Navigating the Realities of Hiring a Web Development Company: A Client's Perspective

by George Dinca, Co-Founder / CEO

One truth stands out in a sea of articles outlining the step-by-step process of contracting and developing a website: a web design and development agency is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Every client has unique tastes and needs, making the journey to a finished website as diverse as the clients themselves. Based on a client's perspective, here's a realistic guide to help you navigate the process.

1. Initiating Contact

Web design and development agencies are busy. This is a fact. Start by initiating a phone conversation or a meeting with the staff. Fill out the contact form, providing your details and outlining your needs.

If you feel a connection during this step, proceed. If not, consider exploring other options.

2. CEO or Owner

Owners make decisions. This is a fact. After initiating contact, the next step is engaging in a conversation with the decision-maker, whether it's the CEO or the owner. This interaction is required to understand if your project aligns with your vision or with the company's agenda. Some decision-makers will say yes to everything you ask but execute the work based on their beliefs.

Trust your instincts; if you're not convinced, it might be time to explore other possibilities.

Now that you know who you will be working with and are satisfied, you can proceed with the standard process. The procedure is familiar (design, development, reviews, release, maintenance); we will only point out some realistic steps you should follow.

3. Estimates

You should ask for an estimate based on the information you will provide during the meetings. A quick one, based on the previous experience from other similar jobs. Be sure you understand that the development estimate may change after you finish the design. Most people start with a simple or no design and 4 pages; then, they end up asking for a unique layout and unlimited pages. You will probably follow the same path, so it is better to know that you were provided with estimates, not fixed prices.

4. Design vs. Development

Always start with the design. Platforms such as Figma, used by most designers, make it easy to make updates, changes, and additions. You can ask for a page or a section to be changed 10 times; they can do it quickly. On the other hand… once they code a functionality or a page from a to z (development), that is done, and updates will cost you more money. Negotiate a reasonable price for the design, including updates. Only once the design is finalized can the website agency provide an accurate development estimate.

5. Design Revisions

Don't hesitate to request changes during the design phase. While companies may specify a limit to revisions, in reality, changes are inevitable. Refine the details until you are 100% satisfied before the project moves to the development team. This is very important in the project's cycle.

6. Respect the Team

Respect is a two-way street. Just as you expect respect for your job, extend the same courtesy to the people working in the web agency. Their goal, like yours, is a satisfied client and a well-rewarded effort. Show respect by actively participating in meetings, providing timely details, responding promptly to emails, and offering feedback promptly.

Understanding the nuances of working with a web development company is crucial to a successful project. By following these guidelines, you'll be better equipped to navigate the complexities and achieve the website you envision. If you can't handle all these, consider hiring a project manager. We are here to help. Contact Us.

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