Small Business Website Development: What You Need from a Provider

small business website development

Is your website doing its job?

In other words, is it helping you make sales? Guiding customers in the right direction? Telling your brand’s story?

In the 21st century, every small business needs a website. But most small business owners aren’t champing at the bit to go the DIY route.

The solution? Outsource your website development and save yourself the headache! But it’s not quite as simple as googling “website developer” and clicking on the first link that pops up. You need to find someone who ticks every box on your checklist.

Whether you’re looking to spruce up an existing website or start one from scratch, here’s what to look for in a website development provider.

Proof of Past Projects

Any website developer worth their salt will have a portfolio: a visual representation not just of what they can do, but what they’ve already done for other clients.

Don’t let them breathe down the back of your neck as you view their portfolio. Ask them to email it to you so you can peruse the fruits of their labor on your own time.

Visit each website. Pay attention to every detail. Take note of which design elements you like and which ones you don’t.

If they’ve provided references, reach out. If not, there’s no harm in emailing a website’s owner and asking if they’d be willing to answer a couple questions about their experience with the website development team.

Is their portfolio thin or non-existent? That’s a huge red flag in this industry. Tread carefully.

A Basic Understanding of Your Business

A website developer who generally makes splashy, highly visual sites for the hottest rock bands or Hollywood stars might not be the best choice for your two-man septic tank cleaning business.

Someone whose client list consists solely of doctors, lawyers and other professionals is likely going to have a problem designing a whimsical website geared toward children.

Whoever you choose should have a basic understanding of who you are and what you do. Experience in your exact industry shouldn’t be a requirement. But you do want to hire someone who is either in touch with your niche, or demonstrates an ability to put themselves in their clients’ shoes and develop sites that speak well to the target customer.

A Good Business Website

This should probably go without saying, but if the developer’s own website is subpar, you can’t expect yours to be any better.

Are there typos? Broken links? Glitchy audio or video? Steer clear! If they won’t take the time to make sure their own website is perfect, they’re certainly not going to put the necessary time and effort into yours.

Responsive Customer Service

There is a lot of back-and-forth in website design. The developer creates an element, the client suggests a tweak, the developer goes back to the drawing board. Rinse and repeat.

Normally, this is a streamlined process. But some website providers aren’t as responsive as others. And if you’re already having problems with communication before you’ve so much as signed the contract, you can’t expect much different down the road.

Customer service matters, even in a non-customer-facing industry like website design. You need someone who is willing and able to respond in a timely matter, not leave you and your site hanging.

A Willingness to Work With Your Ideas and Budget

There are plenty of small business owners who are content to let the website developer take the reins, and that’s OK. But there are others who want to be more hands-on. The service provider you choose needs to be willing to work the way you want to work.

The same goes for your budget. Yes, the website developer needs to make a profit, but the ideal provider will be able to work with you to find an affordable solution, whether that means scaling down a package or offering items a la carte.

Who’s Designing Your Small Business Website?

Your website is one of the most important parts of your small business. If you’re outsourcing your website development, make sure whoever you choose to design it is the best person for the job!

From website development to ideation to social media and beyond, Mischa Communications is your one-stop shop for all your marketing needs. Ready to get started?