A web developer will not only write codes for you but will also understand the target audience and requirements of your business model. Nowadays, professional web app developers are in high demand, hence, the best ones are always the busiest ones. Most of the talented firms have hectic schedules as they could be working on multiple projects simultaneously.
Finding an outstanding web developer can be excruciatingly hard. With all these development firms in the market, you need to be more cautious before signing anyone, hiring the wrong firm can waste your time and jeopardize your project. So, before you start the process of recruiting a firm for your dream project, I have mentioned a few points you must ponder upon.
Finding The Right Firm
Let me start by saying “busiest ones are not always the best ones”. Don’t get easily enticed by these big fancy firms with packed offices and hectic schedules. Ask them about their availability, whether or not they have enough resources and time to handle your project. They may not be very well equipped as they appear, which can detriment the product and slow down the development process. Explore all options available in the market and look for a team that has expertise in the required area. Find professionals who have worked on something similar to your project and have some experience in this field.
Ask For References
Don’t get tricked by the shiny portfolios and 5-star ratings. Your web application determines the value of your product. It is advisable for you to ask for references from their previous work, to ascertain the quality of their services, whether or not they delivered on time, under budget while keeping the quality of the product intact. An established firm would be happy to provide you with a bunch of recommendations and references for feedback. Check their references and do the necessary market research.
Expensive ones are not always the better ones. Although developing a web app from scratch can be expensive, it will decide the quality of the services, so don’t go looking for cheaper options. You can take quotations from a couple of different firms and compare the quality of web app services they will be providing and also the customer support for the future. If you are building a web app with all the customized features, get ready to pay a hefty amount. An experienced app development team can be high priced but they will be ethical, strict to deadlines, and will not compromise with the quality of the project.
Ask For Source Files
The raw material used to create any web application is called the source file. Development is not a one-time thing, it demands continuous improvements and iterations from time to time based on the user feedback or market requirements. A web application can require an update or edit in the future, without these source files it will be difficult for you to make any changes. Also if you are planning to hire your development team or you might change the development firm in the future, make sure that you get all those source files for future references. Don’t forget to mention it in your contract as well. This will give you full control over your app and the freedom to evolve your web app whenever needed.
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Open Communication Channels
Communication is the key here. A web development process will demand a lot of group sketching and planning between the developer and the owner so that your demands and expectations are stated clearly to the team throughout the process to avoid any confusion. This process is more like a partnership that will demand inputs and feedback from both ends. The developer will ask you to review the raw product or to test the site, for your feedback, before delivering the final product. Have scheduled meetings from time to time to check on the developments. It is crucial to get involved in every step of the process to achieve the desired results for your dream project.
Respect The Process
Do not rush the process, be patient! Development is a lengthy procedure that requires a vision and mind mapping for the proposal. The developer needs to have the freedom to be in their artistry mind-space to come up with creative yet innovative ideas for the project. Estimating the time of the development process relies on various elements like the complexity of design, features and functionality, testing, etc. Setting an unrealistic deadline can degrade the quality of the product. Allow the developer to search for required resources, let them take their time, and then set up a reasonable finish date mutually.
Know Who You’re Working With
Most of these firms despite all the claims just do not have the expertise in developing a web app from scratch. It is comparatively easier to build a conventional website like a blog, a shopping cart system, or just pages of static information, etc. as there are plenty of ready-made templates and cheap software easily available in the market. The majority of the firms can create a conventional website but when it comes to customization they may fail to give you that specific feature you asked for. If your web application requires customized coding for certain features, you need to be very cautious. Look for a firm that provides an eclectic range of desired expertise like web optimization, user interface development, web designing, and more.
Location Of The Firm
You may be looking at options of outsourcing work to a different location where you can get exactly what you need in less, but it should not affect the communication process. Have an open discussion about the preferred ways of communication, especially if you’ll be working in different time zones. If you have a local team of developers, you can meet them in person, figure out a common workspace if feasible. In any scenario, set aside a dedicated amount of time to track every development in the project, ask for reports, weekly at least. Schedule an in-person meeting (if possible), make phone calls, have brainstorming sessions over skype if needed.
Research and Plan
Before setting up a meeting with the firm do your research thoroughly and prepare the proper content; don’t go clueless. Create a facsimile of your desired product if possible so that you have more than just an idea of what exactly you are looking for. It may seem easy at first but I would suggest you start working on it at least a month before. A lot of paid and free software are also available online which can help you lay the framework for your web app. You can hire a professional if you’re too busy to create the designs. After all, “a picture is worth a thousand words” and a good visual plan is a picture nevertheless.
Sign The Contract
Make sure you hire an ethical team of developers to avoid any breach of trust. You may also consider signing a non-disclosure agreement with the firm before disclosing your business model or web development app idea with them. You can add terms and conditions like, cannot start another company with the same idea, can’t work for your competitors, cannot disclose the idea or prototype with anyone, etc. Signing this non-disclosure agreement, in the beginning, will keep your idea and product secure. Make your contract watertight, ensure that the company you are hiring maintains complete transparency throughout the development process.
Hiring A Technical Person
For people who are not well versed with all the technical terminologies and other technicalities involved in the web app developing process, you should consider hiring a trustworthy acquaintance or a friend with a software engineering background. This person can assist you with technical strategies involved in the process and can also help you understand all the technical terms thrown your way. He/she can advocate with the firm on your behalf to make sure you get all you need in the final product. It is a small investment to make which can save you a lot of time by avoiding any misinterpretations.
Maintain Your Search Engine Rankings
There will be times when you may require to redevelop your existing website, to add a new feature to your web app, or if your organization decides to move in a new direction. During this time of redevelopment, you can lose a significant amount of customers, when they get redirected to a “404 pages not found” error. Also when you move your files, any search engine optimization that was built around your web app could be lost. Ask the firm to create a 301 redirect which ensures the search engine updates its indices. It takes a lot of time and hard work to establish good search engine rankings for your business, so do not lose it.