10 Questions to Ask Your App or Web Development Partner

July 13, 2016 | Rob LaPointe

Web development is a necessary part of running an online business. Just like brick and mortar business prior to the internet, web development helps keep your company modern, competitive, and making money.

But, just like hiring a contractor to work on your office, there’s always a risk of being taken advantage of; afterall, if you knew how to make your website mobile first, why would you hire us to do it??

However, the good news is that the internet, in addition to being a great enterprise platform, also provides the greatest knowledge resource base ever seen on this planet. With the web, finding our good questions to ask a web developer is as simple as typing that exact phrase!

Let’s get it all out there first: SDI is a web and app development company. We build websites and apps that make money for entrepreneurs, startups, and SMBs. We not only believe that we build some of the best websites and apps out there but we can show it:

• 10,000 clients around the world;

• 1,500+ websites built;

• 2,000+ apps for Android and iOS;

80% of our business comes from returning customers;

• 20+ years of leadership in a business known for volatility.

So obviously, we want to convince you to hire us. But we don’t want your to do it blindly. We want you to feel confident that you will get exactly what you want and need. So let’s go over 10 good interview questions to ask a web or app developer.

1. What’s Does Your Company’s Project Hierarchy Look Like?

A web or app development project often has both a project manager and a technical manager. As a client, you’re going to want to know who is doing what. While you will probably be predominately working with a project manager, it helps to meet the guy in charge of all the technical stuff too.

2. What Happens if My Site or App Gets Hacked?

This is always a concern, but a good web and app development company is obsessed with encryption. While the hope is that you won’t have to worry about hacking – or crashed servers! – but it can happen. It’s good to know what steps your potential web/app development partner has in place to just in case something happens.

3. What Will Your Responsibilities Be?

This is a good question to ask because you don’t want to be blindsided by unforeseen requirements (i.e. server hosting or database maintenance). You want all of that out it in front and discussed by both sides. Ask your developers about both the short-term needs they need from you, as well as the long-term ones. By the way, SDI offers an Annual Maintenance Contract, including routine updates to all knew SDKs and/or programming language changes.

4. Mobile First?

Mobile-first means optimizing your website (or app) for mobile devices, as opposed to desktops or laptops. Whether you like it or not, mobile first is the name of the game. If a developer says no to this, or doesn’t seem to know what you mean, walk away immediately. Mobility is where business is headed and you can’t afford to start behind the ball.

5. Who Owns the Site or Hosting?

No matter what, you should make sure you are the sole owner of the website/app/domain name – all documentation and IP that comes out of the project, really. This is how you protect your idea and property. At SDI, it is a standard part of all our contracts: All documentation, IP, code, domain, and so on are the property of our client and our client alone.

6. What Kind of Industry Research is Performed Prior to Development?

While it may seem that all web/app development is the same, it isn’t. Not only does your developer need to research other online businesses in your industry, but they need to do a complete Competition Analyses to see what are industry best practices – and for correct content and SEO purposes.

7. Can You See Examples of Their Prior Work?

Ask for a portfolio or a group of Case Studies so you can see the developers prior work. Don’t just be satisfied with something that looks pretty. Play around on some of the websites or apps they’ve built. Do you like UX/UI? Does the site or app do what is supposed to do? Are there any errors? And so on. A good developer and designer will spend at least 5 hours researching a new project.

8. WireFrames or Prototypes?

A development and design company needs to make wireframes and/or prototypes prior to serious coding. Wireframes help both you as the client and the developers themselves understand the underlying concept of the project. Does the basic UX/UI make sense? Is the transition from screen to screen (or page to page) logical, clean, and concise? You should insist on this!

9. What Kind of Timelines do They Offer?

Timelines not only help you plan your business around your app and website. It’s important to remember that a lot of this is by the hour kind of work – the longer it takes, the more it will cost. But the other side of that coin is too little on the time investment results in errors and shoddily built websites and apps.

10. What Do They Charge?

The messy question, but probably the most important. The average starting price for a website ranges from $500 to $3,000, and an app $1,000 to 4,000. As with any other service, the low end can result in poor service and/or products and the high end can result in vastly overpaying for quality you could get at much lower cost. Check out SDI’s pricing structure here.

Your Development Partners

SDI is the development team you need on your side. We are an enterprise tech development company; in other words, we specialize in apps, websites and software specifically designed for SMB, Startup and Enterprise growth.

Call (408.805.0495/408.621.8481) today for a free consultation and quote. You can also contact us by email at any time! We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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