What to Look for in a Web Application Development Agency
Regardless of the industry you work in, web applications are likely to play an essential part in running your business. From online databases, to project management tools, to payroll systems, content management systems, your company website, and more, web applications are involved in almost every aspect of a business.
Though many of the applications you use may already exist, there are also many cases where developing a customized web application is necessary to improve operational efficiencies. If your business would benefit from a customized and scalable web application designed specifically to meet your company needs, it’s important to understand what to look for in an agency.
Don’t take the agency’s word for it that they are experienced in web application development. You’ll want to ask for specific samples of web application projects they’ve worked on, and the specific results they’ve achieved. Request case studies, testimonials, referrals, and more, to ensure you can make an educated decision about the agency’s qualifications before signing any contracts.
In addition, you’ll want to consider whether an agency’s experience is related to the particular type of web application you’re trying to develop. Some agencies specialize in specific industries, while others are more willing to learn new industries and build applications to suit any type of business. If the web development company has little experience in your field, and seems hesitant to learn about your business, they probably aren’t the right fit for your business.
Additional Services Offered
Do you see the potential to need more than just web application development for your business? Do you (or will you) also need digital marketing services, consulting, and/or website design? If so, you may want to look for an agency that provides all of these services. This way, you don’t have to search for another company and start a new business relationship when you’re ready to take the next steps.
And speaking of next steps, you’ll want to discuss your full vision with any potential agencies, to make sure you are all on the same page. Be sure to ask them what they recommend after the application is developed. Your team may need training on the application, or, if it is a customer-facing application, your customers will need to know about it and how to use it. You don’t want to end up with a web application that no one knows how to use.
Ability to Customize Solutions
Web applications tend to function best when they are designed specifically to meet the unique needs of a business. They are often built to solve a problem, or to make a specific process easier, faster, and/or more efficient. While there are some great templates out there for web applications, it’s a good idea to seek out a development agency that has the ability to customize your solution to make it work for your business.
In addition to having the ability to customize your solution, a great web development agency will work closely with you to ensure that it is customized as much as possible. They should ask a lot of questions about what your goals are for the application, what problems you hope to solve, what issues you’ve had in the past due to lack of a well-functioning web application, etc. If they aren’t asking you any questions, or the right questions, then you may want to look around a bit more.
Good Communication Skills
You can tell from the beginning of a business relationship how responsive a company will be throughout a project. First impressions really are the most important – and most telling. If your initial consultation is rescheduled three times, last minute, and they’re late to the actual meeting, you can get a sense of how the project will be until it’s completed. Of course, there are always exceptions, but if you’re investing a significant amount of money in a web application, you should have high expectations, and the right agency will deliver.
A Well-Defined Timeline
Web application development is no simple task. It often requires a lot of planning, decision-making, and brainstorming from both you, as a customer, and the web development company. It is easy for a project like this to spiral out of control and drag on much longer than it should. The web development agency should establish a firm deadline, with several milestones throughout the project. This way everyone will know ahead of time if the project is falling behind, and what needs to be done to keep things moving forward.
Choosing an Agency
If you’re looking for an agency with experience in building content management systems, it’s important that they have experience with WordPress, Drupal, and Sitefinity development, to start. SMILE media has a team of skilled developers with experience using these systems, and many more. Contact us today to find out how we can help!