Reasons for Hiring a Software Developing Company to Build Your Website

The necessity of internet presence for any kind of business cannot be stressed enough as most of the commerce in the current era is happening over the internet only. The importance of the physical stores is slowly fading away as more and more people are relying on the internet for any and every kind of buying and selling. It does not matter what someone wants, be it products or services, they will find it on the net. Be it a certain product like clothing item, jewelry, electronic goods to even grocery items, it is available on the internet and the same goes for services. If you want a maid or a doctor’s advice, a plumber or a beautician’s service, it is again available on the internet. Hence, it is quite comprehensible that for a business to sustain and thrive, it is important to have a business website that will be visible on the internet and will be functional and effective enough to draw the attention of the targeted customers. It does not matter if the business owner has just started in the field or has inherited a century old family business; he or she has to understand that if there is no website for that business then chances are slim of the business surviving in the long run.

People are too busy nowadays to go browsing from one shop to another when they can do the same from the comfort of their home or office on the internet and can buy anything with a variety of payment options available. There are also the options of home delivery and exchange policies which have made shopping on the internet a more quick and efficient way to shop. Hence for every business, it is no doubt that a website is necessary to reach out to more customers and grow in terms of sales and revenue generation. Therefore it is a good decision to invest money on a well designed and developed website which will have a professional look and feel and which will serve the business owners’ purpose. Now it is not the work of a business owner to build a website as it a technical job with many technological intricacies which only the professionals in the field would know about. Hence it is best to hire a software developing company to develop and design the business website as per the owner’s vision and requirements. It is important to keep in mind that the website should be designed in such a way that is both attractive and easy to navigate for the visitors at the same time.

A professionally designed website will no doubt give much more returns on investment, without the business owner having to spend a dime in conventional advertising methods which can be quite costly. When as a business owner you hire a software developing company, you can be certain that the website will be developed within your budget and will be ready within the time frame that you have provided. The experts will listen to the details regarding your business and they will present several design options from which you can choose what will seem to be the most suitable theme and design for you. With a professional software company, you can also expect after sales support which can involve optimization of your website, updating your website and providing other technical supports related to the up gradation and steady maintenance of the website. This way, you can be assured that your website will function smoothly, while you can carry on with more important aspects related to the growth of your business.

Choosing a Web Designer

Here are some tips in finding the right people for the job and some considerations to be taken into account.

1. Introduction

Many businesses look for a web designer as though they were shopping for a general commodity item such as a light bulb – i.e. All websites are equal and paying the 16 year old student on a computer course to build the site will reap exactly the same dividend as paying a specialist web development agency. Other businesses often feel they have to spend thousands upon thousands of pounds on a website for it to be successful.

Let us dispel these myths

Contrary to what many believe, web design is only one component in the production of your website. Some web designers can talk day and night about how pretty your web site can be, but if it isn’t functional, user-friendly, or capable of helping you meet your online goals, then all the superficial beauty in the world isn’t going to help it serve it’s purpose. The design theme of a website is only one component of building a successful online presence.

Choosing a Web Designer is not an easy task! – Here are some tips…

There is so much more to web design than just making a few web pages look pretty if you want to succeed. You need to consider your target audience, underlying message, content, desired responses, visitor impact, online goals, how you are going to measure the success of the site and more. There is so much more to web design than just making a few web pages look pretty

2. Defining Your Requirements

If you have no idea why you want a website or what you want the website to achieve, it is as well to sit down and think it through, rather than rushing to put up a “White elephant” that doesn’t serve a purpose. Every website must serve a purpose, and that’s usually where many websites falls short. They serve no purpose because the website owner never gave much thought to it. It’s not the website’s fault. A website is inanimate. It is only what you make it. The only life a website has is the one given to it by its designer and owner. If the human element doesn’t do a good job of defining the building blocks, the website will serve no purpose and eventually die a digital death. Every website should have a distinct purpose With that in mind, we’d suggest the first stage would be to define the “Goals” of the website in relation to the requirements and aspirations of the business or organisation involved.

