5 Foolproof Guides to Choosing the Best Web Design Agency

In order to have a professional-looking website for your business profile or online shop, you need a professional web designer. When you have no business partner or friends who can point out which agency is good for you, choosing one might be quite a problem. Many shady web design agencies out there are ready to give you nothing but disappointment. To avoid disappointment, follow these steps before choosing a web designer:

1. Examine their portfolio

By examining the company’s portfolio, you can judge whether their design suits you or not. See also if the portfolio represents the company well and whether the company’s name rings a bell. It is better to ask the agency to send you testimonials from their prior clients. Make sure to contact these clients to confirm that the testimonials are not scams.

2. Find out if they are professionals

Communication is crucial if you want best result for your website design. Professionals are not people who use a lot of Internet jargons and terms while their clients don’t know half of the things they are talking about. Instead, professionals are people who can describe clearly what they are doing to their clients. Knowing their explanation thoroughly is important if you don’t want to end up buying products you don’t need.

3. Ask how long the company has been running

Although not always true, age can be one of the indications of a good web design agency. As trends in Internet tend to change drastically, many web designers come and go in short times. If an agency has been established for five years, for instance, this means the company apparently has good management and achievements to survive.

4. See how many people work on the team

A large company with 7000 employees doesn’t necessarily need a huge web design agency too. On the other hand, a small company of 100 people may need a larger group to manage its website. The size of your preferred web designer team depends on your marketing and development requirements. Bottom line: make sure there are people who are always ready managing your website even when you are off-duty or on a vacation.

5. Always read their terms and conditions

Terms and conditions page is one of the most important but often forgotten parts of a web design agency’s profile. By reading their terms and conditions, you may avoid future problems. Find out if the agency has good explanation about staged payment, bug fixing cost, back-up service, further updates and website maintenance, source code possession, and any additional fees.

Is Your Web Developer a Cowboy?

What do you think of your web developer?

Over the last few years we have quietly, but at every opportunity, been asking this question to business owners, marketing directors and executives responsible for their company website whether for commissioning, developing or maintaining their online presence. We also asked if they were happy with the website that the developer had provided, or if they thought it was bringing tangible benefit to their business. The responses were sharply divided. It seems that the businesses’ experience of Web developers is like Marmite: you either love them or hate them.

Shockingly, over 80% of respondents reported a ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ experience of working with a website developer or designer. Many made comments that were very uncomplimentary toward their web developers. Some stated that they felt they had been, “Taken for a ride,” by those who had either baffled them with technology and jargon, or had – deliberately or otherwise – raised their expectations beyond what was feasible with the investment they were making. One had invested tens of thousands with a web development company to build an online presence for their business and now has a website that not only makes no contribution to any business objective, neither has it produced a single enquiry. The overall impression that we gained from our research to date and a term used by more than one unhappy respondent was that web developers are: “A load of cowboys.”

These poor experiences have a knock-on effect, not just for those who have been unhappy with their outcomes but for the web development and internet marketing industries as a whole. It results in an increased conviction that all web developers were likely to be the same, and that there was no-one out there who could be trusted. In addition, the inclination to invest any further resources and capital on online promotion of their business was greatly reduced. “We’ve done that and it didn’t work,” was a common response.

What do the web developers have to say?

To balance the picture we also surveyed web developers and web design companies to see if we could identify what had created this tale of woe from businesses.

Many were unaware of the situation and some were quite frank in their derision of business owners. Common responses included

  • “They don’t know what they are doing,”
  • “We’re not telepathic you know!”
  • “They don’t understand what is involved.”
  • “We never get the right information.”
  • “They keep changing their minds, often before the previous changes are completed.”

Each side seemed to blame the other for what might be interpreted as a straightforward breakdown in communication.

So why does this happen? There are no doubt numerous reasons, but focusing on the communication issue, we asked the web developers if they ever asked for, or received, a web design brief from their clients. The majority response was: “Rarely!” The design briefs received mostly consisted of a single page of vague information that lacked the detail and specifics required. Although they usually included requests for things that far exceeded the budget or amount the business owner was willing to spend and were full of wish lists and ‘good’ ideas that require bespoke development or even new technology (for the words ‘bespoke’ and ‘new’, read – interchangeably – ‘difficult’ and ‘expensive’)!

So whose job is it?

Isn’t it part of the web developers’ job to write the brief? Actually, no it isn’t, it is the responsibility of the business owner to communicate their requirements, their goals, their current situation and future plans. After all, as more than one developer pointed out, “We’re are not telepathic you know!”

