How to Find Customers For Your Web Development Company

There are a lot of companies around the world who have the expertise to create very impressive pieces of online software. Whether you write your code in ASP, PHP, Perl or some other language then you will have something that website owners will value. The challenge is how to find customers when your average site owner doesn’t know PHP from a BLT.

In 1999 I set up a web development firm and it has gone from strength to strength. In this article I will share the most valuable piece of advice that I can offer and explain how we attract customers and have continued to grow over the past 8 years.
A premise of my advice is that advertising to get customers is expensive and time consuming and often dealing with those looking to create their first website is time consuming and frustrating if their ideas are wildly different from what you know will be successful. The story below avoids any of these problems.

I started off by writing a small series of PHP scripts and advertised these within the ‘geek’ community. These included a relatively simple whois script that allows users to type in a Domain Name and check its availability. This shortly expanded to include a shopping cart and ordering system. I advertised this on Hot Scripts, the PHP Resource Index and a few other basic websites where technical people and design firms look.

Over the first year I offered this whois script for free. Several hundred companies downloaded the program and I made sure I responded to any support enquiries very quickly and politely. As the program improved I started charging around £50 ($100) per download and the script went from strength to strength. To date I have sold several thousand copies – a good return from an initial investment of perhaps a weeks work and free listings on Hot Scripts and a few other sites.

What this model achieves is that companies who are looking for a whois script but don’t have the technical skill to write one themselves find your offering, they then contact you with support requests and are impressed with your level of support. A large proportion of the companies that contacted me were design firms. In the future if this design company received an enquiry from a potential customer who required something that needed bespoke programming then they immediately thought of my company. They then sent the customer’s brief to me for a quotation, I replied with a friendly email and a reasonable price and the job was secured and quickly delivered.

Every day I sold a copy of the who is script and every week I was creating new relationships with design firms around the world. These design companies spend their time dealing with customers, advertising for new work and dealing with the stress of finding new leads and I sat back and replied to emails with quotations and did programming work.

This business model may not work for everybody but I would certainly recommend giving it a try – develop something that design firms may download and then provide them with a good service, the better you can do this the more chance they have of remembering you and rewarding you with more profitable work in the future.

Best Website Design Companies – Web Developer Exposes the Myths About Website Design Companies

It’s All Lies

How can you find the best website design companies? It’s not easy. Every client that has put out an RFP for a website can relate to the feeling that they are being lied to, perhaps deliberately mislead, or just that internet experts are one step removed from cure-all charlatans.

After countless hours reading or hearing website design companies talk about their “proven solutions,” “one-stop shop” capabilities, and case studies, you’ll often be more confused about the right direction than when you started.

Can’t they just talk to you in plain English?

Giants of Chaos

Clearly the best website design companies are online, right? Yet often researching it online doesn’t seem to help much. The Internet is a strange conglomeration of every form of organization known to man seeking to define the way information is exchanged for their benefit. From media mega-conglomerates, to Google, Apple and Microsoft, the giants of industry have a lot at stake in what appear to be inconsequential and arcane issues.

Anyone hanging out on Google News saw Apple’s spat with Adobe over Flash, and Facebook’s fight with the government over privacy.

Down in the trenches of the digital universe is the intrepid web developer – seeking to make the world a better place by shepherding you, Indiana Jones style, through the chaos to your own personal treasure trove of more sales and happier customers online.

Only this one is completely self-taught, and his biggest problem is that whatever he did yesterday needs a little update today, because the entire Internet got one little tweak that changed everything… again.

Websites aren’t Products

I love hearing businesses talk about how they need to “Get a new website.” It’s almost like listening to my sisters talk about shoes, or my brothers about video games.

We’ve come to see our websites as consumer products, needing a fashion update ever couple years.

Sadly the reality is much worse. The web is a living breathing entity that changes every day.

Most business websites, developed by your friendly neighborhood web provider, look nice on your computer when you signed the check, but are broken for 30% or more of your viewers who don’t happen to use Internet Explorer on Windows Vista. By the way, that percentage grows every month.

And while you’re at it, factor in that in about two short years, more people will be surfing the web on a phone then on a computer, and all the cool colorful whizbang you have on your site (or your entire site if it’s in flash) can’t even be seen.

Then go one step further. Google used to be about searching information that was posted on the web, you know, back when people posted articles on a topic and four years later you could still find them. Now, Google has updated their search system with Caffeine (yes, it’s literally called that), and now whatever is being tweeted about and shared on Facebook shows up. Whatever isn’t shared, doesn’t register.