Defining the Goal

Every website should have a distinct goal or number of goals that are measurable. A goal can be anything from communicating with friends and associates through to making profits by selling products or services online (e commerce). Your goal in the first instance may even be to have a web presence so potential clients don’t regard your organisation as being backward! Once you have defined a goal (or number of goals), it’s equally important to define:

  • The target audience. i.e. Who you want/expect to visit your website.
  • The actions you want to result from their visit. i.e. Making an online sale, getting them to make an inquiry etc.
  • What benefits you are giving and receiving from having the website.

Defining the Key Functions (The actions)

Once the goals of the website have been established, it’s important to define the actions required by site visitors to meet the goals. An action is any traceable sequence of events carried out by the end user.

Examples might include:

  • Getting in touch – either by phone, email or via an online form.
  • Disseminating Information.
  • Signing up for a newsletter.
  • Completing a questionnaire
  • Commenting on a Blog
  • Downloading or buying products
  • Using an online tool

Of course, there are other intangible benefits that your website might provide to an end user that don’t result in direct “actions”… i.e. simply providing “peace of mind” to an existing or prospective customer would be considered as such. If you haven’t already done so, then it’s also useful to check out the competition, for ideas, likes and dislikes.

Establishing Your Design & Development Preferences

Once you have formulated the goals and functional requirements for the website, it’s time to start building a picture of how you anticipate the site coming together – with regard to structure and design theme. This doesn’t need to be a definitive exercise – Your web designer should be able to add a lot of input and suggestions at a later stage, but it helps to have some ideas to feed into the requirements you approach the designer with in the first instance.

As follows are a few that we feel should be mandatory:

  • The website should adhere to recognised standards. The site should be written to conform and validate to the standards defined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) – this will in turn, mean your site should be cross-browser friendly (i.e. Appear the same across various different types of web browser).
  • The website should be accessible. In web terms, this means that it conforms to the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).
  • The website should be clean, crisp and fast loading.
  • The website should be easy to use and inoffensive (see below).

Our Tip: Easy to use and Inoffensive – The WOW factor

Webbies often get asked to produce a website with the “WOW factor”. The “WOW factor” is a term that means different things to different people. Often, the person or business commissioning the website have grandiose plans for extensive animation, splash screens, cartoons, garish designs… This isn’t the WOW factor – A bold garish design with “off the wall” colour schemes may seem bold and innovative to some people, but may really put off other site users – Find the happy medium.

If a person wants to buy a pair of shoes online then their mission is basically to find the desirable pair of shoes at the right price in the quickest possible time. They don’t visit an e-commerce site to watch an animation of shoes tap dancing across the screen. Leave cartoons and needless animation that add zero value to those experts in their own field. People watch the Simpsons for that type of entertainment. They likely won’t be visiting your website for (or be impressed by) to be “dazzled” by irrelevant attempts to stand out.

Our own interpretation of the “WOW factor” is a site that is very simple to use, clean, crisp, user friendly, fast loading with great content. Basically, the site that delivers it’s underlying message quickly and concisely is the most effective. Google has the WOW Factor and you don’t see slow loading animation on that website. The WOW factor should mean Winning on the Web and nothing else.

Ok, so you’ve mapped out some goals and requirements… time to start looking for the right guys to go ahead and implement the solution for you.

3. Selecting a Web Designer / Developer

Initially, the best place to begin is by putting together a shortlist of designers. You may choose to do this in any number of ways but here are some suggestions that you may wish to factor in:

  • The location of the prospective designer. This may or may not be a factor for you. Some people are happy to work remotely and others prefer some face to face interaction. If the latter is essential to you, then you will need to focus on designers in your local area.
  • The designer’s portfolio. This is usually a key factor in any shortlisting process. You may choose to favour designers who have worked specifically in the sector you are targeting, or you may simply like other unrelated websites they have developed.
  • Independent Word of mouth recommendation. You may have received glowing reports on particular designers and their after-sales service. Don’t overlook this.
  • The size of the company. Generally speaking, the size of the company provides you with little idea to the quality or work they can produce or the services they can provide. Some SMEs prefer to work on a more personal level with smaller providers or freelance designers with larger corporates preferring the opposite.
  • The cost – Most professional web designers tend to produce work on a bespoke basis, tailored uniquely for each client – and the vast majority do not publish prices. (We do). However, an initial discussion should be able to provide you with a “ball park” figure at least based on your requirements outline. Some designers are also able to provide cost-effective “out of the box” solutions at a fixed price.

