Hiring a web development company? Avoid these mistakes

You can’t be great at everything. People who claim they can do it all by themselves are either liars or dreamers. How come? First of all, we have different skills and abilities, and second of all, time is scarce, and no matter how talented you are, you still only have 24 hours in a day, so you have to prioritize!

Hiring a web development company? Avoid these mistakes
Contributor Photo - Kasia Kowalska

Kasia Kowalska

Guest Blogger

But guess what? It’s perfectly fine because we live in a globalized world, where great talent is easily accessible. Therefore, if there is someone outside of your organization who can do the job better than you, hire them!

This is your recipe for success – focus on what you’re good at, letting others do what they’re great at. Not only will you get high-quality results, but you’ll also be able to focus on your core business.

Speaking of working with external partners, there are a few mistakes you should avoid when hiring a web development and design company.

Curious about what they are? Keep on reading!

8 mistakes you must avoid when hiring a web development company

Making a decision to collaborate with an external web development company is an important first step.

The next step is to make a list of companies that you could potentially work with. To make it a little easier for you, we’ve come up with a list of the most commonly made mistakes which you should avoid while looking for an external partner. You know what they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

1. Failure to check their project portfolio

Before you decide to hire a new employee, you verify their qualifications and often ask for references, don’t you? You should follow the same process while hiring an external web development partner.

Visit their website, it should include brands they previously cooperated with. Are you familiar with any of them?

It’s worth searching for case studies – you’ll be able to check if their customers were satisfied with the end result, and if they enjoyed working with the design company you’re considering. Not finding any case studies or brands on their website isn’t ideal, but don’t give up on them yet.

If the web development company is listed on Clutch and they have a decent number of positive reviews, they’re safe to work with. Additionally, you could get in touch with the companies they worked with in the past and ask about their experience. This should address most of your doubts – if you have any.

It’s vital to check whether they have experience working with clients from your region. Many world’s regions are very specific and it’s important to know their characteristics. For an example, here at Boldare we frequently work with companies from the MENA region, among others. Knowing what’s important for customers in this area allows us to understand their needs quicker and better.

2. Say no to waterfall

Different web development companies follow different development methodologies. Waterfall is one of them, and it’s a framework that is best avoided. Here is why.

Waterfall is characterized by a fixed project scope, and testing takes place late in the development process. The process lacks flexibility, which makes changes expensive. It means that if at some point you decide you don’t like a feature or your vision shifts, implementing changes will be troublesome.

The delivery time is slow. Unlike in an agile methodology, the waterfall development is not divided into stages, which implies you won’t be able to continuously monitor progress. You’ll only see the end result.

Another thing that is worth a mention, is testing. Testing is one of the most important aspects of agile and it happens continuously, while in waterfall, testing occurs at the end of the project. A poorly tested website can lead to a disastrous launch.

While on the lookout for a web development and design company, make sure they use agile. This will allow for more flexibility and testing, and as a result reduce errors and speed up project delivery. Managing projects in waterfall frequently leads to project failure. In fact 89% of traditionally managed projects result in unsuccessful completion. Why? Due to waterfall’s rigidity, this approach doesn’t allow for any modifications once the product development process has begun.

Since 65% of product requirements change during development, working in waterfall is simply doomed to failure.

3. Don’t put price over quality

The choice of web development and design companies is abundant and the price disparity is huge! It might be tempting to go for a lower price but don’t.

Think about it, your product, irrespective of what it is – an e-commerce platform or SaaS – is part of the customer experience. A badly designed product will harm your brand reputation and ultimately your business growth. Is it worth saving €5,000 on product development to end up paying more in the end? I don’t think so.

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If you decide to hire a web development and design company from a region where the economy is less stable, you might encounter some problems. For example, what if there is a power cut? How are you going to communicate with the team? The developers won’t be able to work on your project which will surely result in delays.

Information security is also an important issue. More frequently, we are hearing about cyber attacks. While they can happen anywhere, certain countries are more prone to them than others, because of low professional standards or lack of proper knowledge.

On the other hand, Polish developers are among the best in the world (they’re in the top 3). Not only do they continuously improve their skills by attending coding courses, workshops, and meetups, but they also speak perfect English, as English is compulsory in Polish schools and universities.

