So– you’re wondering how to find a web developer for your brand. Well, business relationships are not unlike any other long-term relationship. When looking for a partner in business, it’s necessary to assess a variety of options– to go on many unsuccessful first dates, experience dwindling relationships, and encountering some ghosting. Even worse, once a long-term relationship has been established, those red flags that you ignored in the beginning when you were impatient for something to work always pop up in ways that exhaust your financial, emotional, and time resources.

Nowhere is this scenario more realistic than choosing a web development team for your brand. With online business blooming more with each passing year, there seem to be endless options for web development. And just like any other long-term relationship, ignoring warning signs at the beginning of a relationship can come back to bite you.

So how can you find the right web development partner for your brand? Like anything else, this choice requires a careful consideration of compatibility. Follow these tips and tricks to learn how to find a web developer for your brand.

Service Compatibility

One of the steps to finding a web development team is to ask about the scope of services they offer. With content platforms proliferating, you will need to seriously consider which companies can meet your needs. Are you planning to develop an app to accompany your website? Do you need eCommerce support? Does your team have an organized SEO strategy? Do you need simple development support, or web design as well? What are your potential team’s intellectual property policies? Keeping as many of your services as possible under one team will streamline future projects, sustain branding, and minimize the time and financial costs of searching for an additional partner in the future.

Communication and Expectations

Like any other relationship, the key to a successful web development partnership is built on communication. What is the response time like during initial discussions? What communication channels does the team use, and how frequently? Is there a clear communication flow, from a point of contact to the rest of the team? These are important considerations; in your long-term partnership, there will be urgent problems with your website, ongoing support needs, and continuous quality updates. Today, your website is your company’s nerve center; a slow response time from your web development team has the potential to affect every aspect of your business.

It’s also important to have a frank, up-front discussion about timelines and expectations. How quick is the typical turnaround for development, updates, and fixes? What opportunities will you have to give feedback and check on progress? A mismatch on any of these factors can result in major delays as well as financial setbacks. You want to make your expectations clear at the outset.

Costs and Expertise of Web Development

Before making a decision on a web development team, you will want a clear delineation of all costs involved in your project. This should include costs of on-going support, possibilities of future projects, and any specific services that your website will require. Having an open discussion up-front of all possible costs will minimize unwelcome surprises down the line.

Once you’ve come up with a budget for your project, you’ll want to check in on your team’s range of expertise. Ideally, you’ll want a diverse array of proficiencies, from management to graphic design, to web developers and solution architects. If you’re looking for a full-service build, make sure that there are no gaps in experience in your team. You don’t want to get all the way through an amazing development process to end up with a poorly designed final project or try to communicate with a great team of experts without guidance or communication by strong management. In short, make sure your team is everything that they appear to be online.

Previous Work and Testimonials

Of course, concrete details like service match-up and timelines are essential to making a relationship run smoothly. But if you’re going to work with a business partner in the long-term, you’ll also want to get along with them, appreciate their point of view, and have courteous, respectful exchanges. Though some of these factors can be assessed through talks, it’s also helpful to ask for references and testimonials in order to ask previous clients what their working relationship has been like with your potential partner.

Finally, this will also give you a chance to evaluate their previous work. Does it seem like they are using the same basic template for each project? Or is everything customized to the client’s needs and brand? Does your potential team have experience with businesses like yours? And do those solutions appeal to you and your stakeholders/customers? Getting a sense of your web development team’s approach and business style will help you determine the potential for a long-term working relationship.

Learning how to find a web developer for your brand is no easy task. It requires a shrewd eye, a comfort with open and honest communication, and, most of all, an attention to compatibility that will underscore every aspect of your future relationship. You want to enter into a partnership with a clear understanding of the nature of your working relationship and a confidence of similar shared goals. Don’t rush into a partnership just because you’re impatient to get started with a project. After all, you don’t want to waste your time– you want a lasting, comfortable relationship that will continue to benefit both parties a long, long time into the future.