Hiring a contractor is never easy. Whether you are hiring for professional or personal reasons, there is a lot of pressure to pick the right partner for the task. Of course, every contractor you consider will tell you that they can handle the work, but are all of them truly qualified? Maybe not. When it comes time to hire a web design and digital marketing team to develop a new site for your business, you’ll need a strategy to make sure you come away with a professional team that can deliver on your expectations.
In this article, we’ll touch on a few important points related to hiring a professional web design team. First, let’s look at why you should hire a dedicated team in the first place, and how doing so will lead to better results than taking the DIY or solopreneur approach. Later, we’ll get into the importance of synergy within that team, key capabilities to look for, and more. Let’s get started!
Why Outsource Web Development?
It’s no secret that nearly anyone can build a website these days. With user-friendly tools like WordPress available, and plenty of resources available online to learn how to use those tools, you might be tempted into thinking that building a website for your business is a DIY job. We believe that would be a mistake.
Make no mistake—you could absolutely create your own site. In fact, if you started now, you could probably have it live on the web by the end of the day. And, for very narrow use cases and extremely simple sites, that might be the way to go. For most businesses, however, such a simplistic site will not get the job done, and working with a web development team is going to be the right approach. Here is just some of what you will gain by teaming up with the pros for this project:
- Timely completion. Even if you were able to work through an in-house website build and come out on the other side with something you are proud of – which is far from assured – it would still take quite a long time to make that happen. As the saying goes, time is money, so all the time you spend developing the site on your own is time that you could have spent on other ventures. Working with a coordinated, professional team will give you a better product on a shorter timeline.
- Additional functionality. Building a website yourself would almost certainly require making some compromises along the way. In other words, there might be ideas for functions that you would like to include in the site, but you may leave some of those out simply because you don’t know how to make them happen. On the other hand, a professional website team will be able to bring to life basically anything you can think of, which means the sky is the limit for what you can achieve on this project.
- Solid foundation. Patching together a decent site by using freely available resources and some trial and error could give you something that looks okay – but how well would it hold up over time? You want a site that is built on a firm foundation so you don’t have to worry about elements breaking down at the wrong time. Also, if you want to expand on your site and make it bigger or more functional in the future, you need to be sure that the underlying components of the site are sound and able to support your next steps.
- Access to ideas. You probably have plenty of ideas for how you would like your site to look or what functions it will serve, but you might not have a complete picture of how the entire project will come together. This is another area where a professional website team can come in handy. A pro team of website developers will be able to help you polish your vision into something that is going to serve as a meaningful digital asset for your brand for years to come.
These four points certainly are not everything you’ll gain from working with a website team, but they are a good place to start. Taking on the website development process in-house without the experience or knowledge needed to achieve excellent results is a recipe for wasting time and money. Go with the pros right from the start and you won’t be sorry.
The Value of Coordination During a Website Project
So, at this point, we are going to assume that you are sold on the idea of hiring a professional website team. With the rest of the article, then, we’d like to talk about picking the right team for your needs. To get started, the topic of coordination is one that must be addressed.
By “coordination”, we mean that the team you hire works collaboratively both with you and within their own team. Unfortunately, this is not always the case in this industry, and developers who don’t have the right synergy in their systems struggle to produce results that their clients will love.
When there is a disconnect somewhere in the system, little details tend to fall through the cracks. For instance, a client request might not make it from the project manager down to the individual who is designing the pages, or the person who is writing the content. Those “leaks” in the way information flows will have a profound impact on the quality of the finished product.
As you go through the process of determining which website team will be in charge of your project, ask about their system for coordinating the various professionals who will work on the job. Is everyone going to be on the same page right from the start? Does the website team use only in-house employees to produce their projects, or will freelance partners be brought in, as well? There is nothing wrong with using specialist partners as part of the process, but you’ll want to get a feel for how everyone will be tied into the job properly from day one.
Don’t All Website Teams Work Together?
You might be surprised to find that not every website development team is going to have the synergy that you might imagine would be required to be successful in this field. Don’t assume that a developer you are considering for this project is going to be working together functionally. Ask the questions we discussed above and be sure you’ll get the coordination you require for this important job.
Perhaps the biggest issue here is the partner note we discussed above. When you hire a website developer, you shouldn’t assume all the people who are working on your site are sitting in the same office. They almost certainly are not. And that’s okay, as long as there are systems in place to bring everything together and share notes, feedback and ideas. With a team that could be scattered around the globe, there is some careful planning and strategizing necessary to connect all the dots.
It’s worth asking about the talent that will be used on your project before getting started. Specifically, find out if the developer already has partners available for the job, as this will be a strong indication that your project is in good hands. What you want to avoid is committing to a development “team” that hasn’t yet been built. The project manager may be thinking that they’ll go find people for the job once they get your commitment. This is a big risk on your end. What if they can’t find people in a timely manner to do a good job? What if you get deep into the project only to find that the freelance contractors can’t hold up their end of the bargain? Avoid such a frustrating delay by working with a team that has already been built and has proven its worth on other projects.
It’s Not Just About the Development
You might find yourself focusing solely on the building or development phase of this website project at the start, and that is understandable. If you don’t currently have a website, or if you are completely rebuilding a website for your business, your main goal will be to get that new site working and up online. However, that launch is just the starting point for the lifecycle of your site, and you need to keep the big picture in mind when working with a website team.
Is the team you hire going to be available for ongoing maintenance, upgrades, and updates? After all, those are the people who will know the site best, so it makes sense to want them to be around for future work. You will probably be able to handle some of the basic maintenance and content update tasks in-house, but continuing a relationship with your developer will go a long way towards making your website the valuable marketing property that it should be.
The Key Checkpoint Before Hiring Your Website Team
When we boil it all down, there is one key checkpoint that you can use to find the right professional website team for your needs…
Look at the work they have completed for other clients. If the developer has done outstanding work for other businesses, and you can verify that through testimonials, reviews and references from previous clients, you can feel comfortable that you are in good hands. After all, if there were coordination issues within their team or other problems that limited their ability to do good work, you’d be able to see that come through in the work they completed or the reviews. If everything looks great, you can rest assured that an excellent outcome is in your future.
Make Sure You’re Getting a Valuable Asset In the End
At the end of the day, your website should be an asset—rather than a liability—for your business. The potential to grow your business online is huge, but that will only happen with a careful plan and ongoing attention to detail. The right website team can take your efforts to another level, reaching heights that simply would not be attainable if you tried to do everything in-house. Get started with a professional website development and management team today and seek out an edge over your competition.
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