Top that all off with the fact that every year having an up-to-date website that meets customers expectations grows in importance for a business’s survival, and it’s no wonder that even little non-profits are flocking to seminars trying to understand what Twitter can do to save puppies.

Power to the People I’ve worked as a web developer for over a decade, working as everything from a Senior Technology Consultant to the Fortune 500 to freelance digital wingman for the local general contractor. I have an obsession with business growth through technology.

Everyone in this business likes to say they have the edge, obviously, but often they only have one piece of the puzzle. Once you understand the puzzle that is the web, you’ll know the dirty little secret of our industry and more importantly, how to make sure it doesn’t bite your business you know where. Knowing these secrets will help you find the absolute best website design companies.

Design, Development, Communication

There are three types of creatures needed to create a website:

1. Designer: someone who knows how to make things look pretty, or at least how to prevent it from looking like a used-car lot.

2. Development: research has shown that if someone comes to your site and it doesn’t work, they will never return. Hopefully, this guy isn’t just making your site do something cool, but also making sure it actually keeps on doing.

3. Communication: PR and Marketing are still battling it out to determine who should decide what is communicated on the web, but suffice it to say, they both probably have more people skills than your designer and developer combined.

Without a clear, simple idea, translated into a visual image, with some buttons for your customers to push, you don’t have a website that can do its job. None of the above three creatures, by the way, understand each other.

Then add the rowdy cowboys to this triumvirate:

– Internet Marketing consultants: people who can either show they’ve increased someone’s sales online by at least 20% or they are just quoting Wikipedia to you and have no idea what they are talking about.

– Social Media consultants: see above.

These two represent the two things that give a website any reason to exist: search engines, and search through word of mouth – also known as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.

Now ask yourself, have you ever met a company that can show they are good at all the above?

No, You Can’t

That’s because making really good websites doesn’t make money for web design companies. Making what people ask for online is what makes web designers and developers money. PR and Marketing companies both know that as long as their customers aren’t losing money, and their competitors don’t offer lower prices, they’ll probably keep their jobs. The Internet Marketers and Social Media experts have to prove themselves every day, but what they do can be learned, taught to an intern, and then… “goodbye consultant.”

Hiring Web Developers for Your Dental Website Design

The Internet helped businesses reach clients more effectively. It also became a source of information, providing consumers what they need. As such, promoting your dental practice online can be helpful. Designing a website and incorporating different Internet marketing strategies can help attract potential clients. It is important, though, to hire a professional dental website design company for this task.

Why do you need professional web designers?

You dental website needs to have a professional, organized, and lively image to be effective. Creating your own website requires a lot of time, patience, and commitment. Simple designs can take weeks or even months to finish. As such, hire professional web designers, as they can efficiently design your site and provide the results you want. Some web design companies might even offer dental marketing strategies to increase your site rankings.

What to do when hiring web designers

Identify your needs. Choose designs that are simple, yet unique. Determine the purpose of your website: Do you plan to gather feedback from visitors? Are you going to sell dental products? Do you plan to use the site as a communication tool? Know your audience to identify your website’s focus. Determine the number of pages you need for your dentistry website-three pages may suffice if you only plan to provide basic information about your practice. Design a logo to make your website unique.

Choose a reliable web design company. Check their reputation before hiring. Look at some websites they designed in the past. Look at websites similar to your practice. Ask former clients for feedback. Get the services of a web design firm with a record of accomplishment in both designs and practice. Find out how long they have been in business. Know if the designers have experience in handling latest Internet tools and techniques such as flash, videos, animation, and so on.

Some developers focus on providing content and information for visitors, while others concentrate on aesthetic and technical matters. Ask if they can provide specifics regarding the website including number of pages, templates, and technical solutions. The developers must understand what you want your website to look like. Get their feedback when you discuss the website’s layout.

Ask the designers to provide a reasonable timeline for completing the website. Setting the project’s duration can help you plan other things accordingly. Web developers must also be responsible for keeping the project on schedule and within your budget. They should also provide updates and changes as they create your site.

Discuss their rates. Find out if their costs include Web hosting, registering a domain name, and updating the site. Compare costs between Web design firms. While high priced developers can deliver your needs, some designers provide services for affordable costs.

Additional tips

Make sure the Web developers will provide a contract that states their responsibilities, schedules, and payment methods. Plan the maintenance to keep your website fresh and updated. Use flash intros and heavy graphics sparingly. Include a patient information form. Use different dental marketing methods to create an online presence.