More and more consumers are turning to online purchases these days. It is no wonder websites have become so crucial for all businesses, including the small ones. The first step in developing a website for your business is finding a web developer for a small business who is up to the task.
Surprisingly, many of your web visitors will assess your credibility based on their experience with the site. If you have a user-friendly website, they will stick longer and visit again. Now you know that the stakes are high when it comes to web development.
Finding a web developer for a small business like yours isn’t hard because there are many web developers today. What is difficult is choosing one who will transform your online presence positively. So, how do you choose the best from the rest? Below is a quick and effective guide to help you choose a web developer for your small business website or blog.
Check Web Developer Portfolio
The working experience of the web developer is a crucial factor to consider. It will help you understand whether they are fit to fulfill your website needs. Essentially, every web development company should have a portfolio of their previous projects. If they don’t have one, they could be hiding their shoddy work.
When evaluating the portfolio, check the design and development skills depicted in the sites. Also, assess the usability and functionality of the projects.
Check how the websites are generally built. Are they close to what you are looking for? Are they appealing and inviting? How is the user experience? Do the websites provide the necessary functionality?
Scrutinize each project thoroughly and check out for the following aspects:
- Is it a user-friendly website?
- Is it easy to manage a website?
- Is it easy to navigate?
- How long does it take to load?
- How do the text-based and visual components overlap?
- Is it visually appealing?
- Is the content useful and easy to read?
Determine the Type of Website You Need
With the average web user spending less than a minute to form an opinion about your website, you need to be extremely careful about your web design. Make sure the site reflects the character of your business and provides the necessary functionality and appeal.
In other words, you should determine the type of website you need before engaging a web developer. What is the purpose of the website for your business, and what are your goals? Which features would you like incorporated into the site?
For instance, you can put down things like social media features, SEO features, contact forms, security features, reservation systems, eCommerce, photo gallery, and blog sections. Find out if the developer can provide all these before you sign up for the contract.
Of course, you expect your small business to expand in the future. This means you will need to add more products and content to your website.
As your business grows, you need to update your website regularly. So, can the web developer handle the needs of your growing business? Do not forget that your website represents your business online and so it should look as good as your physical office, or even better.
Find Out If You Are Compatible
Before you collaborate with an expert in WordPress websites for small businesses, you need to check your compatibility. Remember that the web developer is somewhat a partner in your business.
They will be part of your business for many years if you engage their services. Choosing a well-suited technology partner can save you a lot of money and headaches in the future. Some of the important factors that will help you gauge your compatibility include:
The cost implication of developing a website is a pertinent issue for small businesses. You shouldn’t break a bank to get a website for your business.
Therefore, choose a candidate who offers fair prices and still provides outstanding solutions. Share the budget with them in the initial meetings and determine if they can deliver your dream website within the budget.
2. Personal attributes:
You’ll be dealing with the web developer in the long haul, and so their attitude matters a lot. Evaluate your first few meetings with them. Do they seem interested in your project? Are they proactive and supportive? Are they punctual? Trust your instincts and settle on the person you truly feel comfortable hanging around.
3. Size of the team:
Does the web developer work as a team, or is he a freelancer? If they are part of a team, you should know the person to be assigned your project.
4. Communication style:
Sometimes, you will need urgent assistance from your website developer. For instance, if the website stops working, they will be required to fix it quickly. For that reason, they should have a sturdy customer support system. You also want someone who updates you on the progress of your project frequently.
Determine whether they are Available for Ongoing Support
Web development is not a one-time event. It is a process that will continue as long as your website is in existence. Most of the work is in optimizing and maintaining the site and not building it. Look for a long-term partner who will provide you with ongoing support.
Some developers will provide a certain level of support within a specified time, and you’ll not pay for it. However, others will charge you for materials and time for any updates or changes on the website. Ensure that you discuss the cost of maintenance with your web developer well in advance.
Assess Their Technical Skills
Developing a website is a high-tech process. You might not understand everything that goes into building your website, but strive to learn the basics.
Before you invest in the project, understand the basic concepts involved in developing a website. With this knowledge, you will hire the right person and evade crooks.
Technology is rapidly changing. As such, a proficient web developer should stay updated on matters of technology. Check the kind of content management system (CMS) they are using to build their websites.
Can they develop WordPress websites for small businesses? WordPress is a modern web builder that allows you to create your website and blog.
There are five vital factors to consider when picking a content management system.
- Easy to manage website: You should seek a user-friendly website. Modern web builders have powerful customization, editing tools, and drag-and-drop options. It means you can update and maintain the website on your own.
- Data portability and ownership: Ensure that the CMS used by your developer can move content from the site to other applications. It should allow information to be downloaded without much hassle.
- Search engine optimization (SEO) tools: A great CMS should help you implement an SEO strategy that boosts your ranking on major search engines and increases traffic to your website.
- Security: Business websites are major targets for hackers, especially eCommerce websites. A good CMS should protect your site from potential security threats.
- Pricing: Ensure that the system offers the best value for the price. WordPress systems are free and only ask for a nominal fee for web hosting and web domain. Find out the pricing of eCommerce features, business email, SSL, and web domain of the CMS you will use.
- Features and design: Essentially, the website builder you choose should offer flexible options so you can add useful features when needed, like third-party marketing tools and Google analytics
Check Their Reviews and Ask for References
Any web developer worth hiring should have reviews if they have developed a website or blog for small businesses in the past. Reviews give you an idea of the person’s experience and expertise. You will gain a picture of what to expect from them when you sign the contract.
An established web developer will have a customer review section on their website. Be sure to read through these reviews. Evaluate the strengths of the developer – what are they are best at? More importantly, check their weaknesses. Which areas have their past clients complained about? Can you tolerate them?
In addition to reviews, ask the developer for references. Get contact details of three or four recent customers. When interviewing the references, ask whether they were satisfied with the services provided by the developer. Which are the pros and cons they can highlight the services?
Your business website can make or break your online presence. That is why it is important to choose a competent web developer.
They should be technically savvy and experienced in developing a website or blog for small businesses. And, they should demonstrate outstanding personal attributes so you can partner with them for the long-term.