Tip: Get a fixed price quote rather than an hourly rate. Let’s face it… an hourly or daily rate is meaningless as a measuring stick when your consider it may take one designer twice as long as another to complete the same job.

Web designers will typically showcase previous work on their own websites, but be sure to consider that they are gearing a site’s design and structure to requirements presented by another party that likely won’t match your own. It’s more important that you are confident that they can implement your solution than perhaps reading too much into other design work that you might not necessarily like.

Another consideration you may should take into account is the attitude a designer shows when you first make contact. You can often gauge whether they are genuinely interested in the project and whether they are going to be proactive – and if they can offer a high level of support. Designers not providing a landline phone number or a business address may be harder to contact when you need them the most. Trust your instincts and exercise common sense.

Tip: Don’t base everything on price and make sure you compare “like” with “like”. Also, don’t be afraid to share your budget with the designers during initial discussions and then see what they can deliver within it. Time is often wasted if you are discussing the project over days or weeks and then end up being miles apart on pricing expectations.

The more information you give furnish the designer with, relating to your goals, requirements and design preferences, the better. Also make sure that you discuss timescales and payment schedules (most designers will ask for a deposit upfront and a final balance payment when the project is completed. There may also be interim payment milestones for larger projects). Additionally, enquire about any recurring charges for support, future amends, web hosting, domains etc. Neither party will want hidden surprises.

4. Questions You will be Asked

It’s always better to be prepared when you approach web designers… they will also have their own queries to establish a the requirements, gauge the work involved and furnish you with a quote.

Typical questions you might be asked include the following:

  • What does your company do?
  • What are the Unique Selling Points that your company has to offer?
  • What is the purpose of the website?
  • How do you see the website evolving in the future?
  • Do you have any existing branding? i.e. Logo, colour schemes or other marketing materials?
  • Who are your competitors?
  • Do you require e commerce or an online payment mechanism?
  • Can you provide links to other websites that you like from a design perspective?
  • Can you provide links to other websites that you like from a functionality perspective? (i.e. How they work)
  • What is your budget? Don’t be afraid to disclose a budget figure – it can help a lot.

If you aren’t able to get an immediate quote, request that the designer gets back to you and establish a timescale for this to happen. As you can probably tell, choosing a web designer isn’t necessarily a straightforward process if you are seeking the right fit for your project. The more detailed research and preparation that you carry out, the better.

5. Going ahead

When you make a decision on proceeding with a designer, make sure to get the quote in writing and make sure the it’s clear that the copyright of the website is yours once completed. Ensure all charges (including any future and/or recurring charges) are spelled out to avoid any ambiguity and problems further down the line.

Ideally, once you wish to proceed, your web developer should create a test web address, where you can monitor ongoing development and provide feedback throughout.

Part of a wider strategy

Your website should integrate with and complement your other marketing activities. Promote your site address where you can. Consider putting it on your business cards, stationery, merchandise, delivery vans, carrier bags, customer receipts and on your shop front. Drive people to your website through online adverts, search engine marketing and active offline promotion.

6 Steps to Choose a Software Development Company

Just type Software Development Company prefixed by in the city of your preference (e.g. “Software Development Company Delhi) in Google and you will see millions of results. Browsing every result is impossible – so how do you figure out the right web design company for you?

This article is backed by the views of business councilors and experts and has been done to define the entire process of selecting a Software Development Company in a structured way.

Step 1 Planning and Searching – Sounds basic, but this is the foundation that would shape all your efforts while choosing a right Software Development Company. Before knowing the skills of the Software Development Company you are searching, plan your requirements. To be precise, know:

o The role of your new software
o The intended market or audience of your software
o Your budget

Step 2 Referrals – Referrals work for almost all businesses. It is a vigorous process but does not have to be very extensive. Try to find out those who have been associated with the software development company that you are zeroing upon. Ask your acquaintances, friends, Face book, Orkut and Linked in friends and colleagues for reviews. – make a list.

