Many people ask if there’s a secret formula to choosing a web development agency for their businesses. And then we come up with our self-made quote every time.

“Expect from them what customers expect from you.”

Yes, long answer short! Ask yourself. What does your customer want from you? Maybe brilliant services? Or… maybe affordability? Or… your concern towards their queries?

Well, that’s where you find the answers! You’re looking for everything from your web development consulting partner to what your customers look into you.

Because you’re only as strong as your technology partners, or else you’re having a tough time finding new customers and retaining the older ones if they’re weak.

Should these numbers call for having reliable technology partners?

Did you know 88% of online consumers never return because of a bad web experience? (1) And how about those 95% agreeing to the web-experience matters the most when they engage with any business? (2) Are you going to ignore them? Most likely not!

The crux of the matter is: anyone can have a website for their business. It’s not even hard for non-developers to have their websites ready in a day or two.

But are they perfect for a head-on collision with expert web development companies? No! This is where you separate the wheat from the chaff— where you compare specific criteria to define strict lines between the good and bad web development companies.

Criteria #1: What’s the nature of business?

Do you want to offer search engine services? Or is it that you feel like selling those popular minion tees online?

Are you going to cover political stories on your website? Or would the customers get to purchase widgets with you?

There’s absolutely no limit to the varieties in websites. The first and foremost crucial thing before choosing a web agency is to determine your nature of business.

You can fall into any category. And these categories should define the kind of website and functionalities suited for you.

Take a look at these website types:

  • eCommerce Website
  • Entertainment Website
  • Business Website
  • Brochure Website
  • Non-profit Website
  • Personal Website
  • Wiki or Community Forum Website
  • Educational Website
  • Web Portal
  • Portfolio Website
  • Media Website
  • Infopreneur Website

Once you’ve determined your website, stick with the agency that holds expertise in that particular type.

You may feel tempted to put every agency under the same bracket, but not all agencies are equal. Some champion e-commerce building while media websites may fall into someone else’s forte.

The idea is to work with experts in the field. For example, a web development company known for e-commerce websites is more aware of logistical and technological challenges than the agency that handles non-profit organization’s websites.

There’s a lot of complexity involved in different natures, and partnering with experienced groups can give you the needed headstart.

Criteria #2: Do the agencies offer 360-degrees solutions?

The biggest challenge with small or medium-scaled businesses is to find agencies with 360 degrees solutions for their websites. Now, what do we mean by it?

Well, you already know there are billions of websites buried in the limbo of unknownness. Indeed that’s not a good place to be, and surely not when you’re setting up a brand new website!

While choosing a web development company, the chances are high that all the developing team’s good work may get overshadowed by the missing digital marketing geniuses. It could go vice-versa as well. So it’s like… having half the work done and going clueless about the other half.

It is why you need agencies that provide complete web solutions, including web development, designing, extra-ordinary tech-support, and marketing and branding, all as one power-package. What’re the benefits of such agencies?

  • There’s no headache of unifying different teams at a common point.
  • Marketing and development can run hand in hand, giving the most effective business results.
  • It’ll be much easier for you to assess their performance.
  • You can hold them accountable for their performances without being a football.

Criteria #3: What is their development methodology?

What is their development methodology

At the moment, agencies pick sides radically… they’re either going for agile or waterfall methodologies. There’s barely any improvisation. Such agencies are a big no-no!

A good web development agency knows what project methodology should be an ideal fit for your business.

For example, there will be plenty of changes by the time your IT project is ready. But should you wish to get a media website developed, there may not be many changes throughout the development phase.

Ultimately, your web developing partner should be clear with picking project models for your business and be prepared with strong arguments to support their reasons.

Knowing the what’s and how’s of project models, in the beginning, should prevent you from late-month disasters and rebuilding cost and time.

Criteria #4: What’s their first impression?

Choosing a web development agency is like choosing any product in the market. You look at the available options, make comparisons, and decide!

The only difference is: products might not leave cues for you while web development agencies do! And that’s the best part of it!

Let’s say you contacted five web agencies. While it may be overwhelming and difficult for you to have the best pick at one go, you can undoubtedly make notes of the cues they leave when you meet them. For example,

  • How welcoming were they.
  • How listening were they.
  • Did they put effort to meet.
  • What their core values were.
  • Did they understand your project.
  • How well-treated were you.
  • How well-treated were the employees.
  • Were they culturally-dynamic.

You can certainly not expect them to leave strong cues, but be prepared for the subtle ones. Try to have eyes for detail and use these cues as smart-filters during selection headaches.

Criteria #5: Do they blend trends with requirements?

