What is a web development company?
It is a company that develops and codes websites for Internet, intranet (the local network), web applications and web software. Web development company provides such services as web engineering, client-side/server-side scripting, web design, web architecture development, web content development, client liaison and network security configuration.
Usually web development refers to non-design aspects of constructing a website, such as writing a markup and its further programming of functionality. The end products such companies provide may range from simple text pages to comprehensive web-based applications, social network applications, e-commerce websites and online stores, etc.
How does a web development company work?
Typically the web development process consists of such stages:
- Goal Identification. Identifying client’s needs and website goal help in providing perfect web solution he is looking for. Frequently the goal identifies in collaboration of development team with the client and stakeholders. At this stage is helpful to use such tools as: creative brief, target audience determination and competitor analysis.
- Scope of work definition. For successful planning you should define deliverables, sprints with projected timeframes and required resources, Gantt chart which will help in further project management.
- Sitemap and wireframe creation. In fact, a sitemap is an organized website structure which shows how all the pages will be connected together accordingly to the hierarchy and its importance. While wireframe is a framework where is collected website’s visual design and content elements.
- Content creation. Content engages website visitor to take an action on the website. If the content written correctly, it will also boost the website visibility through the search engines (SEO).
- Development. It is a stage where designs and content approved by the client are transformed into the working website model. Usually this stage is divided into two parts: front-end development (the process of converting data into graphic interface which is seen by the website visitors) and backend development (which is responsible for website functionality).
- Beta testing. The team of QA engineers performs tests in order to detect bugs and other contradictions.The most effective are: compatibility, functionality, usability and performance tests.
- Deployment. Once the QA team gives final approval it is time to deploy the website to the server using FTP (File Transfer Protocol).
- Maintenance. This stage includes few post-deployment tasks as providing clients with the source code and project documentation. It also includes post-deployment support and possible changes according to the user’s feedback.
What services do web developers offer?
To develop high-quality website or web app the team would provide you with such services:
Back-end development is responsible for the “server-side” which focused on how the website works, mainly on its responsiveness and speed. Back-end developers should obtain expertise in such programming languages as Java, PHP, C++, C#, Python, Ruby, .NET and SQL.
UI/UX design which are responsible for user interface and user experience design. UI and UX designer should have knowledge in Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign programs and at the lesser extent HTML/CSS in order to understand the limitations of what is allowable and what is implementable.
QA testing is a process of executing a website or web app in order to find out errors and defects. QA engineers should obtain expertise in white-box testing (API-testing, code coverage, fault injection), black-box (boundary value analysis, model-based testing, exploratory testing) grey-box testing (reverse engineering, integration testing).
Additionally web development companies may provide such services as:
Mobile development. The construction of mobile equivalent responsive websites for Android, iOS.
E-commerce solutions. The development of scalable website for business using such technologies as Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce.
Digital marketing services. It could be also available such services as digital marketing strategy creation, SEO optimization, PPC management, conversion rate optimization and content marketing writing.
How much does it cost to develop a website?
The thing is that you can rarely find a company which will set a fixed price for the website or web app development. The price usually depends on such factors as: hourly rates, level of complexity, required features, general goal, urgency and others.
Website development average cost rate:
- Informational website or website for small business (5-20 pages) - $ 2,000 - 10,000
- Corporate website (21-75 pages) - $ 10,000 - 35,000
- E-commerce website (100-1,000 products) - $ 5,000 - 55,000
- Database driven website (20-2,000 pages) - $ 5,000 - 75,000
Web application development average cost rate:
- Small Web app - $ 3,000 - 8,000
- Middle-size web app - $ 9,000 - 16,000
- Complex web app - $ 16,000+
Commonly website development includes such steps:
- Domain name. The company needs a unique address of the website in order users can find and access it. Price: $ 5 - 15/year.
- Website hosting. It is a service that makes the website accessible 24 hours per day and 7 days per week. Price: $ 40 - 200/year.
- SSL Certificate. A tool for website security. Price: $ 70 - 300/year
- Website design. Creation of specific design according to company’s business needs. Price: $ 2,000 - 15,000.
- Responsible web design. Front-end development approach that enables appropriate website visualization on various devices and screen sizes. Price: $ 3,000 - 25,000.
- Website functionality. One of the core stages when the static page transforms into dynamic page. Price: $ 2,000 - 25,000 but depending on the website complexity the price can be significantly higher.
