What Is the Development and Design Process?

When selecting a web design and development partner, the first thing to look at is their process. Understanding how they approach the build gives you insight into the firm’s experience and use of strategy.

It also gives you a way to create and manage expectations surrounding project milestones, revisions, timelines, implications, and other critical aspects of building and launching your site.

Will They Collaborate with Your Marketing Strategy?

The purpose of building a website is to generate leads for your business. Your site needs to be a marketing machine running on autopilot, bringing you new customers while managing your existing customer base.

What kind of strategies and software integrations do they offer? Your site is useless if it’s a static page floating around the internet.

You need a website offering a content mix of digital and content marketing, blogging, social media, lead generation, and other inbound strategies tied to its development.

How Do They Approach SEO?

SEO is a critical part of your web management and marketing process. On-site Search Engine Optimisation is crucial to your site’s ability of being found in the search results.

Your website needs meta descriptions, title tags, alt tags, and a fast loading time. Several other aspects of on-page SEO are critical to achieving a good ranking with Google.

Your web design agency should have a thorough understanding of the SEO work involved in the project to make your website shine in the eye of the search bots.

Do They Control the Development Process In-House?

It’s best to work with a firm that handles the entire design and development process in-house. If they are outsourcing aspects of the project, it leaves room for error, and there’s a chance that could affect the timeframe you have in mind for the launch.

Your development partner should have a team capable of handling every part of the process, from basic photoshop work to coding, HTML, PHP, database creation, content creation, and digital marketing. Teams that do everything in-house have better synergy and produce better results.

Do They Have a Portfolio You Can Reference?

Your website development partner could spin you a story that sounds too good to be true, and that might be the case.

Ask to see their testimonials and portfolio of past client websites. Good web design companies will have a huge collection of projects for you to view.

Can They Map the Buyer’s Journey?

The web developer should clearly understand how to map the customer journey from the first interaction with your site to becoming a customer.

The development team should understand how your business fits into the parameters of awareness, consideration, and decision in the customer journey.

Your partner should build you a funnel focusing on each phase, not just the decision-making process. Your team should have a thorough understanding of the type of content they intend on publishing and how to design the website for optimal prospect engagement.

Do They Offer Introductory Meetings?

Does your web development partner offer you a sit-down with the team to discuss your site? Sure, you could be far away from them on the other side of the city, or in another part of England, but that shouldn’t make a difference.

Zoom gives them a platform to meet with you on a face-to-face basis, allowing you to get to know the parties responsible for each phase of the build and what they expect from the outcome of the work.

What CMS Options Do They Offer?

What content management systems do they work with at the firm? Can they offer a CMS designed for Ecommerce?

Do they offer you training on how to manage the site’s day-to-day operations without relying on the dev team for minor tasks like uploading blogs?

Do They Offer Third-Party Website Integrations?

What plugins and third-party software integrations can they offer you for your site, and how will these systems affect the performance and use of the site?

What do these integrations cost, and do they offer maintenance of the plugins, along with updates? Do they provide tools for managing newsletter signups and email systems like MailChimp, Constant Contact, or Campaign Monitor?

Can they integrate CRM systems into the build, such as HubSpot, Salesforce, and SharpSpring? Do they integrate your social media accounts into the site for easy visitor access to your accounts and sharing of your content?

What Support Do They Offer Clients?

What kind of support can you expect from the team when things go wrong? Ensure the firm commits to a service level agreement and penalties if they delay service to you.

If something goes wrong, you don’t want to wait days for the team to sort it out – time is money, and downtime with your site costs you sales.

Do you submit tickets through email, or do they have an online HelpDesk where you can reach the team by phone? How do they handle a crisis, and what can you expect in turnaround times for resolving these issues?

What Is Their Industry Reputation?

What are people saying about the company online? Look through past clients and call one or two of them to get an idea of their experience with the web design company.

Look for reviews on TrustPilot or Google, and check to see if the company has received any awards for customer service and industry innovation.

Do They Remain Accountable?

Will the partner hold themselves accountable for their promises? What happens if they don’t meet the project deadline? What is their plan if the site crashes and needs repairs?

You’re going to want to get them to commit to a level of accountability that you’re comfortable with, or it’s going to result in a lot of frustration down the line.

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