Things to Consider When Hiring a Website Pro

Andrea Ferguson

President at AndiSites Inc.
Andi is founder and President of AndiSites Inc. She writes about website design and development, best practices, and random stuff her busy brain thinks would be useful.
Andrea Ferguson

It’s easy to find people and companies who will build your website.  Finding the right one…not so easy.  Consider these when evaluating a possible partner for your website project:

Look at their previous work

This seems obvious, but be sure to check out their portfolio, and ask if they have projects similar to yours. If they don’t have something exactly like your project, that might actually be a good thing. Ask to see a project that shares the features (if not necessarily the subject matter) so you can see how those features work. And appreciate that an agency who serves many different types of clients (not just governments, or just lawyers, or just higher ed) may be able to give you a fresh perspective, setting you apart from your competition.

Make sure their methods are up-to-date

The Internet moves fast, so make sure that the team you’ll be working with is keeping up with current technologies and best practices (at AndiSites we’re constantly educating and re-educating ourselves to ensure that your site is responsive, works with current browsers, and reflects current lasting trends). Be sure that your web team isn’t building sites the way they always have, but that they’re moving and growing with the ever-evolving Web.

Have a conversation

Being sure you can communicate with your web team (especially your project manager) is huge. Schedule a phone call to discuss your project together, making sure that expectations are aligned. Make sure that you get along with them. Above all, make sure that they listen to you and don’t talk down to you. Even if you don’t “talk geek,” a good partner should respect your intelligence and clearly explain anything you don’t understand along the way.

Look at testimonials

Reputable web workers with happy customers will feature testimonials prominently. If you don’t see them on the company’s website, ask for references. Too many projects go unfinished or end badly because the agency or individual couldn’t deliver on what was promised. Make sure you know that this team has successfully delivered for other clients in the past.

Find out about their project management

Make sure that they have solid project management procedures in place to ensure that your project is completed successfully. If scope changes or other issues arise that affect the schedule or budget, make sure that your team’s project manager knows how to adjust for them, and how to help you understand what the impact of those issues will be. Also be sure that a solid system is in place that enables successful collaboration, information-sharing, to-do assignments, and file sharing (we love Basecamp for this).

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