Choosing the wrong web developer can cost small business owners valuable time and money. In their eagerness to launch a great website, small business owners might quickly choose a large development agency simply because it is well known.
This move can not only be extremely costly, but can result in the business getting lost in the shuffle. Major agencies manage and develop sites for many businesses at once and may be less inclined, or unable, to put in the necessary effort for smaller clients.
On the other hand, choosing a good web developer cannot only land your business’s site on the first page of Google, but more importantly translate that earned search traffic into sales. A good developer can create a great user experience that helps form trust between the business and its customers.
Here are 9 website development tips that will help business owners avoid decisions that cost them valuable resources.
Developers create the user interface and inner workings that allow a website to run properly; designers focus on the look of a website through graphic design, color scheming, and user experience. Unless you’re hiring an agency that provides both, it is essential to know the difference when hiring a developer. Ask the agency, before the project begins, if it provides both development and design services.
#2. Know Your Goals
In order to pick a web developer that will help you meet you goals, you need to actually understand the goals you have for your business and be able to clearly communicate them. Without realistic goals for improving and growing your online presence, hiring a web developer will eventually become a very frustrating situation.
#3. Do Your Research
Taking the time to research and interview developers is worth the effort. You need to do the research. A poor choice in the beginning can result in missed deadlines and wasted resources. It may even become necessary to start the process over with a new web developer or agency. Research is especially crucial for small businesses who may not be able to afford a “do-over.”
#4. Know What You Need
Going with a large company just because it’s well known, or has high-profile clients, can be a big waste of money for small businesses. It’s important for small businesses to not blow their budget paying for a developer’s reputation, or paying for unnecessary features and services. Focus on the quality of a developer’s work and then determine exactly what you need. Some business owners may be able to get exactly what they need using various website builders.
A web developer who is unable to create responsive websites is essentially useless in today’s market where mobile is becoming the standard. By 2017, it is estimated that 5 billion people will be using mobile phones. If your website’s information is not formatted to display correctly on a variety of screens, you’re potentially losing the ability to reach billions of customers.
#6. Focus on Conversions, Not Traffic
A good web developer can help boost traffic to your website, a great one can turn that traffic into profit. By having clear “add-to-cart” buttons, easy and simple navigation, and clean product pages, a great web developer can help make the customer’s path to purchase simple and fast.
A web developer with no marketing, social media or SEO experience can make it extremely difficult to grow your business’s online presence if you have no plans to hire a marketing person right away. Good SEO goes hand in hand with a good website development and can help potential customers find your business faster. Keep in mind though, a web developer isn’t necessarily a marketer. These are two separate job titles. If you can find a web developer who has all of these skills, that would be ideal.
Your website is one of your main tools in communicating with customers and something that you should invest in. But, if you’re producing a lot of content and you don’t have a system in place to manage it, you’re throwing money down the drain. A content management system makes it easier to create, edit, and publish content, saving you time and money.
#9. Plan Ahead
Many business owners focus on their website’s launch date as the end of the development processes, but it’s only the beginning. A good web developer or agency will make the effort to maintain a relationship with you to ensure the website continues helping your business reach its goals. They will also quickly fix any design or coding issues your website experiences.
Choosing the right web developer for your small business can make or break the customer experience. Know who you’re hiring, do your research, use skilled talent, and plan ahead. A great content management system will help you save time and a mobile responsive website will ensure your website visitors can access your website on any device.
This article first appeared on Business2Community.com and was republished with permission.