I contacted web developers in the US, Australia and in New Zealand. In the US, they seemed to care only about efficiency. Sure, being efficient is great but not at the cost of flexibility. They had a pre-written up proposal whereby they would show me two drafts of the design, and that's it. If I wanted to change bits and pieces later on, they would charge me a leg. Seriously, you cannot expect not to change a thing in regards to design and layout as the website and different functionalities start to develop.
So off I went to an Australian company, investigating what they could offer. Again, perhaps it was just my luck, they couldn't offer much better. So back to the drawing board. At this point, I decided to go back to good ol' trusty Geekzone for some answers and advice. As always, managed to get some really good information and eventually sign-up with 3Bit.
My advice for anyone looking to develop a website for your business would be:
1) Outsource it if you don't have the web development skills - gives you more time to think about design and functionality. More time to focus on your business than the technical bits and pieces.
2) Shop around. Plenty of web developers out there. Ensure your web developer doesn't talk from the script and can give you honest advice.
3) Design and functionality requirements - it's all very easy to know what colours and functions you want to see - the more important aspect to consider is usability. Is it streamlined? Is the website intuitive to use?
4) Think with different hats on - your business is likely to attract different visitor demographics and various needs. How does your website accommodate for them?
These are the important ones I can currently think of, I am sure there are plenty more great advice you as the reader can offer too - afterall, I am just a newbie in this game.
It's been a long journey from start to finish but in the end, it's important to get it right, rather than to "just have a website up".
Next headache: marketing!
Other related posts:
E-mail Marketing Tool - Mail Chimp
WWW of Browsers
Comment by dazzanz, on 29-Jun-2010 19:43
Who did the design and html?
Comment by ascroft, on 1-Jul-2010 17:28
ah yes - marketing. Thats the hard bit. How to do it regularly, but cost effectively for say 9 -12 months until such time as a site can take on more of a life of its own.
Comment by tchart, on 1-Jul-2010 20:50
I agree that out sourcing is a good idea!
Anyway, as a "doer" of professional IT services what you said is pretty standard. You might think 2 iterations is too few but its that old 80/20 rule. You will never ever get that elusive 20% no matter how many iterations you do.
Doing a undefined number of iterations is how projects burn their budget and eventually fail.
Sure a boiler plate approach is not the best approach but defined deliverables are good for both parties. The customer is not always right especially when they dont know what they want.
If you have clear requirements and acceptance criteria then you are in a position to bargain - and developers love a clear set of requirements!
Just my 2c
Anyway, good luck, the site looks great...