Choosing a Web Developer – Who Can I Trust?

Choosing a web developer or web company to build your internet business website can be a daunting task, especially if you’re just starting out, watching your investments and need as much good advice as you can get.

And with these companies naturally pitching their products and services to prospect customers like you, it is not always easy to sieve through the sales talk to get to the truth, to determine if this company is the right web development partner for your business.
 
I like to use the analogy of building a house to describe the web development process from deciding who the building team is, to the actual design and construction. Getting your business website right is as important as getting your home built right. You wouldn’t allow your builders to start building your house if you haven’t seen or approved the drawing plans and building materials, so why would you work with a web developer who do not supply you with such information or who fail to adopt an acceptable scope of work documentation and approval process.
 
It is common for people starting out in the internet marketing business to allow ourselves to be guided by web developers who “know better”. But do bear in mind that no one knows your product or your customers better than you, and if a web developer is not in the least interested in your product or failed to ask about the audience you aim to communicate with, or what actions you would like site visitors to perform when they land on your web page, this is not a developer you want to pay to do the job of creating your internet business website, the most important communication link between you and your customers.
 
Before you go down the path to develop a website for your internet business, know what product or service you intend to promote through this website, and have a good understanding of who your customers and prospects are. This will determine the breadth and depth of your website and from there, an estimated cost of design and development.
 
Then, follow this checklist when selecting a website developer or company for your internet business website:

  • Budget test – Set a budget and test it with the web developers that you are talking to, this will automatically purge out developers who would not be keen to work on your business right from the start.
  • Interview for chemistry – Remember this is going to be the team building and designing your “house”. If you don’t feel some connection at the outset, this may not help communications during the course of the project, this is very important to establish from the start.
  • Talk about you – Tell them about your business and listen to what they have to say or the questions they are asking. Asking questions is a good sign that they are interested in your business.
  • Talk about them – Review past client work and request to see paperwork documenting past projects, ask about the financial health of the company.
  • Talk about “you-and-them” – This is the hard but important stuff, talk about fees, schedule of payments, also explore the potential for an on-going working relationship post website launch

If your business do not require a complex website, you may consider purchasing and utilizing DIY “out-of-a-box” website development package. In which case, you wouldn’t be going through the entire checklist as above. However, at the very least, find out if such packages offer online tutorials on how to get you started and ideally, offer post-purchase online and/or phone support. Simply because, even if your website is three pages deep, you want to know you can call for assistance whenever it is required. 

Learn Web Development Without Going to College

 Start on the Cheap
When you make the decision to learn web development, do not run out and buy the most expensive set of programs on the market. Although Adobe makes outstanding web development titles, the startup developer should learn to write code with products that are more basic.  In essence, it is best to learn the hard way.  Software such as Dreamweaver can encourage rookies to layout everything in tables because it is easy to just drag your elements on the screen.  In the beginning you may learn make a few websites that look okay, but you still won’t really know how to lay out a website the correct way. Products like Dreamweaver become more important when you advance.  At that time, you will be able to use the high-end software to your advantage. 

Learn the Basics: XHTML and CSS
It is tempting to first learn technologies such and Flash or Flex.  These are some of the most exciting technologies on the web.  For the rookie developer, it makes more sense to start with XHTML, and then move onto CSS.  XHTML is the most basic and widely used coding language on the web, and CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) is a presentational language that was designed to make content look good.  It is impossible to be a real success in the web industry without having a firm grip on these two technologies. 

Visit Tutorial Websites
Although printed media is a great place to learn about the design side of building web pages, it is very difficult to learn complex computer code by flipping through the pages of a book. When you do this you are only learning in one way, by reading.  Tutorial websites are a better answer.   You will see an expert web developer work on the project.  You will hear their voice.  You will open up a browser window, and do the project yourself.  Nothing is more effective than this method of learning. It is possible to find a tutorial from a world class teacher on any quality software program available today.  Memberships to tutorial websites are much less expensive than the most affordable design school.  Chances are the lessons will be more up to date as well.

Hang out on Web Development Forums
Everyone needs feedback, and technology is changing all the time.  It is easy to get left in the dust.  The best way for a rookie developer to get quality feedback and stay up to date is to hang out at web development forums.  It is important to see what other developers around the globe are doing with web design.  Forums allow you to ask questions from others that have already been there.  They also give you a place to show off your work and get critiques from people that know what they are talking about.

Web developers have done a good job promoting and helping those in their own medium.  Take advantage of the free and inexpensive online tutorials, learn the basic coding languages, and hang out with those further down the road.  You don’t have to shell out $300 or more per credit hour to learn the web development trade. 

Why Web Development Is a Must for the Small Business

In today’s world, trade and services are facing huge challenges as several organizations are entering into the competition. The market of business has become quite competitive nowadays. Today, whether the business is big or small, the marketing always matters. In this world of advanced technology, the owners choose online marketing rather traditional marketing because it is convenient, less expensive, less time taking and draws more traffic to the business.

For a quick endorsement, most of the small business owners prefer a website of their own. A well decorated and attractive website is required to catch the eye of the viewers. Exclusiveness and proper presentation are the tools to stay forward of the opponents. Today, thousands of web development companies have established who ensure the proper design and development facilities to the owner. But before approaching any one of these companies, they should keep in mind that the web development services are quite beneficial for a small scale trade.

More Approachable
Several websites are flourishing in the internet almost every day. It is pretty difficult to find a specific website online. Small business owners always want to obtain more popularity to their website because it reaches more clients globally. Elegant decoration and optimized design helps to get more viewers to a site and ensure that they will stop at it at least for a few seconds. Nonetheless to say, an exclusive website always gets more viewers than a simple one.

Branding
All the big companies today had once started as a small scale organization. If anyone surveys the reason for which it has become so popular worldwide today is, its services and a comprehensive and well decorated website. Making a small business to a brand name mostly depends on the outlook of the site and on how much accessible it is to the viewers.

Increase in Ranking
Only a new entrepreneur knows how difficult it is to gain customers in the first few years. With the booming of digital marketing, obtaining more traffic to a website is needed for the betterment of its popularity. More clients mean more branding. But to get a good number of customers to the site, requires a good design and development. That is why, nowadays, many small businessmen prefer to approach to a web development company to create a unique website for increasing its ranking in the search engines.

Cost Efficiency
A well and good website is the core of the trade. To uphold a small business to a quality range, a perfect site is the major requirement. It helps to deteriorate the cost of the company which is quite advantageous for its growth.