Reasons You Might Need a Software Development Company

Software development was once thought to be the privy of the very rich business person. However, with the evolvement of high tech companies and the onslaught of competition (thanks to the Internet), small business can afford software development just as much as larger companies. While this process is not going to be as cheap as purchasing already developed software, it is much a much more affordable option than you might imagine for your business, and you will be doing something great for your business as well.

There are many reasons that a business might choose a software development company to develop new software for them. The primary reason for many businesses is that they cannot find a software program that is right for their business. In some cases they can contact a company that offers a software program that is close to what they need and see if they can get some adjustments made’ however, most must turn to having proprietary software developed for their own company.

Another reason that a company might turn to a software development company is if they develop a new idea for their company that requires a specific type of software to execute the plan. This is a process that can take some time, so don’t expect to call a software company and have them give you new software in a day or two. Depending on how complex your idea is and what kind of code they have to write for the software, it can take weeks, months or even a year to develop new software for use. This is something to keep in mind when seeking the help of a software company and you should ask for a time frame and have that included in a contract when you select a company.

Whether you have a need for a modified software program or you want something new developed for you, you will need the services of a software development company. There are many companies to choose from, so ensure that you choose a company with experience and that are up front with their pricing so that you don’t have any surprises later on.

Get Noticed on the WWW With the Right Web Development

Often we come across creatively designed and executed websites. For these the credit goes to the web development team who has spent hours, days and even months to create that particular website. This development phase includes script writing, coding, content development, client side and server scripting, network security application and configuration and also e-commerce if the website is focused on online business. Web development for the developing team usually refers to the non-design aspects which are mainly coding.

For a creative outlook of web development different designs and applications can be inserted into the development phase. A traditional website is static and includes either a single or a few pages which are plain text accompanied by photos or pictures to accentuate the visual appeal and look. Web development also ranges to the complicated configuration like e-business, social networks or applications of games etc.

A lot of clients prefer interactive websites with different animations and flash applications. These applications and websites may look really pretty but they tend to have a longer loading time which can lead to loss of visitors. Other plug-ins and scripting can also be used in web development such as JavaScript, HTML or Microsoft Silver light.

Web development in large organizations or complex business may require several developers to achieve the complete task. However in small organizations even a single developer is enough to do the job. Since the technology has made lives of the consumers easier, many designers have developed free web templates that can be used to create a static website. Countless online businesses also sell premium priced flash templates or even static web templates which look extremely professional, beautiful and are quite easy to implement.

Across the world the industry of web design has evolved drastically. There are many companies globally who provide web development along with an end-to-end service which includes design selection and consistent maintenance of the websites after launch as well. The price range of the web design varies from one client to another.

As the entire process and pricing is analyzed after identifying what the client requires. Sometimes the coding may be simple but if the client chooses a high end design then the price is charged accordingly. Traditionally static websites are less expensive and can be quickly and easily implemented. However these websites may include photos or images for which copyrights can be purchased.

web design is the need for every business in today’s economy. Since the world has moved towards internet and technology almost all users prefer to search for things online and prefer companies which have a website. This makes it easier for them to read all the information they want rather than calling the help desk and waiting in a long hold queue only to be answered inconclusively. The web development team usually has various skills which include the basic graphic design and scripting along with search engine optimization. However these developers are not limited to the basic skills they can be proficient into the advance technology such as GUI, Animation, Flash, application development, security tools analysis and testing etc. Clients can also do a basic research on web design before finding out what they need so that it’s easier.

A New Online Venture and Complete Web Development

Every company that is planning to do business online has already come to the conclusion that a website is needed, and that website has to do more than just occupy a URL. It has to be the company’s 24 hr a day sales representative, ready to do business and to close the sale.

But getting a website that delivers the results and function in the manor you imagine takes more than a vision, it takes a solid web programming and design skills. Here are some of the services your website may require that a professional web development company can deliver:

Graphic Design, SEO/SEM (online marketing), Custom Software Development, E-Commerce Solutions, Intranet / Extranet Applications, Content Management Systems, Web Portals, Lead Generation Systems, Microsites, Flash Development, Identity Branding and Website Hosting.

So does your company need to partner with a professional web development company? The real question is; why would you consider doing business online without the help and mentoring a professional website company provides?

If you are planning a new website or thinking about re-launching an old one; you can not make a better decision than to hire a website programming company to partner with to complete your project and reach your online goals.

Whether it’s basic design concepts or the intricacies of search engine optimization, a professional web development company can lead you through the process, from beginning planning phases to the launch of the site and beyond. Working with a website company will ensure that every part of your online projects is considered and planned, and operating to get the desired results.

You’re an expert at your business. That’s why you’re ready to take the next step and to start doing business online to customers located all over the world. A professional web development company is the expert at their business. And they know how to turn your online business goals into goals achieved.

Web Development Lifecycle (WDL)

The web development lifecycle (WDL) is a more specific variation on the general framework for developing any application development project. Unlike general application development, all web design and development projects follow a similar structure, so the web development lifecycle / process can be drawn upon as a point of reference for both the web development team and the client to determine the status of any given project and the area of activity to address next.

