There are a lot of website developers in the market.  From the high-end, Madison Avenue firms to the person who tinkers with basic sites, the variety is wide.  Sometimes it’s hard to figure out who you should work with.  We at Digital Environment understand the challenges when you’re looking for the qualified website developer to take care of your site needs.  The process starts with asking key questions.

To make the process easier, here are some questions you should be asking your web developer:

What websites have you completed?

Building a website is a science, but it can be an art as well.

This question may be the most obvious and easiest one to ask, but it’s important.  Building a website is a science, but it can be an art as well.  How does the firm build the site with graphics, functions, and speed?  Additionally, are you able to see the site listed on search engines?

If you are able to see it high on the search engine lists, it usually means that time has been spent on making sure it’s optimized for search engines.  If you find that your style matches what you are seeing and experiencing on the portfolio site, it’s usually a good sign that what you want will be provided by this firm.

What kinds of website programming can you do, and what examples do you have?

Just like any leading brands in various industries, there are leading “brands” of programming and code in website development.  Everyone has a favorite “brand” in the industry they know, and programming is no exception.  What the firm prefers is a good question to ask, but it’s also good to know what other languages and coding they can complete.

Asking what they can do and what they prefer in code is part of the smart approach and process.  Watch out for the firms that are either too exclusive (“We only work in PHP”), or are too broad without examples (“We’re good at all of them!”).  Instead, you want a firm that has experience in many of them, but is an expert in the programming you need for the site you want for them to build or improve.

Are you able to work with mobile sites?

This question should be a basic one that is always answered with good examples.  However, there are a lot of firms that just can’t build a good mobile-compatible website.  A site can look great on a computer screen.  However, more than 90% of the visitors out there are using smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices to visit websites.

Your website needs to look great on a mobile device, just as it needs to look great on a computer.  When checking examples of sites they’ve completed, take the time to look at those sites on a mobile device to be sure they can do the work.

Do you work with the kind of site I want to use?

With the rapid expansion of blogging software, E-commerce applications, and specialty platforms, you need to talk about how the developer works with them.  If you’re looking to do a WordPress site, you need a developer who is able to build a site on WordPress with custom functions and operations.  If you want to do a Shopify E-commerce website, there are some great customization options out there which a skilled developer can do for you.

You may not want to make a whole lot of special changes.  You do want someone to be familiar with the platform, programming and related software that is being used.  Asking about them is important.

What other areas of programming do you do well, such as mobile apps, APIs, etc.

It’s great to have a beautiful website that runs perfectly by itself.  We all want that kind of success and performance.  There are other options, though, that can expand that beauty and perfect performance.  Asking about them is important.  We can build mobile apps and connections to other software applications and programs to and from our website.

Don’t you want a seamless connection between your website and accounting (QuickBooks, Xero, etc.) software?  Would you like for your CRM software to collect visitors’ info from your website?  Do you have a special payment processing system that needs to work with your website?  All of these areas and more should be a part of your conversation with the developer.

One last point: it’s good for you to think about asking questions.  Prospective programming teams shouldn’t require you to respond in technical detail.  Instead, you should have a team that understands what you need in plain language.  An excellent, qualified website development team should be able to meet and exceed your needs and expectations in these areas.  We at Digital Environment can help.  Give us a call or email your questions -we’ll be glad to help!