In addition, the pressure of trying to keep a small web development business running (let alone in profit) in this ever increasingly competitive industry means that there is no time or other resources to be teaching the business owner how to write a web design brief, even though it would create a better outcome for everyone. For the majority of situations, there is often no clear or effective communication, more a case of asking questions of the business owner – which they often don’t understand clearly, which is no-ones fault – to get some sort of outline and then on with the job of designing and building the website.

Our experience – Web developer

Our experience indicates that the majority of web developers really want to do the best job they can for their clients.

They have the skills and knowledge to build websites that could work for their clients’ businesses. They have the equipment and resources to carry out the work. We also observe however that there are web developers who mistake the functionality of the software that they use for their own creative skills. Ultimately over a period of more than a decade we have encountered very few who would deliberately, “Take their client for a ride,” as some businesses have claimed.

Our experience – Businesses

Websites for businesses create a particular quandary for the business owner, manager or similar. There seems to be a huge barrier of technology and jargon to break through to be able to even speak the same language as the web development world. In addition, it is very difficult for anyone without extended experience to make any kind of value judgement about what is good or bad. Consider a different situation: whether you eat in a restaurant often or not, because you do eat every day, if you go into a restaurant, it is possible to make some kind of judgement as to whether you had a good experience, whether the food was good, whether the service was acceptable or excellent. Of course this is subjective to your own preferences and experiences, but at least you understand what a restaurant is, what it is supposed to do or be for and so on.

In our survey we ask a further question of businesses: “What is your website for, why did you get a website?” Very few offered any kind of clear response, the most common being: “Because we needed a website,” or “Because our competitors had one.” We also hear: “To generate sales/leads/enquiries etc.” quite often, which is at least focused on business, but is nowhere near specific enough to be called an objective.

If it is not common for businesses to even understand what the website is for, or why they are getting one developed, how can it be possible for them to make a judgment on what is good or bad, other than it produces no results. Even this judgement requires something to measure the results – or lack thereof – against.

Management by abdication

In so many cases the business abdicates responsibility for the website to a web developer in the mistaken belief that ‘they know best’. While the web developer knows about websites, they are likely to know little or nothing about the client’s business and even less about the customers who will use the website. Together with the lack of communication between the web developer and the business owner it is not difficult to see why so many websites are poorly designed, deliver bad user experiences and ultimately poor or no results for the business.

Is there a solution

The first step to a solution is to address the communication problem. It is clear that there must be effective communication and the first stage of this would normally take the form of a clear and concise website design brief.

The website design brief

The last time we reported on web design briefs we had surveyed 57 web development companies, further surveying has now brought this number to nearly 100. While everyone does it slightly differently, they all had information requirements in common.

Remember that:

  • The document needs to be clear and concise,
  • The document is prepared for someone outside your business who doesn’t necessarily know anything about your business or industry. Even if they claim to have worked in your industry before, unless they are specialists, then you should assume nothing.

Its purpose is to state clearly your requirements, including:

  • A profile of your business, its existing image, brand and products or other offerings including future plans
  • The objectives of the site – stated clearly in terms that can be measured, not woolly ‘to generate enquiries’ or similar, think detail and be specific.
  • The target market – who will be the users of the site, what will be their requirements?
  • Functionality requirements – often expressed as an outline, and as a business owner you may not be able to describe this well, but for example, do you require online payments and if so are you already accepting credit cards in your business. – remember, adding functionality usually increases cost far more than increasing the number of pages in the site.
  • The scale and scope of the development project – how big, how many pages, who will provide what and so on.
  • What are the project constraints, budget, timescale etc.

This document is not a wish list (although you could include things that you would like to do as well as but not instead of the above), it is the document that the developer works to and effectively forms part of your contract with them and is therefore subject to discussion and revision before being finalised.

In conclusion

The commissioning of a website is a much bigger project than appears at the beginning. Websites are not ‘job-and-finish’ projects. You need to form a good relationship with your web developer because you will be working with them for a long time, and the first step to a successful relationship is sorting out the communication. It is your business, if you have articulated clearly what you want, why your business needs it, and provided all the information the developer requires including realistic expectations, budgets and timescales then if it isn’t delivered to the brief then you can blame the web developer. Otherwise accept that it is your problem, not their fault that they are not telepathic.

Furthermore, you need to take responsibility for the project, but also recognise that the development of a website is a team game, not something to be simply handed over and then moaned about when it was not quite what you were thinking of.

Last word

If you are serious about selling online or using the internet to promote your business it is important to recognise that you need to make a considerable investment of time and effort or you might as well take your money and simply thrown up in the air!

Why Hire a Professional For Web Development?

