4 Questions You Should Ask your Website Development Team
As anyone who's ever bought a car knows, you gotta do your research. The purchase of a car, or a house, or a business for that matter, is a long-term investment and the money you'll spend is not only calculated by the initial expense. Without good research, you could end up with a lemon and that decision could have significant consequences that last long after the initial purchase.
It's the same with a website: get a poorly developed website and even if you don't know it's running poorly, you could be losing customers and their confidence in your products and services. They won't tell you they hate your website because it loads slowly or registers them without permission or doesn't work either – they'll just go away.
It's the job of your web development team to build a site that works for your needs and keeps your customers happy, but it's your job to know enough to choose the right website development team. Here are 4 questions you can ask (and hints as to what you want to hear in the response to help you make the right choice:
How much bandwidth will my site be using?
All websites will cost money in terms of bandwidth – as high as tens of thousands of dollars each year. Reducing the file size of the web pages means faster-loading pages and reduced bandwidth, which means less wasted money. Your web development team should be able to tell you how they plan to avoid bandwidth wastage. Some of these techniques mean the use of CSS and XHTML versus purely HTML-based pages.
On what devices will my site be accessible?
When we think of viewing the web, we may think of the traditional access method of using a personal computer, but more and more people are accessing the web on mobile devices, iPads, tablets and other hand held devices. This is, in fact, the largest growing sector for web growth in the coming decade. So, your website development team should be able to tell you which devices can access your site, or what is the projected life cycle of your site with regards to access by mobile devices if it is currently inaccessible. They should also be able to explain what it will take to make your current site accessible if it's not already.
How quickly can my site be upgraded – is it upgradable?
Older methods of website development involved approaches that were not very upgradable. The use of tables for layout control, for example, was very easy to assemble, but hard to pull apart and upgrade. Modern techniques use technologies such as CSS and XHTML and XML for usable, easily maintainable and easily upgradable code. The ability to quickly upgrade means less wasted time and money. Your web development team should be able to explain what is upgradable and what's not in your website.
How visible is my site to search engines?
Even website development groups have to have a basic understanding in SEO. While there are many tricks and techniques for increasing traffic through search engine results pages, there are some basics that every site simply needs and your web team can implement those quickly and easily as part of their expected effort. Ask your team what those techniques are and how their efforts have increased your website's visibility to the search engines.