What Makes a Good Web Development Company

The world of web development is still very much misunderstood. We’ve even heard people call it a “dark art”. So when you need help turning your ideas and designs into a high quality website or web application, how do you know who you can trust to get this done?

The purpose of this post is to provide some key points on what makes a good web development company, and will help you understand the kind of questions you should be asking development companies.

This is going to be a very opinionated post and we make no apologies for it. If you disagree with anything we are certainly open to discussing it further.

Now to get on with the post. Below are the key areas we are going to be looking at, and what you should be looking for in a web development company.

  • Able to do both front-end and back-end development
  • Don’t specialise in one back-end technology
  • Should follow best practices
  • Understanding of marketing strategies surrounding the projects
  • Invests time in research and development
  • Has a rigorous testing process, including automated tests
  • Flexible to change
  • Use source control

Able to do both front-end and back-end development
We don’t subscribe to idea of developers that do front-end development and developers that do back-end development. That’s the equivalent of having a plumber who only fits pipes and leaves the fitting of the baths, showers, sinks and toilets to someone else.

We agree there is a separation between web developers and web designers, there’s a completely different thought process going on there, but the separation between front-end and back-end is just wrong. To be a good web developer you need to understand the full development cycle and to be able to get involved in the project from start to finish. There is also much to be learnt from the working with the varying technologies, but we’ll come on to that.

Don’t specialise in one back-end technology
There are a number of good back-end technologies that are appropriate for web development including Ruby on Rails, ASP.Net and PHP (and others). They all have their strengths and weaknesses and not one is perfect. A good web development company should be flexible in which technologies they use, so that they use the most appropriate one for their clients’ needs.

The key reason we have spent time learning a number of technologies is to able to pick and choose the bits we like. Over the years the developers involved in The League have been able to take the good parts of each technology and formulate a number of best practices and use them across all platforms.

Should follow best practices
The key to being a good web developer is not the technologies that you use, but the best practices that you follow. As technologies come and go in our very fast moving industry those best practices will remain, or at least evolve. As a developer if you have a good grounding then you can move with the times and technologies fairly easily.

So what are these best practices that we are talking about. Below are some of the key ones we follow.

  • Writing semantic HTML
  • Follow web standards for all front end coding
  • Automated testing of both front-end and back-end code
  • Use of a MVC framework

Understanding of marketing strategies surrounding the projects
We’ve heard this complaint many times that web developers don’t think about the marketing strategy of a project. This is generally because developers don’t care. Well they should. How can they advise clients and think about helping clients produce the right solution, if they aren’t thinking about the “bigger picture” (sorry, we know it’s a horrid phrase, we’ll go wash our mouths out now). If a developer blindly does the work, they are not offering the client a service, they are just being a meat puppet.

The most important question a developer can ask is “Why?”. Take time to understand the client’s requirements fully, and advise them, after all the client doesn’t understand the ins and outs of web development, you do. Make the development cycle a two way conversation.

Invests time in research and development
As everyone knows the web industry is a very fast moving industry. Things come and go in the blink of an eye. A good web development company gives it’s developers allocated time each week to look at new trends and technologies. Admittedly some of these trends and technologies are dead ends, but you won’t know unless you look into them.

If you want to know if a web development company knows there stuff, simply ask them what their developers have been looking into recently. You don’t have to understand everything you are told, note them down though and look them up on the internet to understand if the company are looking at new trends or not.

R&D is probably the most important time each week for a developer. If developers don’t evolve, the solutions they build will become stagnate and dated very quickly. As a client do you want an out of date solution before you even start?

Has a rigorous testing process, including automated tests
Too often we have seen the client is the tester for a project. If this is happening, then, to put it bluntly, the development company don’t understand your project well enough, they are just “banging out” code.

A good web development company should be writing automated tests (integration tests, unit-tests etc) for all their code, both front-end and back-end. On a simple level, tests help developers to concentrate on the code they are writing at that given time, they also help developers to write more concise code. More concise code means the code base is easier to understand and cheaper to maintain.

The major benefit of a test suite to a client is that when changes are made to the code in the project there can be a lot more confidence in the fact that the change, or new code, hasn’t broken anything else.

We are not saying automated testing is the silver bullet of web development, and tests are only effective if they are written well, but they certainly should be part of any web developers toolset.

Automated tests aren’t the only important aspect of testing. The web development company should also have a level of human testing as well, and this is certainly something clients should be involved in. User stories are key to this process. As part of the development process, clients should work with the web development company to put together User stories, so that all parties involved understand how users will interact with the site or application and the results of those interactions.

Flexible to change
We’ve all heard developers complaining how their clients’ change the requirements of a project midway thought a project. Developers need to stop complaining about this, it happens to us all and it’s never going to change. A good web development company should have processes in place to cope with change. If you are a client, ask how change requests will be handled.

Web developers should work to short release cycles, preferably 1 – 2 weeks. The worst thing that can happen to a project is that the developers get the brief, start the work and then 2 months later they announce it’s finished, only for the client to say “This isn’t what I asked for!”. By working to short release cycles, clients can be involved at all stages. At the end of each release the client should review the project so far and submit any change requests.

