Not all web site development companies are equal. Therefore, getting a proposal from one company for all the things on your wish list does not mean that the end result will be the same as with another company, even if the proposals are similar in scope. The experience and talent of the people in each company will determine the quality of the final product. How can YOU make sure you are picking the best company for the job?
- Do they listen first or talk first? This is such a basic principle, but it’s amazing how many service providers ignore it. If a company doesn’t take the time to understand your goals and objectives, how are they ever going to know if they’ve satisfied them?
- Do they educate or sell? A provider you can trust will be more interested in educating you about the various options available to you and making a recommendation based on your stated needs than they will be on trying to sell you a particular solution. Do they share the pros and cons of ALL the solutions they describe or do they weigh heavily on a particular solution from the outset. If you can tell they have an agenda, they are probably putting their own needs before yours.
- Are they focused on building a web site or building your business? If they are focused on just building a web site, they will talk primarily about how great they are at designing or programming web sites and will want to redesign yours, even if it doesn’t need it. If they are focused on building your business, they will look at the design and programming of your web site in the context of your overall business goals. That may mean that a redesign is not the highest priority; perhaps you need to drive more traffic to your site or have a better call to action.
- Have they been around for a while? If a web company has been around for more than 10 years, it means they not only have accumulated some experience, but they’ve also gone through not one, but two major downturns in the market. If they are still around, they must be doing something right.
- How quickly do they get you a quote? This is a trick question because on the one hand, you want a vendor who is responsive and will turn things around quickly. It’s a good indication of how fast your project will progress. On the other hand, you DON’T want a vendor who will give you a quote before they’ve taken the time to fully understand your project. If they do, you can bet you will end up in an argument with them down the road when they realize the true scope of the project.