How to pick a web developer?
Thinking about a new website for your company? In start-up mode and know you need a web presence but not sure who should build it and how much it should cost?
We are regularly asked for tips and recommendations on how to pick a web developer to work with.
NB: If you are a web developer we work with; feel free to write a cheeky blogpost about how to pick a digital marketing agency!
We hope the tips below help in understanding the costs involved in building a website and how to select the person / organisation who is going to build the best website for your business.
- Not all web developers are created equal and usually you get what you pay for.
- There’s nothing wrong with cheaper websites but do understand the costs involved in building websites are usually in the time the developer has to spend creating something bespoke for you. If you’re willing to take a basic WordPress theme and make very little modifications; the cost for this will be far less than an all singing, all dancing e-commerce website.
- Search online – key phrase “website” + “your county’’. Create a list of who you will contact
- Geography – Try and find someone local to you, as there will be meetings to decide on designs, etc.
- Check in with your local support agency e.g. County Enterprise Board or Enterprise Ireland and ask their advice. Also check with the Innovation Centre / Business Hub in your local Institute of Technology / University
- Referrals – ask your business colleagues (word of mouth)
- Budget – Get at least three quotes
- Content Management System: Ensure that the website will be built in a content management system such as WordPress or Drupal. This will ensure you can manage content updates of the website yourself and future-proof your site for new technology requirements i.e. there should be plug-ins as technologies develop.
- Search Engine Optimisation: Is your web designer experienced with search engines and their requirements, will your site be designed in a search engine friendly way?
- Your prospective web developer should try to get an understanding of your business / market so they know who they are trying to pitch to. This may involve sending your a survey / form to complete so they can get their head around your business and target audience.
Costs to consider:
- Is the quote provided all inclusive? Some companies will charge little at the start and then a little more each year. Always ask about any other annual costs.
- The basic ongoing costs will be hosting and domain name costs annually.
- What are the update costs if you are using the company to manage development changes
- Are you building an eCommerce website and if so what are the Secure Cert / Merchant account costs. PayPal vs. Shopping Cart.
Of course at the end of the day you need to pick the best fit company for your organisation based on more than just cost.
Look at other websites the company has developed, do you like them? Will they achieve the results you need? Measure twice, cut once; make sure you get the website that will actually help your business sell more.