Brisbane! We know. We feel your feels. Web Developers are a dime a dozen in this city and they’ll all chew your ear off about exactly why they’re “different”. It happens everywhere. So with that in mind we thought we’d offer a few tidbits on some key things to look for when engaging anyone for Web Design & Development. Starting with…
1. A “lifer”!
And no, we don’t mean someone who plans to spend the rest of their lives in the same job, we’re talking about people who live and breathe the stuff! We once had a business approach us because in their words “the reason he chose to come and see us is because he used to walk past our office at night and see us still working hard - and he knew that we lived and breathed it and we didn't just cut off at 5.”
Now while it’s obvious that these sorts of expectations need to be kept within reason (developers are only human after all), you should make sure that in a pinch or with a deadline looming, your developers will go above and beyond to deliver.
2. Translation skills
Just because you’re not a web developer, doesn’t mean you should resign yourself to not understanding exactly what it is that is being proposed to you and how it will impact your business. Your website and/or app is one of the most important channels for your business even if you don’t use it to sell anything or only use it for informational purposes. Do not go into a project without a good understanding of what it is that you’re embarking upon. Anyone who doesn’t try to help you understand what it is that they’re implementing in a way that you can understand should be shown the door.
3. Experience with “Business Critical” projects
This is an important one. Has the company you’re talking to ever dealt with such projects? If you’re embarking on something that your entire business (or even just large enough parts of it) will revolve around, why on Earth would you entrust such a project to anyone but a Web Design Company who has dealt with exactly such a situation?
Ask for examples, ask for solutions & most importantly, ask how they plan to meet your most important objectives. Then refer to point #2.
4. Expertise around multiple platforms, but yours in particular
Building in Kentico? Drupal? Wordpress? Magento? Whatever your platform, you’d be surprised how many people you speak to are actually just winging it. So number 1: Ask for examples & Number 2: Ensure they’ve worked across multiple platforms to confirm that you have a talent pool and not just a one trick pony working on your website.
5. Someone Local who puts you at ease.
If you’re in Brisbane, we’re in Brisbane. We can drop by your office or vice versa, enjoy a water or a beer and look you in the eye when we answer your questions. Anyone who says that getting along with someone you plan to work on a project of this nature with isn’t important likely doesn’t have a lot of experience in precisely that type of thing. Creating a website is a tough, long, detailed & at times trying process. The developers you choose should be your partners who are invested and along for the ride.
..AN IMPORTANT NOTE: DO YOUR RESEARCH.
Don’t just throw everything into the hands of the company you choose. The best possible outcome can only be achieved if you participate in the project and have some understanding of what you need. As much as translation skills are important on the web team’s part, arm yourself with as much knowledge as you can handle. Think about the most important aspects of the site you want to build and do a bit of reading. Don’t assume you’re an expert afterwards, but it will at least give you a bit of savvy during conversations