Let’s start with the obvious: Website development is a crucial aspect to any entrepreneurial venture. But that’s common knowledge these days. The writing on the wall is clear – the digital world is here to stay and the quickest path to ruin is to ignore the potential a website can provide to your business. But there are other questions out there that aren’t answered as readily: • How do you develop a strong bug-free website? • How do you judge a good website development company? • What are good frameworks for PHP development? Let’s dive a little deeper into each of these questions. How to Develop a Good Website Admittedly, there is a lot out there to teach you how to build a website yourself and DIY (Do-It-Yourself) works great for small, individual projects. If you want to just have a blog where you publish every once a while, this may be an option for you. But if you want the job done right the first time, it’s a better idea to hire web developers. Developing a website in PHP or .NET is more than just lines of code. Good website development can be thought of as a three-approach: 1. Development While code isn’t everything, it is obviously essential. Writing error-free code that results in a responsive website can’t be learned from a few hours in a PHP tutorial. It takes decades of experience. 2. Design If you don’t have an excellently designed website, you are almost definitely losing business. Good design is important to keep users engaged and to convert visitors into customers. Everything from color choices to font type matters – a lot. 3. Digital Marketing This is one of the most convoluted and complex processes in web development today. Figuring out what is attractive to your target market, identifying (and properly using long-tail keywords), and knowing what Social Media platforms are appropriate for your market is not something that accidentally happens. Knowing how to properly leverage the digital tools and techniques out there is a hard-earned skill. While we’ve laid this out as a three-pronged approach, it’s really more like three intertwining paths. Marketing and design go hand in hand and without good code, you don’t have good SEO or a well-performing website. Obviously, as an app and website development company, we have a vested interest in convincing you to hire us. But while we do think we are the best, we want to encourage you to be assured you have the best. So, how do you determine a great website development team, from a not-so-good developer? Let’s find out. What to Ask a PHP Developer • First and foremost, find out a web development company’s approach to mobile websites. If they struggle with explaining that, run away. Responsive Web Design (RWD) is one of the most important tools in any developer’s kit and mobile optimization is exceptionally important in a mobile world. Any developer worth her salt takes it as assumed that RWD will be the underlying aspect to any website. • We’re all entrepreneurs here, so let’s be honest: we all know that money is a vital aspect to the success of any project. It isn’t the only aspect, but it is certainly one of the most important. The trick is in spending money wisely. So one of the first things you should ask a developer is how do they calculate their costs? The two general approaches to web development pricing are per hour or per page. So figure out what works best for you. Do you have a large website planned to require a lot of pages? Per hour may be for you. If you have a website with only a few pages, then clearly the second option is the better path. At SDI, we offer both pricing structures, working with you to figure out with option will work best for your project. • Do they offer the 3 services discussed above (Development, Design, Marketing)? Web development is really an amalgamation of all three and no development company can stand without extensive experience in all three. There are plenty more questions one can ask, but we don’t have the space to cover them all. The above are just the highlights, but feel free to peruse our blog for other pertinent questions. PHP Frameworks This is an oft-covered topic, but it’s one of the most important things to know about proper PHP development. Frameworks are an excellent option for many enterprise frameworks. While they tend not to be as customizable as a framework built from the ground up, a good developer can take easy advantage of these frameworks. Plus, frameworks mean a smaller budget and a shorter concept-to-launch time. • Magento Magento is a great option for eCommerce ventures. It’s extraordinarily robust, highly customizable and has some of the best extensions out there for online retail. • Laravel For large, extremely complicated websites, Laravel is your framework. The darling of PHP developers worldwide, Laravel excels at websites with many pages and interactive elements. Laravel is also a great tool to catch coding errors. While a good developers rarely makes a mistake, we’re all human. But Laravel isn’t. For a complicated site, Laravel is your best tool. • WooCommerce Another great option for eCommerce. While not quite as robust as Magento, it’s considerably cheaper and has a lighter footprint, so it performs well on any quality server. Even better, WooCommerce is owned by WordPress, one of the world’s most popular CMS systems out there. WooCommerce is a simple extension that fits easily into a WordPress site, so if your site is built with this CMS, WooCommerce might be your best option. Your PHP Developers SDI is a web development company with a long history in Silicon Valley. We’ve worked with a wide range of clients, from global companies like PepsiCo to local companies like Stanford University. We know how to build successful websites because we’ve done it before – many times. You can hire our supremely qualified .NET or PHP developers on a dedicated basis, or you can hire us to work on your project from conception to development to marketing. Contact us directly and we will send an NDA right away! Call at 408.621.8481 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started today.