  • Usually a lot safer! They are much less prone to hacking
  • Bespoke custom CMS system and it may have industry relevant features that you need
  • You can create any website you want, the developers can create bespoke solutions and designs just for your business

CONS

  • You are tied to that website developer. You can’t move your website to a different developer if things go sour or worse if they go bankrupt. Some will provide you a clause to state that you will have full access to their CMS System in any bankruptcy case, but who actually knows what will happen. There are no guarantees.
  • Usually you have to host with the website developer and it can cost a little more

The next step after reviewing the proposals is to organize face-to-face meetings with the developers to get a feel of who and what they are. You need to ask yourself, “Can I get along with them and can I see myself working with them?” It’s best to narrow the selection to two finalists and ask for a list of references you can speak with along with links to previous work they have completed.

At the end of the day, selecting the right website developer is a very important step for your business. You need to make sure you select the company that will create a website that will set your business apart from the competition.

FourSeeds Marketing can help you review your website proposals, provide advice on the next steps and if needed assist throughout the entire website building process. Contact us on 0404 037 479.