The Web Development Lifecycle is made up of eight identifiable stages described as follows:

1. Initial Consultation

The Initial Consultation seeks to understand the high level business requirements, the scale of the web development, required delivery schedule, and the overall feasibility, web design and cost of the project.

2. Project Specification

The business requirements of the proposed website are iteratively established between the Client and the web design team, and documented in the form of a High Level Requirements Specification. Focus here is on the relevant business rules and outputs. Implementation of the system, how the requirements are actually delivered, is reserved for later. Once agreed, this document will form the basis of the subsequent stages of the Web Development Lifecycle.

3. Web Site Architecture

Here the software and hardware requirements for delivery of the web application are established, such as the most appropriate web and application development language, operating system, database management system (DBMS), and hardware / hosting environment that are most appropriate to support the final website in a robust and reliable manner; taking account of the likely growth of data volumes, visitor numbers web traffic, and functionality.

4. Web Site Design Cycle

Deliverables out of this phase have a particular focus on the web design of the system, include mock-ups or prototypes of the screens that make up the system, combined with system walkthroughs which will enable both the Client and the software developers, designers and project management team to clearly understand how the website will work from the user and administrators perspective. The design of the CRM would also be full considered here also. This web application functionality is considered in the context of the defined outputs and business rules, and may result in the High Level Requirement Specification being updated or changed. Following this, a key deliverable here is a Low Level Website Design Specification / Document precisely defining the required implementation of the web design and forming a blue print of the project for the software developers.

5. Content Collation

Any required textual and graphical content for the web application is developed or acquired by the Client (or the software development company, depending on the relevant situation). Admin functionality which enables the Client to amend the full content of the site from system launch, and on an ongoing basis, is assumed to have been included and defined within the High Level Requirements Specification, as mentioned.

6. Web Site Project development

At this stage a detailed project plan will have been established for the implementation of the web design, resources identified, time scales defined, and project dependencies clearly understood – especially with respect to which parts of the web development can be done in serial or parallel. This stage actually overlaps with the next stage of the Web Development Lifecycle since all web developed modules are unit tested to destruction by the corresponding web development team members. Further, it is very important that all code produced by the software developers is quality checked to ensure adherence to project development standards.

7. Testing & Quality Assurance

Many forms of testing are carried out during this phase, from system and volume testing – in order to ensure that all components work together within the web application and can easily cope with both the initial and anticipated future demands on the system – all the way to User Acceptance Testing (UAT) and sign-off. There are many forms of testing required during this phase that are beyond the scope of this introduction, such as cross-browser and security testing – all contributing towards the delivery of a high-quality website and service to the client.

8. Web Site Deployment (Launch)

Once the website implementation is tested and released by both the client and software development company as being fully operational, the website is deployed to the production environment and open to the relevant user base. Following this there is generally a pre-agreed period of warranty and an ongoing support agreement can be established at the discretion of the client.

The process can vary but, generally speaking, the dependencies and features of a successful process of delivering webs applications to the client does not. I hope this has been a useful introduction to the process of delivering quality web applications to any business.

How to Determine Who to Hire To Be Your Next Ideal Web Developer

Critical Benefits and Drawbacks You Need to Know About Different Web Developer Types

I get asked to do website estimates a lot and sometimes it’s downright heartbreaking to hear about the struggles and challenges entrepreneurs and business owners face when trying to find the right web developer.

Too many times I hear about people who feel they were ripped off by their previous webmaster and are very reluctant to hire someone new for fear of the same thing happening again.

Some of these people decided they better do all the work themselves, struggled terribly trying to literally learn a whole new profession. They end up calling me out of sheer frustration that nothing is working and things are worse off than before.

One time I was having a conversation with someone on a completely unrelated topic and he asked me what I did, when I responded he blurted out, “I hate web developers.”

I cringed.

I’m sure this happens in every industry where there are people who are really great at what they do, some who do enough to get by, and some who only THINK they know what they’re doing!

The web development industry is no different.

If you are unhappy with your current web developer or are in the process of finding someone that you can trust and depend on to fulfill your web development needs, this article will provide some valuable tips that will help you find the perfect complement to your team.

The first thing to get clear on is exactly what kind of help you need.

When hiring a web developer, first get clear on what kind of help you need:

There are many different types of “web developers” out there and making the wrong choice can be very costly. So be sure you understand “who” you are hiring first and then your selection process will be much easier from there.

Here are four common types of web developers:

The WordPress VA (Virtual Assistant)

This person has figured out WordPress pretty well. They know how to install a WordPress theme (either free or purchased) and can make some modifications to that theme to help match your brand colours. They will have a good understanding of what plugins are available to match your needs as well.

Benefits: Usually hiring someone for this work charges less per hour than a fully qualified web developer. Putting together small-sized sites are their specialty.

