It used to be that a web development company only had to know to do one thing: create websites. In many cases, these sites didn't even have to have any advanced functionality; they just needed to convey basic information. That level soon became inadequate, but the next stage still didn't require much. Now, however, developers have to do far more than present information online or even set up sites for e-commerce. Here are a few things you should expect your web development company to be able to do:
Apps are hugely popular, but that doesn't mean that you can get away with not having a good website. Many people still lack mobile devices that are big enough to deliver an Internet experience that can compete with what is possible on a desktop or laptop. Those who use a phone as their mobile device will want to be able to log on at home and see your "real" site. Make sure to choose a web developer who can provide this real site.
In today's world, a real site doesn't just show information or accept orders. It also allows for user feedback, comments between users, highlights content that will likely be of interest to the user, and more. That said, a good developer doesn't just jam in everything that is technically possible or that happens to be trending. Instead, the company will add features in a sensible way so the site remains streamlined and easy to use.
Every site is expected to have a companion app these days, and there are several good reasons to follow this trend. The main one is that almost everyone has a mobile device, and this allows them to check on things wherever they are. If you don't have a mobile app, that means that you're almost surely losing business to someone who does.
The other reason is that apps work even better on mobile devices than mobile-optimized sites will. A well-designed app adapts perfectly to any screen size, is made to work with a touchscreen interface instead of a mouse and keyboard, and works within the system limitations of the smaller machines. These differences ensure that many mobile users prefer apps to a site's mobile version.
That said, not everyone will download an app right away, especially if they're not regular users of your site or frequent consumers of your product or service. This is why you need a web development company that can handle websites as well as mobile apps.
Integrate Your Online Channels
It's not enough to merely have a website, mobile version of that site, and a mobile app. They all must fit together to provide a seamless presentation and user experience. Your chosen developers need to be able to tie information from all three channels to a single database so that users can access everything from a single account. Just as importantly, the overall look and feel should be as similar as possible so that your branding is strengthened. Branding involves more than your logo; it requires consistency across all points of contact. Choose a web developer who understands this principle so that your online presence is tight and cohesive.
The development company must be able to adapt to your changing needs, often before the first project is even complete. One of the easiest ways to find one that can fulfill this requirement is to look for one that uses an agile/scrum development process. In a nutshell, this means that projects are broken down into separable pieces so that changes don't require redoing everything. You'll find that development under this system is faster and less likely to be affected by undue delays or cost overruns.
To learn more about what is required to be successful in today's technological environment, get project suggestions, or get started with the development of your current ideas, just contact us. We'll be happy to help.