5 questions to ask a web development company before hiring them

There are many of options for web development companies—local, specialized, brand new, experienced—and who you select as the agency for your website project will determine whether your launch is a celebrated success or a horrible headache. So how do you know which agency to choose for your website project? Here are five questions you should ask a website development company before hiring them to ensure you’re picking the right partner for your project.

1. What is your process for getting to know me and my brand?

A website isn’t just about the look and feel, it also sets the path for your business’ future growth and success. The right agency will take a vested interest in your company’s future to ensure they are putting together the right solution for you. Consider asking the agency about their discovery process for learning the ins-and-outs of your business.

Some agencies may run an analysis of your current website and metrics to identify what’s working and what’s not, and/ or run an industry and market analysis to get a better sense of effective trends in your business. A good partner will host a series of meetings in order to ask thought-provoking questions that allow them to dig deep into your brand.

2. What is your experience in my industry?

Another key question to ask is what industry they specialize in. Some web development companies that focus in web design for specific industries can have a hard time branching out to other areas of the market. Look for an agency with more varied experience that combines best practices across the digital space, not just in one bucket.

3. What types of websites are you most comfortable developing?

Don’t hesitate to ask about a web development company’s experience with different website types. Depending on your needs, that question can be extremely helpful in narrowing down the list of agencies you may be reviewing. An eCommerce website has different requirements than a lead generation website, and the same goes for a brochure website.

4. What content management systems (CMS) is your agency most proficient with?

The system your web development company and you select for your back-end website platform is absolutely a point you want to discuss from the start. After all, the content management system is the platform you’ll use daily to manage your website. Some developers are more comfortable designing with certain platforms and that may not always line up with your comfort level, existing tools or needs.

5. What is your fee structure and how are cost changes communicated?

Website development companies fee structures vary as does the way firms calculate minor costs. Understanding the pricing and which features are included with that cost are crucial to deciding which firm you should hire. Whatever the price structure may be, ask about the agency’s general process for addressing project scope changes and the impact on the initial quoted price. You don’t want to be caught off guard with an unexpected bill!

Most experienced, professional website development firms will want to avoid big surprises or miscommunications on both sides. Ask the questions above to make sure you and your prospective website company are on the same page before agreeing to dive into a project together.

Kevin Hourigan is the President and CEO of Bayshore Solutions and for over 23 years, his company has provided clients with digital solutions that grow their businesses. To contact Kevin, please email [email protected].

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