The Australian economy is booming and the strong corporate infrastructure is supporting the surge in business processing and development strategies of the Australian companies. As the businesses develop, they find a pressing need of getting an access to a professional web service provider to get solutions for their online business development needs. Web development in Australia may be a relatively younger industry as compared to the major players like US, India, and China, but this does not rue in the potential of the upcoming IT industry from the country down under. Australia was never known for its IT industry in spite of the futuristic infrastructure. The scenario is fast changing as there has been a significant emergence of various web application development companies on the horizon over the past few years.

The plenty of these companies does get a business into confusion. The hunt for an ideal web service provider often ends up in contacting a firm that may not comply with your business standards and yet agree to sign the deal for your web development in Australia. The right tactics and patient search and research help in getting to know of a genuinely good web development company which is capable of addressing all of your online business development needs. Remember, a good web application development firm will not only deliver an exact web application to automate your online business processing, but also get into online promotion for your website.

A web developer brings in a lot of experience and technical expertise to the business development and co partners the enterprise in deploying a scalable web application comprehensive of all features and functionalities. The enterprise may even get a flexible business model from a prominent web development company wherein the client may either choose to get a fixed cost solution from the service provider or may enjoy the services of a dedicated web developer for the time that the client business development requires. The hired web developer works exclusively for the client as an extended employee of their company outside their organization. Web development in Australia is comprehensive of a full software development lifecycle (SDLC) wherein on receiving a request query the web service provider analyses the client business development requirements and their competition. On analyzing the project, a proposal is passed and the actual web development kicks in. First a web design is created that would loyally identify the business and convey the intentions precisely. Coding is done along with testing of the system. Once the web application has been approved by the client it is deployed at their workplace.

Hence the enterprise gets a comprehensive website solution from a professional web development company. This would significantly boost the web presence of the client enterprise and make them visible to more audiences on the Internet. Targeting and reaching out to a maximum audience increases productivity and improves profitability multiple folds.

How Expensive Will It Be to Hire Ukrainian Web Developers in 2017?

Find a good web app developer today isn’t easy. Especially if you don’t know what specific skills and experience he should have. The cost to build a website can vary quite dramatically, depending on the web design and technology that you choose. Most websites are larger and more complicated. So, they require more time and additional skills to build them. It is handy to know what things you should think about when planning your website and how this can help you when you brief your potential web developer.

That’s why having seen how in-demand software and web developers are, you’re probably wondering how this high demand translates into dollars. According to the PayScale statistic devoted to the average salary of web developers in the world, the graph below shows that the average web/software developer salary in the United States is the highest globally, at around $90K. Meanwhile, Ukrainian web/software developers command salaries almost three times lower than those of their American peers – around $27K per year (according to Ukrainian web portal DOU statistic).

At the same time, Ukraine has the largest tech talent pool in Europe, convenient location, and more science graduates than Sweden, Norway, Japan, and other countries prized for innovation.

As US famous IT businessman Brett Wilson wrote about Ukrainian Web and Software Development business. “The Ukrainian IT sector is impressive. As one of the largest industries in the country, Ukrainian IT industry is a key component of its future economic success. Today, the volume of software export and web development from Ukraine is about $ 2 billion in a year”.

The export volume of Ukraine’s software and web development industry reached at least $2.5 billion in 2015 (number 3 export sector), showing double digit growth year after year. This is just a fraction of the country’s potential, taking into account its large and skilled workforce, economists predict that the two billion industry will grow by 85% within the next six years. Also, the US market is the main destination for Ukrainian IT firms, with an estimated 80% volume of exported services.

I should mention that Ukrainian IT NEWS has claimed that far from completion, the Ukrainian reform effort is significant, with several e-government projects launched in 2015. Important legislative changes are expected in the short term in the field of IP protection, in line with the 2014 Association agreement signed with the EU. IT service export regulations are to be simplified, while local IT companies will be better protected against bureaucracy and corruption.

Talking about technology, we also compare how the prices in the web development the USA and Ukrainian job market depending on the programming language.

The most common language is still Java (23% of the market), JavaScript gets the second place (16%), slightly ahead of C # in popularity. In 4th place, as before, – PHP (13%) with a large margin from Python (8%). Programming in C ++ takes 5% of the market, followed by Ruby (4.5%), Swift and Objective-C. Closes the top ten most popular languages – Scala (1.5%), ahead of C and 1C.

The next step is analyzing the implementation sphere of these technologies. The useful source of information to consider, is the IEEE Spectrum. This is a resource that determines popular programming languages via weighing up many different factors, such as the amount of job site listings, current search trends, or open-source hub projects. Here’s what they determined for 2016.

