Developing an enterprise web application is a tedious process involving many tasks, from planning to deployment and maintenance of the application after its launch. Outsourcing it to a web development company is one of the best decisions you can make because it provides several benefits over developing it in-house. However, there are a lot of web development companies in the industry. Therefore, choosing the most suitable company is important to obtain the expected outcome worth your investment.
You need to do thorough research when assessing the potential of candidate web development companies. This article discusses nine tips to help you to shortlist them and choose the right web development company that best suits your needs.
9 Tips to help choose a web development company
1. Check their clients, portfolio, and positive testimonials.
- Featured Clients, Reviews, and Feedback
One of the best ways to assess a web development company is by checking its existing clients, their reviews, and their testimonials. Web development companies generally list their current customers and authentic positive testimonials on their marketing websites. Check who is their featured clients and what they have to say. If you can reach out to their clients directly, you can get more genuine feedback about their overall experience, pain points, and other information you want.
Also, independent research and company reviews are indispensable when assessing potential candidates. For example, websites like Clutch and Designrush provide portfolios, customer reviews, and verifications about different types of companies and rank them based on the reviews and recommendations. A portfolio helps you to find what projects they have worked on before, their strengths and weaknesses, and their working pattern, which allows you to assess if they have the relevant work experience you are looking for.
2. Check their recognition
Nowadays, many web development companies provide similar services and claim to be one of the best companies in the world. Therefore, identifying the top-performing companies that provide high-quality work can take time and effort. Recognition and awards help you to narrow down your search. Check if they are among the top web development companies or have the potential to reach that level.
The independent research websites we have discussed earlier list the top web development companies each year based on customer reviews and feedback. If the company you know of looking for is on that list, it indicates that it has a good reputation in the industry. You can also check if they have received any special awards that showcase their talents. It is a well-reputed company if they have achieved any special recognized awards or have been shortlisted to achieve that award.
3. Evaluate communication and collaboration
Another important thing you need to evaluate is the quality of their communication and collaboration. Effective communication must thoroughly understand your business requirements and build a business relationship that needs to last throughout your projects. Contact the company and evaluate how well they provide information, are willing to help, and collaborate with you. Also, you can meet the company CEO and understand its mission, vision, and values to know if it’s the right fit to build a long-term business relationship.
When communicating with them, it is important to ask the right questions. For example, you can ask them to provide samples of their work, clients to refer to, and what kind of services they provide. Good companies have that information readily available so that clients do not get frustrated waiting to share information.
4. What is their development process?
Any web development company must have a well-defined and well-established development process or workflow. Ask what general steps the company follows to complete your project within the specified timeline and budget. Check if they clearly understand what they are performing at each step. Nowadays, agile, iterative development is a process a company must have to build high-quality and high-performing web applications. Therefore, it is worth investing in such a web development company if they have an agile way of working.
Also, ask yourself: Does that process include the critical steps your company requires? For example, some companies may not include the prototyping or designing steps and expect the client to provide it to start developing it straightaway. Also, some may need to provide performance optimization steps within the development process. Therefore, you must carefully review their process and see if it includes all you are looking for.
5. Evaluate their expertise
As mentioned earlier, developing a web app involves several steps you can do in parallel or right after the other. Therefore check which areas they have the expertise in. They must have experts in all areas of web development: front-end, back-end, database, networking, mobile development, etc. Do they lack expertise in certain areas? If so, check how they fulfill that gap. Do they hire freelancers or hire contractors for such areas? It is important to know that because you must ensure they have high-quality experts in the field readily available to get your project started.
Also, remember to check what services they provide at an extra cost and if they are affordable. It is also important to know which industries they are working on. For example, suppose your web app is in the education industry. If they have already done web apps in that industry, they know industry-specific compliance and security requirements they need to address. In addition, in which areas has the company spanned? Check if they are aware of country-specific complaint requirements.
6. Cost models
- Pricing models
Your budget is a critical factor in deciding the web development company that you can choose. First, clearly get to know the exact budget available for your project and check what cost models each short-listed companies have and whether they have a plan that fits your budget. Are there any free consultations available for you to determine the exact cost?
Compare the pricing plans of each company, analyze, and arrive at a conclusion on which plan benefits you with the services and features they offer for the price. Companies generally offer custom plans that tailor to your company’s needs. Check how flexible such custom plans are. Do they provide discounts or special offers?
7. Extra service costs
In addition, it is critical that you check what are the extra costs you have to bear. For example, some companies provide analytics at an extra cost, or bug fixing and maintenance may be separate from their package. Also, it is important to check with existing clients if any hidden costs come later after the development to avoid such companies from the beginning.
- Application development-related costs
Another important thing to consider is the application development time. If the company has experienced app developers, you can guarantee rapid development and deployment even if they charge a higher fee. Outsourcing companies with inexperienced app developers generally requires multiple revisions for the application taking a long time to complete the final application. Such companies may ask for a low fee, but either the app’s quality will be lower, or they will take a long time to complete the project.
8. Check what technologies they use.
Another important thing to evaluate is the current technology stack they are using. The tech stack showcases its competitiveness in the industry and how much they are up-to-date on the latest technological trends.
Check if they are using a modern tech stack or an outdated one. Do they have the tech stack you specifically prefer? What tools and technologies do they use for the back-end, front-end, database, mobile, testing, and design? Especially check whether the database is using is compatible with your existing databases and whether they require special migration work to get your data on board.
Having the right set of technologies for AI and Machine learning is also an important thing you need to look for. Do they have licensed versions of low-cost options of specific software? You can also ask about which infrastructure they use to develop and host the application to get an idea if they consider scalability and efficiency as critical parts to incorporate into your application.
9. Support and maintenance options
- Support Options
No matter how efficient and scalable your application is, once bug in the system can cause unexpected application downtimes. Therefore, it is important to know the support options available to reach them easily. Is there a dedicated team that is available 24/7 to provide support? Can you reach them via your favorite modern messaging app?
You can even contact their support options and see how well they respond and how much time they get to respond. Responsiveness is important in assessing a web development company because if they have a bad reputation for delaying responses, it directly impacts the time to fix issues in your applications. The more you wait, the more you lose customers for your web app.
- Post-deployment maintenance
You must also check if they assist in adding new features or optimizations after the deployment. Inquire from them if they include post-deployment maintenance in their agreement. Does bug fixing come at a cost or include it in your package? If they charge them separately, check if the pricing is affordable. Also, you can find out if there are options to host the application in their own environment so that you can avoid the hassle of maintaining the infrastructure.
10. Results of previous clients
Another way you can asses your potential web development companies is how well their past projects are performing now. How do they evaluate the success of their projects? For example, they have statistics about other projects like customer retention, return on investment, cost saving, etc. Suppose past clients have improved customer retention by a significant percentage. In that case, it is a good indication that you will likely get a similar result for your application.
Check if past companies have gained a good investment revenue and considerable cost savings from the past application development, hosting, etc. It is always good to have this kind of quantitative factor because they indicate the quality and the reliability of the web development companies work.
If you want to develop a web application for your company, outsourcing it to a web development company is wise. To which company you should hand over your project is a careful decision because many companies out there claim to provide a good service but end up with many issues. Therefore, you need to assess the companies based on certain criteria.
This article discussed how you could choose the best web development company using nine tips. Checking their existing clients, portfolio and testimonials is the first thing you can do to identify their reputation. Then you can check if they have recognized as a top company, evaluate communication and collaboration, expertise, development procedure, pricing, tools and technologies used, and support and maintenance options. Last but not the least, it is important to check the results of their previous projects, like customer retention rate and return on investment.