- Added multimedia. Adding interactive content such as images, video-, audio- and animated elements. Price: $ 250 - 10,000.
- Integration of Content Management System (CMS). That is quite an useful feature which helps to manage digital content creation and modification on the website. Price: $ 2,000 - 25,000.
- Database integration. In case if the company has internal or third-party database and there is a need to integrate it on the website. Price: $ 5,000 - 25,000.
Some web development companies set a fixed price for the whole project but more often companies charge an hourly price for web development. Here are hourly cost rates for web development company specialists in different countries:
How long does it take to build a website?
For successful website deployment it is quite important to establish and follow project timeline. A typical website project timeline should include the most significant milestones that represent crucial stages of website development:
- Planning stage lasts for 2-10 weeks.
- Design stage lasts for 4-12 weeks.
- Content creation lasts for 5-15 weeks.
- Development stage lasts for 5-15 weeks.
- Beta testing lasts for 2-6 weeks.
- Deployment stage lasts for 1-3 days.
As we can count, the simple website requires approximately 18 weeks for development and complex website requires a year (58 weeks) and more.
The time required to build a web app will depend on its complexity:
- the simple web app will take 2-3 months to develop. For example, information-based app with database back-end.
- the middle complexity web app will take 3-6 months to develop. For example, apps with logins, social media functions, in-app purchases, back-end admin panel.
- the complex web app will take 6+ months. For example, apps with unique functionality, dedicated analytics, visualization patterns, trading options.
How industries can benefit from web development?
In modern digital era, companies from various industries are trying to make their brand presence worldwide. People and companies are on the Internet for the information so it became almost obligatory for small, middle or large companies to have their own website where they can share the latest news and information with the customers. Furthermore, company owners consider mobile app as a “must-have” technology to demonstrate their products or services as the customers use mobile app more often than traditional computers. So here are examples of industries that benefited from web development:
Real Estate. The main purpose of real estate clients is to buy or rent a property. It was developed a plenty of web apps which provide its users with necessary information: Redfin, LoopNet, Realtor.com, Trulia, HomeSnap. The best known is Zillow, which provides the opportunity to search among 100 million+ of property listings, compare prices, connect with agents, get information about mortgage and receive property alerts.
Healthcare apps offer monitoring and conducting of care plans, enable intensified patient control, give access to therapeutic information and improve the overall quality of medical services. Effective healthcare apps are: Help Around, TalkSpace, CarePassport, Insight Optics, Fitocracy. One of the most remarkable is HealthTap that offers the possibility to ask a question and receive free, brief, educational answer from one of 140,000 doctors, see a doctor promptly by real-time video or get a treatment plan.
Banking and Finance. The common features of these apps are simplified account management, opportunity of the bill and person-to-person payments, budgeting tools and access to your balance on demand. For example, using the Ally Bank app clients can transfer money, trade stocks and track investment performance. Besides that it provides the opportunity of secure login by using a client’s fingerprint.
Food and Beverages. In this category are food & beverages delivery apps (such as Zitaat, UberEats), cooking apps (Big Oven, Chef Taps), and restaurant apps (Opentable, Tripadvisor). For example, BigOven.com besides traditional recipe library (that includes more than 250,000 recipes) has such useful functions as Planner where you can set up a schedule for your daily/weekly/monthly meals in advance, Grocery list, Organizer where you can collect all favorite recipes and Recipe Video Player.
Entertainment. This industry significantly benefited by revealed opportunity for new revenue streams of developing apps for online gaming, movie watching and listening the music. Top entertainment apps are: Netflix, Flixster, Fandango, MoboPlayer, Redbox. One of the well-known entertainment web apps is Deezer that possesses such feature as Hi-Fi streaming option with 16-bit FLAC quality and also offers the possibility to create personal playlists, listen live radio stations and share songs in social networks.
Retail. Since the quantity of products unceasingly growing and business requires to work 24/7 retailers create a wide variety of interactive and engaging product catalogue applications. For example, Pepperi provides sales teams with the opportunity to sell through the e-catalogues that results in reduction of order-to-cash cycle and prevents costly mistakes. Other examples are: Brightpearl, Vend, Highline.
What are web development trends in 2019?
Progressive Web App is a web application that loads as an ordinary web page or website which is built with progressive enhancement and has the high level of functionality such as push notifications and possibility to work offline. PWA gathers the best from the website and native app so that users don’t need to install an app on their smartphones. PWA can work instantly regardless of the network state, the users are always provided with the latest version and the content is available even with the poor Internet connection.
