How to choose a web developer

A quick Google search for Kalamazoo web designer yields dozens of results. So, how do you begin the process of choosing the right one for your project? Here are 7 step to take before hiring a web design company.

Look at their web site. Is it professional? Does it load quickly? Is the message well thought out and conveyed? Do all the links work? Are there missing images? This is their business. If they can’t promote themselves well, chances are, they won’t be able to promote you well either.

Browse through their online portfolio. Do all of the sites look similar or does each have an individual brand and identity? Pay particular attention to “look and feel,” plus ease of navigation and speed of loading. Every page and link should work. Look at the breadth and depth of sites developed to gauge if the agency has the experience to handle your project.

Check their search engine optimization. After all, if no one finds your site, what good does it do you? Choose a few of the company’s clients and search for their goods and services. Did they come up in the first 10 results? Are they nowhere to be found?

Ask how long has the company been in business. There are many here today, gone tomorrow agencies and you want to be sure the one you choose won’t disappear, leaving you high and dry. An established agency has a proven track record and has weathered the ups and downs of a constantly changing market.

Gauge their communication style. Communication is a two-way street. Make sure your potential developers listen carefully and respond promptly. You want to work with a company with outstanding customer service and attention to detail and who speak your language.

Spend some time talking with the designers. You want to ensure that the partnership is a good fit and that they understand your business and your website goals. Ask them to outline their project approach and listen carefully. Is their plan comprehensive? Do they have the resources to complete your project on time and on budget? You should feel as if your project is the number one priority of their company,

Determine the value of the development estimate. The best value may not necessarily be the lowest estimate. Will you be trained in maintaining your site? Is the agency available for followup questions? What, precisely, is included in the development estimate?

Your website is the online face of your business and needs to be an effective and engaging marketing tool that turns users into customers and yields a high return on investment. Choose wisely.

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