When you are looking for a partner to build your new online home, go beyond their recent designs, their location or how you “feel” about them. You wouldn’t hire a contractor to build your house based on just a few factors. You want to know that they have the technical expertise, experience and a clear process to getting the job done right.
Make sure they have a plan and process to learn all that is needed. It must include, at least, all the elements of these 4 key areas:
1) Current system audit – so they know what you have to use on the site, where all the current site pieces and parts live, and the topology that your current and future site have to live within.
2) Future Site Functional Design – this isn’t what it looks like; it is what it does for you. What features are going to be needed now, and a year from now. What is the integration point for email, your CRM system, your client portal and other features you may want in your new site.
3) Future Site Design – how are they going to get a grasp on your vision? It has to be more than “show me 5 sites you like”. How will they get your feedback and incorporate it, and how many times will they do that?
4) Content Development – a pretty site with poor quality content does you no good, and can even hurt your business. How will your web firm make sure your content helps with SEO and gets created on time (hint, if you are going to write it, they need to have a strong project manager to get you to finish it – the last 20% is the hardest)
This is just a starting point. If you’d like more, download our eBook on The Hierarchy of Useful Websites