Predicting the Web Developer Hiring Trends for 2017

Hiring suitable web developers have always been a challenge for CIOs, and 2017 isn’t any different; the key languages in demand are likely to stay in such a position. Around 63% of leaders in the IT industry expects 2017 salaries to remain close to their 2016 equivalents, and 1% believe the worldwide average salaries will actually drop. Many young developers are entering the web development industry with knowledge in C, C++, Ruby, and JavaScript, which will certainly have a positive impact on the space.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a number of factors that influence on the cost of a web development project and the salaries of web developers. Actually, it can be subjective and quite difficult to predict the cost. So, there some factors that have impact on the price not only Ukraine but around the world:

  • The programming language, overall technical skills, and experience of a web developer.
  • The level of experience of a web developer (Senior/Middle/Junior). But be attentive, in different companies and countries the method of level calculation is different.
  • The developer’s geographical location.
  • Developers in the USA and most of the developed European countries are very expensive.
  • The demand and supply for that particular skill set.
  • Ruby on Rails is in high demand but there aren’t enough developers. The salaries are higher than some of the others object-oriented languages.
  • PHP is in high demand and there are many resources so it is still affordable and may vary according to their knowledge and experience of PHP frameworks.
  • The complexity of the project requirements.
  • The size and length of the project.

Understanding the Business of Web Development

Internet reaches out to a wide audience and is used to publish personal and professional information with some engaging user experience. Web development or setting up a website or enthralling web application and hosting it on the Internet has become simpler through the use of cutting edge technology. In fact the technology is meant to be used by the web developers as well as the end users for improving the overall web experience. This trend can be seen clearly as more of websites are being posted online. The Internet can be easily distinguished from other popular technologies such as television and radio as the web gives an ample space to the user for personalization with an unlimited scope for extending their creativity and reaching out to large number of public audiences.

The Internet can be seen as a collection of a wide variety with a frequent mix of personal and professional web spaces. The Internet was meant to be a platform for imparting knowledge to the masses at the time of its birth. But now it has come a long way to be a place where the users worldwide connect, interact, and communicate themselves through websites and web applications. Today even the businesses run online with their online productivity overshadowing their real world productivity. The web has become an inimitable marketplace for people to buy and sell all kinds of products and services.

Web development lifecycle starts with the inception of a thought for having a web application that does the business processing for the individual or the company. The ideas are revised and reevaluated before going further and determining the scope and requirements of the web application. On specifying the business requirements the companies move a step ahead in starting with the actual web application development. Web development is a specialized area of work which involves an understanding of the web development technologies and all other related processes. Web developers do not automatically produce a fine website on demand. They must be communicated and made to understand the exact expectations of the web application. On learning the features and functionalities of the web application the web developers build a precise web application and deploy it online for faster business processing.

The web development technology is in itself a collection of technologies and computer programming languages that are used to create and run a computer program. Some of the popular and essential custom web application development technologies to be learnt by the web developers are HTML, XML, Flash, Perl, CSS et al. A computer language is a way to communicate to the computer by the user to process the output in accordance with the desired logic. Web application development is much more than just writing computer programs in specific programming languages and running the program to get the desired outputs. Web development is a branch of computer science that involves connecting thousands of millions of computers together and running an intercommunicating program on them.

Leaving the intricate details of the web development technology we discuss the general public usage of the Internet. Cutting edge technology today enables the end user to develop a fully functional website and publish information online. There are many content management systems like Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress that help the users get a personal and professional website and manage it free of all the inner development hassles. The web developers materialize the complexities of the web development by creating a user platform that helps the non-technical users to become web enthusiasts. Though, the technical personnel are always called up to troubleshoot problems encountered by the users.

Talking of web applications there is always a mention of fast applications that improve the user experience by processing the output swiftly and presenting it without the need of refreshing the webpage. Such client-server web applications are called Rich Internet Applications (RIA) and are built using web development technologies such as Adobe Flex, Microsoft Silverlight, and AJAX in collaboration with server-side scripting languages like ASP.NET, PHP, Ruby, and others. All the rich Internet applications are enthralling and provide an engaging interactivity to the users. A typical RIA is a web-based application that runs on the client browser and synchronizes data with the server database while functioning as conventional desktop based software. Hence the users get desktop like features and functionalities from the web.

For a professional web development company having comprehensive knowledge about the web development technologies like.Net and PHP and having significant experience and commendable expertise over developing custom web applications is a prerequisite. The web development company can cater clients globally as the company can reach out to a maximum target audience through the Internet. Before delivering the final application these companies need to look for a resounding web presence by resolving issues like browser compatibility, accessibility, and web standards. Web standards in particular have been put in place to ensure that websites meet their fundamental purpose if communicating with a user.

The business and markets for web development is not new. Web development has always been there since the time of the Internet itself just that it has evolved over the time and is accelerating its evolution every time. With custom web application development being a wide prospect, more and more web development services providers are partnering organizations around the world in getting their businesses superior web representations.