Talk with tens of web development agencies, and they boast how they follow the “latest trends” and “modern technology stack!” Well, it’s always a plus to work with agencies who use the latest skills. But hold on! Everyone says that. It’s easier said than done.

What if they have all the world’s resources but no good for your website type? Do these agencies really know about blending the latest fads with your requirements?

The different website types follow different trends and demand different technology stacks. What tools and technologies work for e-commerce may not work for business websites. The latest technologies, trends, and models should comply with your business type.

You can judge their potential by being clear about your requirements and asking their opinions on them. Words have value! Their take on your needs shall answer your second thoughts.

Criteria #6: How are their websites and online presence?

Research begins at home. Don’t believe us? Nothing answers better about web development agencies than their own websites.

Of course, they’re not the only parameter to judge any work, but they’re some of the most decisive parameters. Why? Well, why would any agency have a glitchy-website?

What can you ask while checking their website?

  • How’s my experience on the website? Is it smooth or full of speed-breakers?
  • How’s the design? Aesthetically pleasing or annoying?
  • How long did the page take to appear?
  • Do they answer all your queries on the website?
  • Is their website living up with the trend?

Check their free domain score on the website authority checker by Ahrefs if you want to play street smart. Domain score reveals how successful the website is on search engines.

Again, new web development agencies may not have the best scores, but you can research their online presence, including what people talk on social media about them.

Criteria #7: What are the client stories?

What are the client stories

Meetings, first impressions, project samples, social cues, and interactions— everything can be a surface level lie; they will show you the picture they want you to see.

But one thing that doesn’t lie is their client’s story! Why does it matter the most? Because other clients have been at your place, they have lived through the processes, they have taken all the headaches of development and services you’re soon going to have.

Of course, their experiences shouldn’t be the ultimate judge; you also need to use your conviction. But this criteria weighs more than any other.

The best thing about client testimonials is they already exist! So you have all the answers spitted right from the lion’s mouth. You can contact these people with a soft requesting mail & help ease your decisions.

Email template

Hey [X],

Good morning.

I went through your fantastic website and couldn’t hold getting in touch with you. As much as it seems excellent, I’m sure there’s a whole level of geniuses working hard to make it operational. How is your experience with them? And how quickly did they help your business leapfrog? Your response really matters. 🙂

Thanks,

Regards.

Criteria #8: Do they have problem-solving capacities?

Look! You decided to go online probably because you wanted the world to be your customer.

It means millions of traffic, thousands of conversions, and hundreds of actions. Isn’t it? It also means… customers hitting your doors round-the-clock!

Unlike your 8-5 office, your website is open for 24 hours.

Since you can’t afford a technical disruption in your business, you need to elope with a web development partner that’s capable of taking up round-the-clock challenges.

For example, a sudden spike in traffic can affect your site’s performance. So you want your website to work all the time consistently, and not some of the time.

Everything comes down to how quickly they resolve these problems and replace them with efficient systems.

Criteria #9: Do they have diversified project samples?

There’s no way you’re fixing a web development partner without having a look at their work.

But are their work samples enough? Think of it this way: the development agency forwards you 10 magazine website samples. The bitter pill is; however, they all look the same. Should it be enough for you to evaluate their work?

Did you find diversity? Or were they the epitome of tunnel vision?

A little attention to detail will help break down their development psychology. In case it looks linear to you, it’s time you go for the second pick. Why?

Because a good web development company will always sway between multiple ideas within the same website type, it’s more like presenting the same website type in multiple outfits. It just says everything about their open visions rather than constricted ones.

Criteria #10: How far are they willing to customize?

No two businesses are equal. Even your business today is not equal to what it was yesterday and what it will be tomorrow. So there’s a mandatory call for customization— at least, it is what sets you apart from the competitors and business types!

But web development companies may use past/existing templates to finish your project early, keeping customization off the shelf. Ask them if your business can go without customization, which is highly unlikely as every business needs customization.

Go with the non-customized functionalities only if your budget holds you back. But it would be really better if you try accommodating as many customized functionalities within your budget.

Note, a good web development company strategizes a whole new plan for new clients rather than pulling the same old used/dead strategies from the coffin.

Bonus questions to ask for choosing a web development agency

  • How is their social media presence?
  • What do users talk about them on social media?
  • Do they have eyes for detail?
  • How well do they understand your business?
  • How do they interact with clients?
  • Is their portfolio worth your time and money?
  • Can they help you with internet marketing?

Our final words?

A little homework is essential because you don’t want to spend double on building and rebuilding your website.

We’re not saying the homework will save you from large-time embarrassments (in front of your customers) every time, but it will definitely minimize or mitigate these problems to a whole great level.

So tell us how you move on from here?