What You Should Demand from a Website Development Effort

header pointingfingerI was talking to a friend who is a lawyer the other day. His client is a general contractor who is being sued by an unhappy home renovation client.  When he went to inspect the work that had been done he found that the work wasn’t poor quality per se, but it was obvious that the contractor failed to offer advice along the way. Examples are a phone jack in the middle of a wall (which used to be next to a cabinet) and cabinets that are just too tall for the available room.

Why, he asked, didn’t the contractor share his professional advice with the client to help achieve the best results? Good question.

This is a great lesson to keep in mind whether you are providing website development services or are a client of such services. Ask questions and seek advice. As a provider I know that clients have declined to take my advice at times, but I always know that I have offered my best suggestions.

As a client, don’t be intimidated by your lack of technical know-how. You know what you want and you should not be afraid to make sure that your needs are met in the development process.

Here are the top 7 things you should get out of any current website development or redesign effort. Your job is to articulate your needs; your developer’s job is to implement them in a technically sound manner.

  1. Processes that replace currently manual processes such as event registration, publishing content across pages, auto publish/unpublish, user accounts, etc.
  2. Access to metrics that give you insight into site effectiveness and usage
  3. Easy ability to add and update all content that needs to be changed regularly – don’t let things be set up in a way that you can’t manage
  4. Robust hosting that can handle your peak loads (don’t cut corners here)
  5. Integrated social sharing
  6. Design that is responsive to all screen sizes and types
  7. Documentation of your site set up and instructions on how to perform basic website update task

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