Motion UI is still one of the main trends of this year, thanks to its remarkable animations and dynamic graphics. According to the great demand for entertaining web design it helps to display company’s unique style and gives the opportunity to interact with users. Minimalistic design combined with such interactive elements as background animations and modular scrolling looks great and attracts user’s attention.
Cybersecurity is a computer systems protection from theft, service disruption, misdirection and damage of hardware, software or electronic data. That is quite important issue to consider due to the growing reliance on the Internet, wireless networks and computer systems. Approaches that commonly used are: security by design, security architecture, vulnerability management, capabilities and access control list and others.
Blockchain is a growing list of blocks (or records) which are linked together using cryptography. Each block includes transaction data, a cryptographic hash from the previous block and a timestamp. Blockchain finds its implementation in decentralized apps (or simply dapps). The specific feature of dapps is server-database logic storage in blockchain consequently such apps have strong protection and none outside person can take control of it.
Voice search optimization. Voice search technology becomes more and more popular, people choose to speak to a virtual assistant rather than to type. As the voice search starts to grow smart marketers make changes in already existed web content in order to make it more suitable for voice search results.
How to choose a partner web development company?
Here are a few tips that will help you to choose the most appropriate partner company:
Establish what you need. Before you approach a web development company you should clearly understand what exactly you need. Think of the type of website or web app you want and figure out what are necessary features.
Define company’s cost rates. Generally, companies don’t publish prices on their websites so we recommend you to contact them and get all the information about price packages. Also crucial to define are they charging once for the whole project or are they charging on hourly rates.
Look over team expertise. Review what services company provides and what kind of expertise the team possesses. It will be very helpful if you want not only to develop a website but also to receive additional services of the range of digital marketing, for example.
Take a look at company’s portfolio. Many web development companies have a portfolio section on their websites with the examples of developed notable projects. You may also check out how the websites are built and is it easy to use. In case if they worked with the clients from your industry it may indicate that they understand the latest trends, challenges and needs.
Ratings, customer feedback and references. On the company’s website you can also find a section with the clients’ testimonials. It is a good source to find out who are company’s clients and get information about their collaboration. If there is not enough information on company’s website you may ask about some references in order to contact them and get necessary information.
Check out received awards. It is highly respected if the company was nominated or won an award. Here are few web development awards:
- The Webby Awards
- The Web Guru Awards
- The Awwwards
- The CSS Design Awards
- The D&AD Professional Awards
Freelance web developers VS web development companies
The biggest advantage of working with freelance developer is the fact that he can perform all the tasks remotely. Actually freelancers can work in 3 different modes: contract, freelance and full-time. The most common practice that they are working for some particular project/assignment and sign a temporary contract. Here are some Pros and Cons of collaboration with the freelancer.
- Reduced costs. It is definitely cheaper to hire a freelancer than the whole development team.
- Communication. As far as freelancer works alone he is responsible only for himself and for his own scope of work. You wouldn’t hear such excuse as the work is not accomplished because of someone’s else fault.
- Expertise. Commonly freelancer is a narrow-focused specialist which is quite comfortable for performing some specific task.
- Disappearance. There is a high probability that freelancer can go silent or simply disappear in case if you choose unreliable or unscrupulous developer. We recommend you to have a Plan B or to find few more candidates as a reserve.
- Availability. You need to keep in mind that frequently freelancer is working on several projects at the same time and his availability could be quite limited.
- Quality of work. It is often happens that freelancer is more concerned about quantity of performed projects rather than on delivered quality.
You need to take into account that web development company will provide you with the wider range of services and may suggest few web solutions for you. The company has a team of various specialists and the access to all necessary resources and tools.
Here are some Pros and Cons of collaboration with web development company.
- Full package. Web development company offers a full cycle service starting from the consulting and ending with the website deployment.
- Collective expertise. According to the team diversity they can easily get to the point, consult with each other and as a result find a suitable solution collectively.
- Maintenance and support. Every valuable web development company will provide you with the ongoing maintenance and won’t leave you once the website is launched.
- Higher expenses. Obviously, hiring a web development team is always more costly than employing a freelance developer.
- Extended timeframe. The reason is the internal processes and communication within the team take time.
- Miscommunication. As long as you communicate only through a project manager the actual work will be performed by another person. There is a high possibility that the task could be interpreted wrong.