What Are the Common Misconceptions Associated With the Web-Development Process?

There are a number of misconceptions about the web development process. Many people think that a great design is all that is needed. However, these individuals do not understand that the design is just the beginning. The most common misconceptions are related to the time it takes to launch the site after the web design quote is accepted by the customer. The web development process requires planning in order to be successful. For some sites a simple design might be best, while another web site might require a complicated shopping cart.

Determining the needs of the business is just the beginning of the planning process. A systematic web development procedure ensures that important aspects of the website are properly constructed. For instance, great navigation is often overlooked in a website, but poor navigation can kill a site. If customers have a hard time moving around through the web pages, they will just leave. The design should get customers interested in learning more about the business, product or service, and natural navigation will help them explore to find the details. Navigation is a problem for initial visits; however, bad content is the quickest way to keep customers from coming back to your site. The goal of website development should be more than getting customers to visit your website. You want them to find your site and then stay on the website learning about your business. The goal should always be to keep them on the site as long as possible and give them a reason to come back.

So what is the content of a website? It includes everything from the applications embedded in the site to the FAQ page. The content might include photographs of past work or new products. It can also include descriptions of services or articles that teach visitors about how to use a product or service. These little bits of information keep the visitor interested in the site. Without excellent content even the best website will fail. In addition to the elements mentioned earlier, there are also applications that are included within web development. These applications are often determined by what the site’s purpose will be. For instance, is your site just for potential customers, or will you use the site as an added convenience for existing clients? You may want your site to offer the ability to look up account information, pay bills, or order new products. All of these services require different applications that would be incorporated into the website.

Obviously, web development would include coming up with a great web design, but it also requires the creation of smart navigation, interesting content and useful applications that will ensure the sites success. The misconception most people have about web development is the complex nature that is involved in creating a superior website. A website requires thorough planning to be done correctly.

10 Juicy Secrets Web Developers Don’t Want You to Know

Like any other business service, web design can be complicated. Web development and Internet marketing involves a number of highly developed skills, some of which can be quickly learned, some of which take time and experience to develop.

But, how do you know if the person(s) you’re hiring for your web development and Internet marketing needs are up to snuff?

By doing your homework. And I applaud you for starting here.

If you’ll just give me 10 minutes, read this short list of 10 juicy secrets web designers don’t want you to know about and I promise you will be a MUCH more informed consumer.

JUICY SECRETS WEBSITE DEVELOPERS DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT

1) Every Project is Different – Even though you may want to go with a website developer that knows your industry, you must also understand, that almost every project, no matter how similar is different. As an individual company you have specialized needs. You may need to host your own website, or have your own photos, but everything is always just a little bit different.

1.5) Every Project is the Same – What? Didn’t you just say every project is different?! Yes, but I’m attacking this from a different angle. When it comes to the basics of the web, what works for the actual development/coding, as well as what leads to long-term results from online marketing, every project is the same. For example, just because a company doesn’t have a real estate client, doesn’t mean you can’t use them if you are in real estate. Sure, you get some warm and fuzzy feelings, but 9 times out of 10 specialized developers often do poor work. Instead choose a more well rounded company that knows the basics of the web (good coding and online marketing).

2) There is NO Such Thing as “Website Maintenance” – It doesn’t exist, period. Sure your website has to sit somewhere (called hosting – more on that in just a second), but it costs nothing to physically maintain and, generally, unless specified, there are no ongoing “updates.”

3) Search Engine Optimization is Also Up To – Although a development company can develop a great website, and make the code pretty for search engines, you need to be actively involved in the entire process of SEO for longterm, sustainable success.

4) Marketing is HUGE – Your website will NOT have tens of thousands of visitors the first month. In fact, you will probably not even break 100 visitors/month, unless you market yourself and your website. You can do it physically, or digitally, but search engines alone will not give you free traffic for nothing or right out of the gate.

5) There is Really NO Set Cost for Development – Prices per hour for a developer may range from $30/hour – $250/hour – it all depends on the expertise of the persons involved and what you find important.

Generally speaking the higher the service price, the better the quality and more likely they are going to stay in business and provide you with customer service (a rarity in the web development businesses). People come to my web development company all the time after they’ve been burned by a cheap developer that either didn’t know what he/she was doing or simply disappeared. There are a few resources online where you can find out more about the true cost of a website, but prices will vary.

6) Hosting is Important – Hosting is important because it not only is a factor in search engine optimization, but it is also the backbone of your own image. Your website and email are probably running on your hosting right now. What if they go down? If your site and server is down, even for a fraction of a day it could cost you lots of money in lost productivity and even more in negative branding. Ask yourself this question… “How do you react when you visit a colleagues site and it is slow or doesn’t even show up?” It makes you question that business, and wonder if they are still operating.