They regularly feature in the highest ranks in international programming competitions like Google Code Jam, Microsoft Imagine Cup or the Central European Programming Contest. Hiring a web development company from Poland will help you to get the highest quality for a reasonable price .

4. Compromising on communication

Communication can make or break your project. According to research by The Economist, 44% of respondents said that poor communication can result in delayed or failed projects. Grant Thornton’s report further supports this statement claiming that good communication is crucial for a project to be successful.

You need to establish a clear communication mechanism, don’t let the company you work with impose it on you. Work on it together to create a communication model that suits both of you. You can use a combination of conference calls, chat, email or in-person meetings.

Make sure to communicate regularly, and to state your communication requirements before the project commences. It’s also worth creating a documentation system to easily track and monitor project progress. It will prevent communication loss and minimize miscommunication.

Being transparent is also very important. At Boldare, we let our clients check how their project is progressing at every stage of the development process. They can also talk to every team member assigned to their project if they feel the need to do so. To us, transparency is the key to a successful cooperation.

5. Inability to monitor progress

Being able to continuously monitor whether your project is going in the right direction is an absolute necessity. The web development team you cooperate with should regularly update you on their work progress and present you with work they’ve completed so far.

If the team you hire uses the scrum framework, you can be sure that you will be able to follow work progress on a regular, daily and weekly basis thanks to scrum meetings.

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This will enable you to decide whether any changes are required, and implement the necessary changes before the project is completed. As mentioned earlier, web development companies that prefer to work in waterfall will opt for showing you the final version of the product rather than showing you partly completed work. Hiring a web development and design company which works in agile will allow you to verify progress at every stage of the development process.

6. Underestimating testing

Let me get this straight, any IT project which is delivered without proper testing during the development process is doomed to failure. You have to ensure that testing is an integral part of the web development process from the start. Make sure you have a Quality Assurance Specialist on the team, who will take care of testing.

Teams who incorporate testing in their development process spend 22% less time on unplanned work. Why is testing important?

  • It lets you spot defects and eliminate them early in the process which reduces product development costs.
  • It improves product quality and performance.
  • It leads to an increase in customer/end-user satisfaction.

Make sure that the team you’re going to hire has a quality assurance specialist on it. They should be involved in the development process right from the beginning of the project. If any bugs occur, don’t hesitate to discuss every single one. This will help you avoid similar errors in the future.

7. Not having a dedicated project team

Teams that work on your project exclusively are called dedicated teams. It’s hugely beneficial to have one, as they have expertise in the field they were hired for. And it’s worth bearing in mind, that not all web development and design companies delegate projects to dedicated teams.

Make sure you’re assigned a team that has expert developers, designers, quality analysts, and testers; meaning that the team has all the right skills to successfully complete your project. It’s also great to have a scrum master who will take care of all the processes and support their team and the customer in solving problems, if any arise.

Not talking to the people who will actually develop your product is also a mistake. It’s necessary to work with a team that you can trust, and with whom you can communicate at every stage of the development process. Ensure you get along – it will make the cooperation easier.

8. Hiring a team which lacks business understanding

A nice-looking product by itself won’t make your business successful. If a company you’re planning to partner with has no understanding of your business goals, the industry you operate in, or the customers you’re targeting, they’re best avoided.

At Boldare we use various workshops and methodologies to make sure that both sides understand each other’s expectations. To enable us to understand the real needs of our customers, we use such tools like:

If the developers fail to comprehend your target audience, they won’t be able to build a product that will appeal to your prospects. Select a team that is curious about your business, your goals and objectives, and your customer profiles.

Final thoughts on hiring a web development and design company

Your digital product is part of the customer experience, so you should make sure it’s a good one. First impressions count, and bad first impressions stay with us longer!

  • Deciding which web development firm to hire is an important decision that will have a significant impact on your business.
  • The choice is wide, which is why you should keep a few things in mind while searching for a worthy partner:
  • Flexibility is crucial, avoid firms who work in waterfall, agile is a much safer option.
  • Do not put price over quality – you get what you pay for. You want to hire a team that has highly qualified experts on it, and that’s worth paying for.
  • Testing is key to success, make sure the company you decide to hire follows this rule.
  • Do a proper background check, verify the brands they worked with, and check opinions on Clutch.co, as an example.
  • Don’t hesitate to talk to the team you’re going to work with. Ensuring you get along will increase the chances of project success, and make the entire experience more pleasant.

Simple as that!

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