Being clear about budget and requirements of your web project is just the beginning; finding an outsourcing partner that can handle the web design & development work as per your requirements and budget is the real test. When it comes to outsourcing, many queries need to be addressed to avoid financial loss and the trauma of seeing your brilliant idea in a half-cooked state.
To save you from such concerns, here we have addressed the most frequently asked questions by businesses when outsourcing their projects to web design & development companies. Let’s get going.
The best way to find website design companies and developers is to run a Google search. A simple search on terms like ‘list of best website design companies’, ‘hire best website designers’, ‘best web design packages’, etc., will bring you across multiple service providers.
In case you are looking for a design & development agency in a particular city, region or country, specify the location as well. For example,
– Best website developers in India
– Web designers in New York City
– Web design agencies in New York, and so on
Posting queries on forums can also get you some suggestions from online community but take it with a grain of salt as there are also those who answer only to sell.
Other than these, asking for recommendations from people in your social group, especially those who run an online business or business with a professional website, can also introduce you to some reliable web design-development partners.
Once you have shortlisted a bunch of design and development service providers that look fairly convincing and offer the service you are looking for, focus on following points:
Experience: First off, find out whether the concerned web service provider had previously handle projects similar to yours. Also, ensure that the company has significant experience working with the technology required for your project.
Quality: Go through the vendor’s portfolio and thoroughly check their past work to get a good idea about the quality of their work. Is their work aesthetically pleasing, functionally sound, and offer good user experience – analyze the quality based on such key parameters.
Reliability: After experience & expertise, check their professionalism. Do they deliver projects on time? Do they overcharge for delays? How is previous clients’ experience with them? How is their customer service? Get such critical questions answered by checking their Google & social media reviews. Also, don’t shy out from contacting one or two of their past clients to get an even clearer picture.
By the time you will be through with above points, a good number of vendors will get eliminated.
Once you have a handful of service providers that survived the trimming session in the previous question, contact each one of them individually.
Web design agencies usually have the option of requesting a quote in their websites. Use it to mention your requirements in a clear manner.
Give details about your budget, what you plan to accomplish with the website, and also the functionalities that you are looking for.
Once you get the quotes, make careful comparisons and see which web agency is offering the best deal.
By best deal, we don’t mean ‘pick the one with the lowest cost’. The best deal means – quality work, professionalism, and support at a justifiable cost.
Now, it’s time to go one-on-one. By speaking to the company representative in person, you will gain an idea about their level of ease with your language. This is important for the exchange of ideas and project discussion.
Here are the key questions you need to ask as the conversation progresses;
By the time you will be done speaking, you will have a clear idea about work approach and professionalism of all the shortlisted vendors. This is also an opportunity to crosscheck the insights you gained by studying the website.
Industry experience is something that everyone flaunts on their website, however, you shouldn’t take vendors’ words for it. To verify things, check following:
Portfolio: Go through your prospect web design partner’s portfolio carefully and see how many projects it has done which are similar to yours.
Cross-check Past Work: Also, check whether their past work is still active on the web. If they are not, you have valid reasons to doubt their expertise in the field.
Number of projects: This is the easiest way to verify a web agency’s experience. Work with the simple equation – “More the number of projects delivered, more the experience.” An experienced web design outsourcing company will definitely have an extensive portfolio.
Reliable web design outsourcing brands give direct links to their clients’ business website, (like shown in the image above); so this too can be considered as a valid point for experience check.
As we have already discussed that when you outsource your web design project, cheapest deal is not necessarily the best one. In that case, it becomes important that you ensure that you are being charged reasonably for the service.
The best way to do that is to ask your web designing vendor for the cost breakup.
Generally, when you buy a professional web design service, there are a lot of team members, procedures, and stages involved in it. A cost breakup will give you a bird’s-eye view of the project cost.
Do a little research to find out which processes are important in web designing project and how much they cost. This way you can confirm whether you are being charged appropriately or not. It will also help you find out whether you are being unnecessarily charged for an extra process, which is not relevant to your project.
