Your website is one of your brand’s most important assets. It’s your digital “home” – the portal through which so much of your marketing, branding, and advertising are funneled. And if you want to generate maximum value from your site, it needs to be taken seriously from both a design and development perspective.
Drag and drop website builders have a role in the design industry, but they offer extremely limited functionality and scalability. The only way to get a website that’s highly functional and optimized for your brand goals is to hire a custom website development company.
7 Qualities and Traits to Look For
There’s no such thing as a perfect website development company. There are, however, certain traits and characteristics that set the best ones apart from the average. Here are a few of the qualities we recommend looking for:
The first consideration is experience. How long have they been designing custom websites for businesses? Which businesses have they worked with?
Any company worth their salt should be able to provide you with specific numbers and data points. Take DEV.co, one of the fastest-growing custom website development companies around, as an example. They prominently display their stats on their website: 187 websites designed, 156 mobile apps developed, and 24 custom developed corporate and customer-facing platform projects – including a blend of small businesses and Fortune 500 companies.
Experience and transparency, when coupled together, are positive signs that you’re working with a reputable company.
2. Positive Reviews
If a company has experience, they should also have some reviews from past clients and partners. Chase down reviews, testimonials, and case studies to get a feel for how others view their work. (This will also provide insights into what it’s like to work with the company and how they handle the soft side of things.)
You might have a very specific assignment for the company, but you should consider all of their service offerings. If you end up liking the company, it’s nice to know that they offer a full range of custom development options – including apps, software, and web properties.
4. Impressive Portfolio
This goes hand in hand with reviews and testimonials. Review the company’s portfolio of websites and study both aesthetics and functionality. Then visit the URL of the client to see if that website is still being used. If it is, this is a good sign that the website is performing well and the client is satisfied with the work.
This is something that most businesses overlook, but it’s an important component of the due diligence process. After all, any website development project is likely going to need some changes, revisions, and updates on an ongoing basis.
“A good development company is going to provide you with the tools to add updated content, add new pages, and articles, and make minor updates. For new features, it’s likely you’ll need to rely on your technology partner,” Startup Grind mentions. “Most web development companies provide some level of ongoing support, but it’s always a good idea to find out what level, turnaround time, and which members of the staff will be doing this type of work.”
This is not a “make or break” element, but it’s something to at least inquire about. If there’s an ongoing support fee for monthly maintenance and updates, inquire about the pricing structure.
Speaking of pricing structure, affordability is a very practical element. You’ll find that custom website development runs the gamut in terms of cost. This is why it’s a good idea to get quotes from at least three different companies.
7. Good Communication
Finally, evaluate communication. How smooth has the research and due diligence process been? Do they respond quickly, or does it take a few days for them to get back to you?
You’ll be working with your developer a lot over the next few weeks. You want it to be someone you can trust will be there when you need them.
Make a Smart Decision
At the end of the day, you might have a couple of good options to choose from. If you find yourself unsure of which direction to go, listen to your gut instincts. Which company do you trust more? Which one seems to have good people with high standards and a genuine desire to provide you with the most value possible? That’s the website development company you should choose.