Choosing a website developer - tips from Smashing Time Website Design Melbourne

Choosing a website developer - tips from Smashing Time Website Design Melbourne from Smashing Time Website Design Melbourne

By: Smashing Time Website Design Melbourne  30-Aug-2011
Keywords: Website Design, Web Development, Web Site Design

Choosing a web developer is a crucial decision for your business as a good website will enhance your business and a bad one will drive away prospective customers and may damage your businesses reputation.

Here is a short list of things to think about and ask about when hiring a website developer:

Look at their portfolio to see if you like their style. Are their designs "cookie cutter" or are the sites appropriate for each individual business? Also ask them if they do the layout design in-house or do they outsource.

What is their experience and history? Are they established? Amateur web developers have a habit of "disappearing" or "changing jobs" leaving their clients with a poor website and nothing to do but start again from scratch. Also many developers may not have the technical skills or experience to do what you've asked but they will claim they do. You must be prepared to pay for professional expertise.

Did they ask you about your business? You are the expert on your business and your clients so how can they design a website that reflects your business unless they spend the time to learn from you?

Do they have a structured project plan that leads you through the website design and development process? Some website developers will take your deposit and the next time you hear from them your website is built!  If the developer says you don’t need to be involved in the design stage it’s time to look elsewhere.

Find our what internet marketing and search engine optimization services (if any) are included in the cost of the project. Is this service on-going and what will it cost? SEO and marketing are CRUCIAL to the success of a business website.

A reputable and professional website development company will provide a comprehensive website development contract for your project. A contract protects you AND the website developer. It lays out the path for the project and makes each step predictable and understandable. No contract means the developer can change their mind about price, file ownership or even completing the job. The contract should list (in detail) everything that is to be delivered and should include FIXED fees and delivery dates for each stage of the development project.

Ask them how they bill you? How much is the initial deposit?

Are they happy for you to contact some of their recent clients?  If not, why not?

Ask them whether they will maintain your site after it goes live and how much they'll charge for this service. Some website designers won't maintain the websites they build.

Make sure you own your domain name, even if the website developer registered it for you it should be in your name. Whoever owns the name controls what server it points to and some website design companies will register the URL in your name but not give you access to the registrar account. Others will register it in their own name which means you DON’T own it.  

Who will host the finished website? Many development companies insist you host with them but if you want to change developers you'll need to find a different hosting company as well. Make a point of understanding the host/developer relationship so you can make a choice that gives you the most flexibility and security.

Will they use any proprietary software to build the website? Many website development companies use their own software for building web sites and they license it to customers. The problem with this is if you want to move the website or use a different developer you are locked into the same company regardless of how the relationship is working out. Avoid proprietary software sites. Make sure your website is built in such a way that you can switch companies down the line.

Will your website designer provide the original, editable source files to your website and all the technical information that you need to manage your website or have another website developer manage and edit it for you?

Finally do you like the website developer? You'll have to work and communicate well with them so this is important. Did they seem interested in your business and excited about the project? Do they seem ethical? Do you think they have enough experience to deliver what they promise? Did they offer you useful insights and advice about your web site project?

If you would like to discuss your website project with Smashing Time Website Design just contact us today on (03) 9328 8811 to arrange a free consultation!  

Keywords: Professional Web Designer, Web Development, Web Page Design, Web Site Builders, Web Site Design, Web Site Maintenance, Website Design, Website Designer, Website Designers

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