Drawbacks: Often WordPress is all that they know and rarely do they know HTML or CSS to customize your website for any extra bells and whistles that you want to have.

Often purchased themes are so rigid that even moving an element from one part of the page to another is impossible to do with this type of limited knowledge.

When to hire them: You would want to hire a WordPress VA when you are not interested in a fully branded/customized website. You realize that any customization options are limited and you basically get what the theme preview shows aside from some colour, text and image changes.

You would also want to make this choice if you are already well versed in marketing strategy, copywriting, and branding and can simply tell your VA what needs to be done. Anticipate them having limited knowledge in some or all of these areas.

The Programmer

This person is what I lovingly call a “techno geek”. We have a few of these people on our team and we would not be able to be as successful as we are without them!

The Benefits: They know programming inside and out. They live, eat and sleep programming.

The Drawbacks: They can most definitely build you a fully functional website, no problem. But don’t expect it to look pretty! Branding, copywriting, design layout and marketing are rarely found in their list of skillsets.

You will probably need to hire someone else to help with those areas if you are not fully versed in them yourself.

When To Hire Them: You would want to hire a developer of this caliber if you have a complex website in mind that needs to be customized to fit your needs. Whether it’s an eCommerce engine, membership site or a database-driven tool, a fully trained and experienced programmer is your best bet.

The “All Round” developer

This again is a single person who has built enough websites to have a pretty good understanding of the bigger picture. They are what is called “a Generalist” where they have enough skills to be able to design and develop a decent website.

The Benefits: Having one person have knowledge in the different areas needed for web development is a big plus.

Usually this person has enough programming acumen to be able to handle most customizations and challenges that come up and will not need a plugin for every functionality (which will bog down your site’s performance).

They also are knowledgeable enough about branding and visual design that your site visitors will enjoy the experience of being there.

The Drawbacks: Even though they may appear to know a lot about web development, it’s impossible for one person to be really good at everything. It’s rare to find a really good designer also be a good developer (they do exist but they are a rare breed.) So you will still need to be, or have someone else on your team who is, well versed in online marketing and copywriting to help offset any weaknesses the person you hire has.

When To Hire Them: If you are lucky enough to find someone who has these skillsets AND is dependable, then you will have a great asset on your team. You will need to be aware of what their limitations are so that you can offset those areas with other people on your team.

The Web Development Agency

There several different types of web development agencies and for the sake of this article, I’ll focus on the kind that we are, a boutique web development and digital marketing agency. (If you’re looking for a big name agency that only multi-billion dollar corporations use, you wouldn’t have read this article to this point anyway!)

The Benefits: A boutique web development agency is not a one-man show. They are a team of professionals who can offer, as a collective group, all of the different areas of expertise that your business needs from a marketing perspective.

These areas generally include:

Brand Identity Design

Website Design and Layout

Copywriting

Online Marketing / Lead Generation

Video/Audio Editing

SEO

(Note some agencies only have 2 or 3 people on their team so be sure to ask questions to find out what everyone’s expertise is and if any skillset is lacking that you require.)

The other big benefit to using a web development agency is that they are very knowledgeable in your brand, your positioning and the message that you want convey to your ideal clients.

With every request you give them, they will already know what is needed and can discuss options with you to create something for you that is a perfect fit for your needs.

This avoids you from having to know what is needed yourself and also have to ensure other people on your team remain consistent with your brand message and design so you can focus more on what you do best.

The Drawbacks: Depending on who you find, the price point might be outside of your budget. Do your research: ask for and talk to referrals to help you decide if they will deliver what they promise. If they have a good reputation for being on time and on budget, then the extra costs will balance out in the long run.

When to hire them: Hiring a boutique web development agency can be one of the best things you can do as a new business. Doing this will assure that your new venture will get going on the right foot right off the bat. You will save a lot of time and money in the long run if you make this initial business investment.

If you already have an existing business and website but area ready to step up to the next level, this is the time to bring in an agency that can help you with not only the “doing” but also the strategizing to ensure you get to where you want to be without wasting a lot of time, money and energy.

You will also want to look for an agency when you want someone on your team for ongoing, consistent support. After your website is built, you will want someone you can contact at any time for website updates, creating new campaigns, doing SEO work etc.

My final piece of advice is to be sure you do your research on who you approach. You want to find someone with experience and skill who will partner with you to help you build your business.

Unless this is what you’re looking for, you want to avoid programmers and developers who only do exactly what you tell them. Having someone who can offer ideas and suggestions and be a part of your team to be a valuable resource when needed may be more ideal for you.

References are very important in this industry: Always ask to talk to their clients to see what their experience was working with the developer.

Be aware of those that claim to be developers when in reality, all they learned was how to use a “do it yourself” software like WIX or Weebly.

The quality of your website – both in design and in how it is coded – is very important on many levels. Ensure the person you hire understands how to design and build a quality product for you. Otherwise, you will most likely be faced with going through the whole process again in a short period of time once you realize your site is doing you more harm than good by turning off your potential clients instead of attracting them!