The web sphere is full of countless articles, that will tell you how to find a good web development firm. Though there is no ultimate formula on the basis of which you can check the authenticity of the company but there are certain factors which can give you an approximate idea about the company's profile and industry exposure.
First, you should Distinguish the web developer from your Designer
Website designing and web developing are two very related but different skill sets. There's a very thin line which separates these two professions. In most of the cases, these two services are offered by same agency or person. It's good to have knowledge of both these terms especially when you are opting for eCommerce Web Development because while building an online store you need to pay special attention to web design.
A web designer is a person who handles the overall design aesthetics or the look and feel of the site. With the help of coding skills of scripting languages like HTML, XML, CSS, PHP etc to create a user-friendly site via a number of tools and platforms.
Whereas, the web developer is the one who has an expertise in one or more scripting languages like PHP, ActionScript, Ruby on Rails, Python etc and is also capable of creating web apps, custom platforms, widgets from the scratch.
To make a clear distinction between the designer and developer, let's dive deeper into this topic.
Since you are planning to come up with an online store then you should probably focus more on the designer than developer. A designer has certain coding skills which enable them to deploy a content management system or shopping cart theme. Your primary area of focus should be to build an appealing & handsome design that helps in creating a superb brand image. It will be good if you pick someone who offers fantastic Web Development Services and utilizes all the resources in an efficient manner. Given below are some factors that you should keep in mind while choosing the service provider:
1. Check References, testimonials and reviews
Before appointing any firm, you should ask for and follow the references, reviews and client testimonials provided by them. This information will help you gain knowledge about the company's work quality, effectiveness, commitment and cooperation with clients. Along with that you should also scan their previous work and cross-check them thoroughly.
2. Research for Customized carts to cater to all your needs
The content management system (CMS) acts as the spine of any eCommerce site or online retail business. This CMS software comes loaded with features like order processing, payment gateways, user-security, data flow, site analytics and various other functionalities that make the portal easy to manage. Look out for a CMS system that offers unique features and meets all your requirements. It will be good if you narrow down the list of developers who specialize in customizing the CMS of your choice. Avoid concerns who promise to have your site up and running in a few hours.
3. Get a statement of work
It will be good if you enter into the contractual agreement with the developer or firm. You can mention all the clauses such as design, codes used, ownership, delivery date etc. Moreover, it should also include the details of your project and the remuneration which you will be providing in return for the services procured from the individual or company. Along with that, you should also state the consequences in case the concerned person is not able to meet your requirements in a particular time frame. If a developer or designer cannot express the project in a statement of work, don't hire them.
4. The experience is as important as Credentials
There are plenty of freelancers available in the web sphere but most of them are self-taught. So look out for someone who at least has 1-2 years of industry exposure and a degree in web design or coding. People with right credentials can offer you quality work. You can also take help of the internet for locating the best service providers.