7) Nothing is Free – Absolutely nothing is free. Sure, some services may not “cost” anything (in terms of money), but there is always the amount of time it takes to implement.

8) Your Developer Owns Your Website – This is HUGE!!!!! Unless otherwise specified in your agreement, your developer, like other intellectual property creators (like photographers) OWN YOUR WEBSITE AND CONTENT. Make sure your agreement is specific, and spells out that YOU and not your developers OWN YOUR WEBSITE.

9) Your Writing Matters – We all hate to write, but according to Google, and from statistics we’ve seen over the years, the writing, or copy, on your website has two major effects on your website. 1st, it effects search engine optimization. The more writing you do AND the better your spelling, grammar, etc. the more likely you are going to rank well in search engines. 2nd, your writing has a profound effect on your visitors’ response to your company, and your website. Great writing will prompt your users to take action, to contact you, and to make a sale. Poor writing will lead them confused and upset.

10) Your Developer May Not Be Doing Your Work – I know what you’re thinking… “They better be doing my work, I paid them!

But, the scary truth is that most “web designers” don’t even know what they are doing. They DO NOT KNOW HOW TO DESIGN OR DEVELOP WEBSITE, LET ALONE MARKET THEM!

Instead, they are simply overzealous sales people that, in trying to make a quick buck, and in knowing a thing or two about photoshop, figured web design was “easy.” After making a sale they then rush to find someone to do the job. This is a problem, because both you and in some cases even they (your web developer) have no ability to gauge or evaluate the work and accountability is eliminated.

Don’t just go for the quick sale (especially when a price is too good to be true). Instead probe, ask about the person or company’s expertise in things like HTML, CSS, programming languages, etc. And, as always, references are always a must!

Hiring the Right Web Development Company and Online Success

There is a strong dependence between hiring a good web development company and succeeding online. It’s not very easy to define the right web development company, but one thing is for sure an essential feature of it – it’s more than just a company you hire and pay for some services, it’s a true partner of its client.

Partnership has more meaning than just a business collaboration, as it reflects your partner’s wish to do things for you, just the way he would have done them for himself. With rising needs of online industry, choosing the right web development company becomes absolutely necessary.

The Internet is changing really fast and online success depends on how business owners adapt themselves to new trends that have emerged on the web. Websites are now way more than just some static online information platforms – they’re dynamic and interactive, some may even create online communities. Online business is now more than a simple interface of an offline business. That’s why web development has become such an important element in achieving online success.

There are a few simple guidelines you need to follow when deciding which web development company you should hire.

Guideline 1: Check the web development company’s knowledge and experience in this area.

Finding out the exact skills your potential web developer has is something quite difficult to achieve, as not all business owners can a have a very technical chat about programming tools or Javs scripting. That’s why you have to study the web development company’s portfolio and pay attention to details.

Testimonials should be something you must absolutely consider, as this way you can find out how ideas of other business owners have been applied by the web development company.

Guideline 2: Identify and decide the objectives of your site and check if the web developer can achieve them.

You can not evaluate whether a project has been done properly or not, unless you establish some objectives that must be achieved. That’s why you have to identify what the objectives of your site are, and then communicate them to your developer in order to find out if they are reachable or not. This is the only solution to establish the parameters of your collaboration with the web development company. As long as they commit to fulfilling your objectives, then they are the right web developer to hire. In case they fail doing that, you are totally legitimate to ask doing their job from the beginning or even for a refund.

Guideline 3: Communication is the key to a successful partnership.

Considering the right developer should be able to turn your ideas into something really practical, communication between you and the company should be really effective.

There are a few tips on how to measure if your potential web developer is a good communicator:

o he should be able to understand your abstract ideas and objectives and explain to you how he will use technical methods to apply them;
o he should be very efficient in providing you the feedback you require;
o he should come up with suggestions and ideas that suit you;
o he should be flexible and open to any new suggestions you may have;

Guideline 4: The right web development company will not try to trick you with additional charges, extra page charges and future maintenance charges.

You should specify from the beginning the payment details in order to avoid any financial scam. The right web developer will specify the cost of each particular service, including maintenance. Some web developers have cheap services, but that can be misleading, as their prices may not include site maintenance which is a very important part in succeeding online.

The best solution is knowing from the start the costs and signing a contract with your web developer for a longer period of time. Upkeeping the website is really important as both search engines and users like updates.

Hiring the right web development company is not so easy, that’s why you have to be very careful when doing it. Remember that your business success depends on how good this web developer is. Doing this right depends a lot on the guidelines written above.