In case your website or business idea is a unique one, don’t forget to ask who will own the copyright of the work being done. Don’t be surprised if you will be charged additionally for copyright of the code work; it is a standard practice in the web development field.
To make a great first impression and lure clients, some companies make tall claims about their achievements and business partners. Few even decorate their website with logos of companies like Sony, Apple, and HP; often, without actually having any business relationship with them.
It is best to keep a critical eye for such sky-high claims. In case the website of the argued service provider doesn’t leave you impressed, then, there is very less chance that such iconic brands will consider it for work.
Working with a foreign web design development company doesn’t mean that you would have limited say in the design development work. Partner with a web services brand that follows a systematic approach and uses tools such as project management system to keep you in the development loop.
Project management system will be like your official spy. It will update you about everything associated with your project. This way, you will not feel far away from the team working on your website.
In general, the US, the UK, and parts of Europe are considered as the top hubs for web designing & development work. However, when it comes to pricing, a good number of your entrepreneurs find them a little too costly.
In recent years, India has emerged as a sound alternative to these web development hubs. Indian web designers & developers are competent in the quality of work, and in most cases, charge as less as 1/10th of the cost you would otherwise spend outsourcing your project to a US or UK based web agency.
If outsourcing your web designing project to an Indian web designing company seems like a good idea to you then you add keywords such as ‘Best web agency in India’, ‘Top Indian web designing company‘, etc, in the keyword search list we mentioned in the answer to the first question.
Note that not every Indian website design company can create truly phenomenal websites. It is up to you to find the best web design & development team for your project. If you can manage that, India is a great deal.
With good design & sound functionality alone, it isn’t assured that the website will perform. To make sure a website serves its purpose, it needs to be made search engine friendly and a good amount of marketing work should also be done upon it.
Realizing the concern, many web agencies today offer SEO & internet marketing services as well to provide clients a complete solution for their web project – from planning to development to promotion.
So, when you search for a web design-development partner, it is recommended that SEO & internet marketing are also the parts of their core services; otherwise, outsourcing your project to one vendor for SEO, to another vendor for design/development, yet another vendor for marketing will consume lots of time and money.
Before sealing the deal, you should get a clear idea about the vendor’s work approach and their operations.
Make sure that your web design-development partner follows an agile methodology to seamlessly incorporate additional project requirements that surface as the work progresses (which otherwise take lots of time to implement). Also, confirm that they are proficient enough to handle custom requirements.
In addition, analyze their operations. Check whether they have an established design/development process in place to execute your project efficiently to avoid time delays, post-deployment bugs, etc.
Apart from that, also ensure that they have an in-house team competent enough to handle your project. Some web agencies further outsource your project to freelancers, which ultimately corrupts the integrity of the website (the online identity of your business) and the end results could be way away from what you had in mind initially.
Your unique online business idea is a precious little thing with the potential to make millions, if not billions. If you or your prospect web design/development partner do not take necessary security measures, all your dreams can go awry.
With no exception, make sure your vendor’s facility is protected from all sorts of outside intrusion. Check for the firewall and other security parameters; ask about the recovery plan, in the case of a breach; and also see that their data center is robust enough to handle the load.
Additionally, also remember to ensure that your vendor is taking required security measures to make your website equally secure against any breaches and system overload.
Besides above-discussed issues, there are various other points of importance. For instance, technical support after project completion. In the case of ecommerce websites, database systems and portals are humungous in size and managing such websites require technical assistance and support from time to time. Hence, it helps if your hired firm offers free technical support for a reasonable period of time.
Also, take legal aspects into account. Professional design and development firms realize the importance of web ideas and thus offer non-disclosure agreements (aka NDA) to protect them.
Before making the first payment, also go through their terms and conditions to protect the interest of your website & investment.
If your project requirements can only be matched with custom programming (without using open source CMS system), double-check the experience of the argued service provider in the same field. Very few development agencies have the capabilities to handle custom programming related projects.
Through this post, our goal was to answer every design & development outsourcing query. But in case we missed any common outsourcing concern, let us know through the comments and we will consider it for addition.
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