Before looking for a developer, you must carry out a mandatory independent work – to deal with the tasks that your future resource should solve, to determine the target audience and its needs.
Study competitors` sites – they will help you think through the structure, services, and content of your resource. Be sure to see how the web representations of famous companies – leaders in your industry are arranged. By making notes and summarizing the results of your research, you essentially create a concept for the future site.
If your site is an earnest project and the development of your business depends on it, you should not save on pre-project research. Assign it to specialists who will help you analyze the market, and, based on the results of the study, will plan information architecture, functionality, services, desired scenarios of visitor behavior on the site and much more.
How to choose an executor
Of course, the experience of the developer, the price of the site and the deadlines will be necessary for you. However, at the same time, pay attention to additional criteria that will help you more accurately assess the professionalism of the future web contractor and, accordingly, increase the efficiency of investments in your site.
Quality of Web Studio Website
On the site of your future executor, you should be, first, comfortable. You understand where to “click” to get information, you like the design, you easily read texts in all sections and evaluate their information content, the site loads quickly and works correctly in all browsers. It is also evident that on the website of web developers errors, “glitches” and inconvenient services are unacceptable.
Why do I need a portfolio?
The creation and development of sites is an activity in which the experience of the performer is of paramount importance. Therefore, do not buy the portfolio, which presents 10-15 works with the comment, “we selected only the best.” The quantity and quality of work is an accurate measure of the demand and experience of a web studio. Another little tip – do not evaluate the pictures in the portfolio, but directly work sites of customers posted online. By the way, pay attention to whether there is an actual link to the development company on these sites. Unfortunately, there are still web studios attributing to themselves the creation of websites made by other companies.
CMS – how to choose a framework
There are a great many systems of content management today: commercial and free, well known and not very “attached” to the performers and completely independent. We advise you to evaluate CMS, including by a criterion that many people do not think about at the very beginning. Website management should be easy – both you and your employee should be intuitive how to add or edit text, create a new section in the menu, upload illustrations. Even if you are not familiar with any program more complicated than a text editor did! If it turns out that in the process of daily updating the materials of the site, you will have to contact the executor always, quickly run to another web studio.
Summary: ask to “play around” with the CMS on which your site will be built, before starting work. In the end, contact any developer’s client and find out how smoothly his web resource works.
Moreover, one more piece of advice – check with the developer whether the finished site will become your property or if you “rent it” for an agreed annual fee to CMS manufacturers.
Commercial offer – what to look out
Now the request to send a quotation has become a standard procedure at the stage of selecting an executor. First, evaluate the time of its preparation – one working day is the maximum, after which there are doubts about the responsibility and experience of the developer. The offer should include a schedule for the execution of work – you should immediately coordinate how long it will take to create the site. It is okay if the terms and cost of each stage are separately indicated – preparation of technical specifications, website design, layout, etc. Besides, pay attention to the design of the document – accuracy is typical for performers who are attentive to details, which will benefit you in the process of developing the site.
Website design – what are the options
What tasks does design solve? First, it must “convince” a site visitor to stay on your site longer than for the first few seconds. The appearance of the site should also suggest to the subconscious or logic of the visitor the profile of your company, its place in the market, the approximate price category of goods, etc. You can solve these problems in different ways – through both individual designs, and using a ready-made design layout.
The words “individual design” speak for themselves – we are talking about the creativity of one or another level. However, customers often confuse the terms «template» and «finished layout.» A template is a technical grid on which a place is indicated for the logo, company name, menu, texts, and pictures.
On average, a long-running web studio will always have 10-15 templates in stock. As for the “ready-made layouts,” they are usually bought on specialized exchanges. Having acquired such a layout, you can change it to your liking, preserving only the general design style. Compared to templates, the choice of ready-made plans is much more extensive, and also, they give the designer further freedom of action.
Customers with a limited budget usually choose templates and ready-made layouts. Individual design is the prerogative of an established business or a good start-up capital. Which model to choose depends on your taste, site vision, and budget. However, you must have a choice, and if the developer tells you “only an individual design” or “select one of the templates,” he works within the framework of limited, beneficial technology.