Use source control
Our final recommendation is a pretty obvious and simple one, to most people, but we still speak to developers who don’t use any form of source control. This seems more prevalent with freelancers as they don’t see the need as they are the only ones working on the code. If that’s how they see it, then they are missing the point.

There are lots of reasons why all code should be source controlled. We’re are only going to mention a couple of key points here. Firstly it’s a great way of keeping a log of changes made to code. (As long as developers put a comment into the commit). Secondly and most importantly is allows developers to change code without the fear of losing already work already done. This is especially useful when trying out other possible coding solutions to a problem.

The Right Web Development Company

There are a number of reasons why web development has become an important point to consider for most businesses. A web development company can offer your business the strength it requires to be more stable, easier to manage, and also grow steadily with time. This obviously will require you to set aside a budget for your requirements. But if you manage to find the right company to deal with, there can be much more than you may expect coming your way.

However, not being able to recognize the right web development company can be equally harmful for your business. You will come across a host of companies over the internet that offer you cheap and unbelievable price plans for delivering you the projects or web applications your business requires. More than often working with such companies turn out to be a complete waste of time and money, and can even mar the reputation of your business.

This is exactly why you must consider the following steps to ensure you are dealing with one of the most reliable and competent web companies that can offer you the results that you are seriously after.

5 Simple Tips to Follow

1. Look closely throughout the industry and check all the options that you think are worth a look at

2. Try to check into the background of each of the web development businesses to understand the reputation and reliability of each of the available businesses – check their client base and portfolio referring to verifiable contacts

3. Create a “top 10” list of such businesses and get in touch with them one by one

4. Find out which business is easy to get in touch with whenever you need them, and therefore who would offer you the best mode of communication

5. Price is definitely a factor – but should be the last on this list

These steps will probably get you one of the best web development businesses for you to deal with. Outsourcing is also a good option if you are after good quality and yet have some budget constraints. Check out the businesses dealing with web development in India services. Some of these businesses can offer you an unbelievable level of expertise and quality at a price that you may find hard to imagine!

Try to offer such web development India companies some trial project to test them initially before actually getting them to work towards your project. This is a great way to confirming whether or not you are dealing with an authentic company and whether you are going to be happy with the work they provide you later on!

Make sure you go through all these points before finally deciding on a web development partner for your business. Web development India is a great option if you are considering outsourcing, but make sure you are aware of exactly what to expect from the business before you finally sign the contract!

Facts to Ponder Upon Before Choosing the Best Web Development Company

Over the time of years the world has experienced tremendous and fast changes in the innovative front. In this period of innovation, our lives have got an extraordinary standard in view of the appearance of science. The web has now turned into the lifeline of individuals and offers answers for just about everything in this world. With respect to the modern areas, reaching to a bigger segment of people is the thing that matters to a great extent. The web has turned into the most trusted stage for a wide range of business dealings in the time of globalization which has made having a website an important part of a company.

Since having a website is so vital, it is to be kept in mind that companies hoping to have their own websites should avail the assistance of a reputed web development company or else the entire activity of making a website may prove to be worthless. Official websites are intended to be proficient and instructive and a powerful approach to advertise about the company’s products and services. There are different types of facts that should be thought upon before choosing the services of website developers.

ACCREDITATION: One of the critical parts of choosing the best services related with website designing is to search for valid and authorized service providers. It is important to choose website development companies who have the reputation of working legally and without damaging any standards and rules as well. The validation of their services should be authorized by customers while choosing the perfect website development company. Authorized website development companies should be settled on all kinds of formative services to have a protected and secure method for developing and customizing the website.

REPUTATION: As there are many web development companies, the best should be picked as per their reputation in their respective fields. The expert web developer should be qualified for developing the website for customers according to their needs and preferences. The strategies used to make the websites should be sufficiently perfect to create a solid database so that the information about the customer can be methodically shown on the website in a compelling way, and this must be finished by capable website developers who have sound knowledge in this domain. The more experienced the developers, better will be the look and feel of the websites.

MODERATE: As financial aspects are getting new definition everywhere throughout the world, it turns out to be completely fundamental for companies to hire specialists who serve in a cost-effective way. The budget friendly rates of the web development companies are the main purpose of their prosperity and prominence. A company should be well-informed about the available website development and their ongoing rates, and can choose the most reasonable service providers.

QUALITY: Unnecessary to specify, no one wants to compromise with the quality, particularly with regards to one’s website, so having sound knowledge and ability in website development should be entrusted with the tasks of web development. In the present world, an immaculate and suitable official website can do marvels to achieve the advertising objectives and focused on group of onlookers in a brief span. The exceedingly enhanced innovation that is utilized as a part of web development is helpful for improving the looks and usefulness of the websites. Clients should choose service providers who confirm the eminence of their services by using the latest, redesigned visual graphics and digital innovation.