Step 3 Evaluating – After you have asked your friends of their opinions, you need to evaluate the company profiles you short listed. This requires extensive research. You can divide your evaluation process in four main subheads:

Portfolio – Portfolio is the secret window of knowing a Software Development Company. While every company calls it a magnum opus, the portfolio clears the doubts or firms the trust. Check if the projects in their portfolio have distinct and consistent quality. Has the company provided software to companies in your industry? Also go through the case studies and success stories of the satisfied customers.

Experience – Evaluating the experience of a company does not mean looking for companies with decades of hands-on experience. While experience in number of years matters, evaluating experience also means looking for a company that has extensive experience in diverse business domains and professionals and specialists from variegated backgrounds.

Fees – A Software Development company may offer stupendous and better services than any other, but you need to evaluate the fees structure of both the companies. The WYPIWYG factor applies with every company. So when you pay something, ensure that you are roping in the value-for-money deal.

Technology – When it is concerned with your software, a Software Development Company, Delhi, needs to be technologically competent. Evaluate how frequently they have upgraded their technology, and whether they have delivered projects in the technology who are seeking for your software.

Deadlines – Your business can face serious losses if you are not able to beat the deadlines. Evaluate the company ability to deliver the work in the defined time lines. Many companies would promise shorter delivery time than others but ensure that your software development company decided one fixed date to deliver a full-fledged bug free website.

Step 4 Responsiveness – How promptly does your company responds to your queries. Read their website to know the post-sales support they offer.

Step 5 Request for Proposals (RFP) – By now you would have selected few Software Companies. It’s now time to request them for proposals that would include:

o Overview of your requirements
o Proposed Solution
o Costing of the project
o Time line (preferably in hours)

Step 6 Evaluating Proposals – Evaluate their proposal on the basis of the following:
o Wellness of the proposal
o Company strength and weakness

After implementing the above process, you would be able to compare and select a particular Software Company that can understand your business.

More Benefits and Fewer Risks With Offshore Software Development Company

The software services development and open source development have proved its importance and relevance for businesses worldwide. For meeting their increasing and widespread requirements businesses are becoming more dependent on the software as well as web development services. When businesses today are trying to get liveliness and better functionality, the software development services for offshore outsourcing suppliers may help them in taking their growth for next level as well as get the primacy in the marketplace without more than their budget. Their unique advanced technology, and strange application solutions as well as proven project methodologies assist companies in fulfilling their requirements with the cost effective solutions. Serving different domains like eBusiness, healthcare, telecom, hospitality, media and finance and outsourcing services suppliers have their reputation in realms of the web development.

They search into requirements of the business cautiously and execute the plans that are based on accessible business model for the company. Before predicting the plan, IT infrastructure and business models are checked for loopholes and flaws. Then software development services are planned consequently, which fits into bill however fulfills requirement for clients for years to come. The offshore open source development, software services, and Software Development Company usually depend on routine building software packages that are based on the Open Source Software. It helps them in creating the cost directed web solutions lacking emptying the finance department. The custom software is easy to promote and may simply turn into the future requirements. They are very easy to maintain as well as you just need to pay only one-time charges of installation as well as that is it.

For the custom development of Software application, entire process is separated into different segments that may take time, however engages less risks for bugs, failure, and other trouble. If prototype of the software is not associated by client or requires some radical changes, company must not repeating life-cycle for product again through very beginning. They may go back to segment that wants to be corrected. The only drawback of the Software Development Company is it is classy than committed web development solutions. Additionally, prepackaged application holds the split of installation problems that may be saved through expert adjustments for the integration as well as functioning. On the whole, the development of customized software application is advisable selection of your well-merited business and money.

For custom development of the Software application, the whole process is alienated into dissimilar segments, which can take time nevertheless engages fewer risks for failure, bugs, and other problems. If sample of software is not related with the client nor needs some fundamental changes, the company should not repeat the life-cycle for the product again in the very beginning.

Choosing a Web Designer

Many small business owners struggle with deciding on how to make the right choice for designing their website. They search the web for help with their website and find that the choice is harder than they thought. Currently there are (literally) millions of websites who claim to be professional web designers. However, one must be careful in choosing the right person or people in which to trust their company image. In this article, I will attempt to categorize web designers into manageable groups, and teach the reader the difference between the types.

