How to Choose a Web Development Company
Web development is still a confusing field. It’s even been called “dark art” by some.
This post will provide you with the best information on the qualities of a web development company and help you to understand what questions you should ask development companies before hiring them.
We are going to make this a highly narrow-minded post. We are open to discussion if you have a different opinion.
Let’s get to the point. These are the main areas that we will be focusing on and what you should look for in a web design company.
- Can do both front-end as well as back-end development
- Do not specialize in one back-end technology
- Follow best practices
- Understanding the marketing strategies that surround projects
- Invest your time in research and development
- A rigorous testing process that includes automated tests
- Flexibility to adapt
- Source control
Can do both front-end as well as back-end development
We don’t believe in the idea that developers should do both front-end and back-end programming. This is the equivalent to a plumber who only installs pipes, but leaves the fitting of the sinks, toilets, and baths to another person.
While web developers and web designers can be separated, there are completely different thinking processes going on. However, the separation of the front-end from the back-end is wrong. You need to have a thorough understanding of the entire development process and be able to participate in every step of a project. We’ll also discuss the many benefits of working with different technologies.
Do not specialize in one back-end technology
There are many back-end technologies suitable for web development, including Ruby on Rails and ASP.Net. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, and no one technology is perfect. Good web development companies should be flexible with the technologies they use so that their clients get the best possible solution.
We have spent so much time learning different technologies because we are able to choose and select the ones we like. The League developers have over the years been able take the best parts of each technology and create a variety of best practices that can be used across all platforms.
Follow best practices
It is not about the technology you use but the best practices you follow that will make you a great web developer. These best practices will be relevant no matter what technologies are available in today’s fast-paced industry. If you are a developer, you will be able to adapt quickly to the changing technologies and times.
What are the best practices? Here are some of our top picks.
- Semantic HTML
- All front-end coding should be consistent with web standards
- Automated testing both of the front-end and back-end code
- Use of MVC framework
Understanding the marketing strategies that surround projects
This complaint has been repeated many times: web developers don’t consider the marketing strategy for a project. Developers don’t seem to care. They should. They should. How can they help clients? A developer who does not offer a service to the client is just doing the work blindly.
Developers should ask the most important question: “Why?” It is important to take the time to get to know the client and give them advice. After all, the client may not understand web development as well as you. The development process should be a conversation between both parties.
Invest your time in research and development
The web industry is very dynamic, as everyone knows. In a flash, things can change in a second. Good web development companies give their developers time every week to study new technologies and trends. While some trends and technologies may seem dead ends, you will not know until you actually look at them.
Ask your web developers what they have been studying recently to find out if they are knowledgeable. It doesn’t matter if you understand everything they tell you. Just take down the information and use the internet to see if they are interested in new trends.
Developers should spend the most time in R&D each week. If developers don’t keep up with the times, their solutions will quickly become outdated and stagnant. Do you as a client want an outdated solution before you start?
A rigorous testing process that includes automated tests
We have too often seen clients as they are The Tester for a project. This is a sign that the development company doesn’t have a good enough understanding of your project and they are “bagging out” code.
An excellent web development company will have automated tests (integration and unit tests) for all code they write, front-end as well as back-end. Tests allow developers to focus on the code at hand and help them write concise code. A code base that is more concise will be easier to understand and less expensive to maintain.
A test suite can provide a great benefit to clients. It allows them to feel more confident in knowing that any changes to the code have not broken any other code.
While automated testing is not the panacea for web development, it should still be a part of every web developer’s toolkit.
Testing is not just about automated tests. Web development companies should have human testing. Clients should be involved in this. User stories play a key role in this process. Clients should collaborate with web developers to create user stories. This will allow all parties to understand how users interact with the site/application and the outcomes.
Flexibility to adapt
Developers have heard it all. Clients changing requirements mid-project. This is something developers need to accept and not complain about. It happens to everyone, and it will never change. Good web development companies should have systems in place for dealing with changes. Ask your client about how they will handle change requests.
Web developers should have short release cycles. A project can be ruined if the developers receive the brief and start work, then two months later, they notify the client that it is finished. Clients can participate at all stages of the project by working with short release cycles. The client should review each release and submit any changes requests.
Although our final recommendation seems obvious to most people, we still recommend it to developers who do not use any type of coding Source control. This is more common with freelancers, who don’t see the value in code because they aren’t the only ones doing it. If this is how they see it, they may be missing the point.
Source control is important for many reasons. Here are a few key points. It’s a great way to keep track of all changes to your code. As long as the developers add a comment to the commit, it’s a great way to keep track of changes made to code. It allows developers to modify code without worrying about losing work. This is particularly useful when you are trying to find other solutions for a problem.