Kim Elloian
March, 28, 2017

6 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Web Development Agency

What kind of projects do web development agencies deal with?

Believe it or not, web development agencies are capable of doing more than just building and redesigning websites. Some create tools to help you run a business, such as inventory management systems. Others are great at developing systems for internal use, such as employee portals. Do you think an app will help take your business to the next level? What about a smart tool that can help your visitors calculate how much energy their home uses? A web development agency can help.

What to consider before signing your name on the dotted line.

Before you start contacting web development agencies for a quote, it's best to have some idea of what you want accomplished. No, wanting a website redesign isn't enough. Have a clear understanding of what functionalities you would like, such as an event calendar, so that the team has an easier time determining the scope. Once you have an idea of what you're looking for, here are some questions to consider before hiring developers.

How much is this going to cost you?

Hint: a lot. It's actually shocking how expensive websites can be. Expect to spend no less than $10,000 on your project. Do you want a team on standby after the fact to make sure nothing breaks? Expect to spend thousands more on a maintenance package. Our best advice is to shop around for prices but be wary of offers that are simply too good to be true. Skimping on price most likely means you're skimping on skill, which will come back to haunt you down the line.

Can you look at their portfolio?

The majority of agencies have their portfolios front and center to view. If they don't...run. Keep in mind you don't want to focus only on how attractive a website is. While design is important, make sure that you pay attention to the functionality of the site. Also, who have they created sites for in the past? Do they have a lot of experience in your niche industry? What about the types of sites they do? Pro tip: if you're an eCommerce business, you should steer away from agencies with only WordPress experience.

What are their capabilities?

By now you've probably taken a look at their portfolio. What do you see? Is there a wide variety in their work or does every website kind of look the same? If that's the case, they may not have the customization skills required to turn your dreams into reality. Remember that your website is a living and breathing portrayal of your business. What suits your needs in this moment may not be what you need down the line. For example, if your 5 year plan requires an app within the next 2 years, can this company help you build it?

Do they have a decent track record?

When was the last time you purchased something expensive and didn't bat an eye? Studies show that the more expensive a product category is, the more a consumer takes the time to consider the purchase. Let's say you were buying a car. You most likely spend hours looking into models before heading to the dealership. And before you head to the dealership, you ask friends and family in the area about their car buying experiences. Make sure to consider your website just as carefully. Online reviews and word of mouth can ensure that you get the most bang for your buck.

How large is their company?

Development agencies come in all shapes in sizes. No matter how talented a freelancer might be, it pays in the long run to work with a company that can scale your growth.

Do you know who is working on your project?

When hiring a web development agency, you're not hiring a person, you're hiring a team. So despite how wonderful your project manager is, what really matters is who is actually typing the code. Bandwidth at agencies may be limited at times, meaning that your project may be outsourced. Be sure to ask if all development is done in house and if you will have the option to communicate to the developer directly.

There's a lot more to a website than design and usability. Are you wondering if hiring a website development agency is a smart move for your business? Download our guide to find the best type of agency for your project.

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