Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Web Development Provider
Photo credit: Stefan Stefancik
A great client-supplier relationship is an essential part of any service industry because it leads to improved performance and greater cost efficiency. This is especially true in web development where the end product should have virtually no margin for error.
Planning on developing a new website using a digital agency? Well, the process can be tedious and frustrating especially if collaboration with your web development agency is poor.
In this blog, we use our experience gained over the years from working with large portfolio of clients to walk you through a few tips that will help you optimise resources, save time and achieve desired results when working with a web development agency.
Get the legal documents in place before you start
Make sure your web development service provider sets out the terms and conditions of your relationship, including intellectual property rights, non-disclosure (if needed), what is included and excluded from the solution, who owns the source code, any form of service level agreement, where all artefacts will be stored, including backup strategies, etc. In essence, make sure you know what you are in for and know that these are people you can trust with your business going forward.
Be clear about what you want
You should be clear about the type of design, functionality and features you want. Clearly defining what you need (i.e. The investment of valuable time upfront in thinking through and designing) will help the web developer deliver what you are after and save plenty time and stress later on. Explain exactly what your business objectives and client profile are, and provide well thought out features as well as links to sample websites that you expect your new website to look like.
Constant, regular communication between you and the developers are key to ensuring the end product meets your needs and expectations. Be honest about your opinions, ask questions and make your objections clear to avoid wasting time developing functionalities that are not suited for your business model.
Take the feedback and advice
Make sure you seriously consider all the feedback you get from your web developer. Web developers know a lot about the latest technologies and you can utilise their expertise to make informed decisions about the functionalities and features of your site. Experienced web developers also have lots of practical knowledge about what works or might not work.
Stick to timelines and provide the required information
Always be prepared and on time, provide good feedback as well as all the required information like website copy, white papers and images for website pages. Your web developer will provide you with an estimate of the website building process timelines right after the discovery phase. The timelines however do depend on you providing the required copy about your products or services at scheduled dates.
Thinking of using a configured solution
There are many web solutions out there, such as Joomla, WordPress and Umbraco, that will allow you to build your own website. For standard customer management systems and a static website these will do the job, but keep in mind that functionality is fixed and few modifications are applied for the South African context (For example, integration into South African payment gateways or courier services).
If you are running a business and you wish to use a website as both customer facing as well as backend integration, these solutions will seldom work for you. The website can add lots of value other than just a web presence and can often be used to completely transform your business and even re-engineer many of your business processes, if designed and implemented correctly.
Out of The Box Ideas specialises in developing bespoke web and mobile apps, IT consulting, business analysis and bespoke business solutions.
Many of our customers require that we take on a persona as a representative of their brand and engage their clients with them. We get involved by attending client meetings, offering technical input and even doing project management if required.
Feel free to leave your comment below should you have more tips on how clients can get the most out of their web development service providers.
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