How to Choose Your Web Development Service Provider

Your web presence is the foundation of your online success. For ecommerce websites, this is given. It’s a no-brainer.

In my previous post, I talked about the pros and cons of our most recommended ecommerce platforms – Drupal, WooCommerce, and Magento.

Now, I’d like to show you how to pick your developer based on a couple of factors. Here you’ll see the advantages and disadvantages of each type of service provider.
But before we get on with that, you have a few questions to answer in order for you to come up with the best decision.

1. Budget
2. Timeline
3. Project needs/scope

Once you have decided on your allocated budget for your project, the deadlines, and the scope of the work to be performed by your provider, it will be easier to navigate through the different options.

Option#1: Small business provider

When people think of marketing agencies, it conjures images of male consultants in suits and ties charging sky-high fees. While it may be true for established corporate-level web development companies serving Fortune 500 organizations, there are web development and marketing agencies that specifically cater to startups, SMEs, and small businesses.
So, if you own a mom and pop shop or if you acting on your first ecommerce venture, fear not because small business providers exist and you just have to look at the right places.

- Costs are significantly cheaper compared to corporate website developers.
- Small business website providers are virtually everywhere nowadays so there’s a lot to choose from.
- Shorter onboarding time. Typically, small business website developers are composed of 10-15 people and because the team is small, communication is faster and less complicated. You don’t have to go through 3 employees to set a meeting or get updates on the project.

- One of the major downsides of hiring a small business web development company is the credibility factor. Nowadays, anyone can form a team of 10 people with mediocre web design and coding skills and call themselves experts. Don’t settle for the first company you will talk to. Do your research.
- Quality assurance. We’ve heard stories of people who hired web agencies to develop their websites received substandard sites.

Option #2: Corporate

If the website you need to build is more complex or requires a lot of functionalities, your web firm has to have the right resources to deliver the project. For example, if you are selling a large number of high-ticket items, and your website has to have a reliable payment gateway in order to assure that every customer’s transaction is secure, a small business web company is probably not the best choice.

- Big web firms invest in top talents. This ensures great design, clean codes, and greater efficiency.
- Access to other resources such as illustrators, branding experts, sales funnels consultants, and marketing consultants.

- Costs are significantly higher compared to small business websites provider
- Longer timelines. Large web companies typically have solid procedures that a customer must go through.

Option #3: Virtual staff

Although price is correlated to quality, there are incredible virtual web agencies out there with excellent track records. A virtual web development staff is fit for business owners with products or services to sell but don’t have the budget for a fully-equipped web firm.

- Costs are on the cheaper side. A virtual staff or an outsourced team is frequently more affordable than your local providers.

- Learn how to manage your expectations when it comes to the quality of work because in order for a small virtual staff to remain affordable to their target market, they also keep their operating costs at a minimum.
- Don’t fall for scammers. There are absolutely reliable virtual web development teams out there but learn how to discern fake companies that will rob you off your hard-earned money. Always remember to perform a background check before hiring an outsourced team.

Option #4: Freelancer

A freelance web developer can be very useful to you if the project is simple enough to get done by a one-man show. I’m talking about online stores with no more than 50 products.
- More affordable than outsourced teams.
- Tighter communication
- Quality of work varies and it depends on the freelancer’s experience and skills.
- You might need to settle with templates if you have a tight deadline.
- It is also necessary to fill in the project manager role if you want your freelancer to focus on the work for faster delivery.

Keep in mind that working with a service provider is a collaboration. Communication is vital and being clear on your requirements early on will definitely make things easier between you and your developer.

Can’t decide which service provider you need? Give us a quick call and we’ll help you gauge the assistance your project requires.