Web designers fall into four general categories: freelance amateur, freelance professional, Web Design Company, Web Development Firm.

Freelance Amateur

The majority of web designers you will come across, especially searching the Internet, are freelancers. That is, individuals who do web design but are not employed by a web design company. Some are self-employed professionals but most of these freelancers are amateur-hobbyist types. They find a copy of FrontPage™ came with their MS Office™ Suite. They discovered how fun it could be to make web pages so they started telling their friends that they could “design” web pages.

The “pros” of using an amateur is that they are very cheap. The “cons” are too numerous to mention, but I’ll point out a few. They have no training; they have little knowledge of what makes a good website work; they do not understand HTML code or CSS but only FrontPage point and click; they do not understand general design and layout concepts and they have little real experience. The biggest reason they should be avoided for the serious businessperson, is that their work looks amateurish, which makes your company look amateurish. Who wants that?

Freelance Professional

A professional is often defined by simply being paid. People think that if you are paid for something, then you are professional. Maybe that’s true in the Olympics, but for the business services world, you are not a professional until you are established and respected as one by your clients and peers. Freelancer professional web designers are a giant leap from the amateur in that they have established a portfolio of respectable work. They have some sort of qualified training and experience and they have credentials that can be verified by contacting references. They have a good reputation with their clients and other professionals. In general, a good freelance professional web designer can be good person to have doing your site. But they are hard to distinguish from the amateur when you are just searching the web.

The upside is, if you find a good one they are significantly cheaper than a web design company. But that is usually the only upside. If the budget limits you, then a freelancer will do for a small project. But anything seriously important should be left to a professional company.

Some downsides to using a freelance pro are that they are usually part-time, meaning they are limited in how much time they can devote to your project. They are also limited in what they can do for you. Most freelancers are specialists in one area and generalists in everything else. Some have no skills in anything except their one specialty and often you will have to find others to fill roles. In addition, freelancers are not always cheap although many of them are aspiring to create their own company; some are highly sought after and charge $100 per hour or more for their work. My advice here is, if you have that much to spend, go with a company that has a team of professionals to get the job done in a timelier manner.

Web Design Company

This is the next step beyond a freelance professional. The web design company offers the “whole show”. They provide real project management and have pulled together a team of web experts to get a wider range of jobs done. A company can provide a much higher level of expertise in web design, programming, content development and more.

Such a company is usually very small, yet large enough to handle larger scale projects. Compared to the most highly qualified freelancer, a company has a diversity of talent and collaboration working for them. The end-result is usually a much higher quality product.

The only real drawbacks are on the one hand, the web design company is more expensive than a freelancer because there are many more people on the job. However, you get what you pay for rings true. On the other hand, for very large projects or long term development, web design companies may be too small and usually do not have the human recourses to accommodate that $500,000 contract. In the end, for serious business people looking for quality and professionalism and who can’t afford the big firm, this is the way to go.

Web Development Firm

As the title implies, a web development firm is like any traditional company. They have a staff of office workers, they have owners and officers, and they have a team of talented professionals who are paid a good salary for their work. They often have a sales force that do inside and outside sales. The quality of their work goes without saying, as you could not be so well-established by doing shoddy work. These firms offer teams of very talented professionals who work on your project and get the job done in a timely and extremely efficient manner. Additionally, they usually cover all aspects of website development including marketing and advertising. They may have teams of specialists that they can deploy to your location and work in-house under a temporary contract. The possibilities are endless.

If price is not an issue and the highest quality work is necessary, then this is who you want to do the job. For smaller budget businesses, a quote from an established web development firm might knock you off your chair, but know that companies who have project requirements that reach hundreds of thousands of dollars know the score. Thus, the only real drawback for a web development firm is that they are usually very expensive. Then again, cost is relative and bigger companies like to work with bigger companies.

In summary, the choice is yours. I would recommend for the serious businessperson, that you budget a decent amount of dollars to properly design and execute a professional website. I would avoid the amateur and outsource to an individual or company with good experience and reasonable rates to create my web presence. If money were no object, then I would only deal with established firms and pay the big bucks to get the job done right and done well.