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Important Considerations When Hiring A Web Application Development Company

Common Business Practices and Issues

by Bernard Kohan

Whether you are starting a new web application project or require revamping or upgrading your current project, not only will you need to consider your current circumstances, you will also need to plan for future business growth and site maintenance.

One of your most important considerations should be to select a web application developer that you can partner with and grow. I do not mean literally to "partner" as a business partner, but instead, a good client / vendor relationship partner.

Frequently, I come across prospective clients that have hired an independent contractor web developer or an off-shore web development company who left their project unfinished and in limbo; and to add to that injury, the programmer did such sloppy coding that working on his code is almost impossible. In most cases, I tell the client that it would be less costly and quicker to start the project from ground up rather than trying to fix and work on the badly put together web application.

Common issues that arise from hiring the wrong web application developer:

  • It is very common that developers are excited at the start of any project and become bored at about two-thirds of the project's completion, at which they ended up abandoning the work. This is a very common occurrence when hiring an independent developer rather than a company.
  • The development company did such sloppy coding that it is almost impossible for another company to take over the development project or fix the code.
  • The development company put together a poorly designed database and wrote SQL queries that are not efficient or optimized. This will slow down the application's performance or bring the site to a halt after a small number of concurrent connections.
  • The Web Application is structured in a way which makes it very difficult for designers or HTML coders to work on the project.
  • There are not any security considerations when putting together the web application. This is a big issue specially for ecommerce applications where customer's sensitive information is stored.

Another consideration is to determine the business model of the company that you are hiring. Many web development companies focus on mass producing web sites. Those type of companies are not interested in a continuous business relationship. They are more interested in ending your project and starting on the next project.

Why is it important to hire a web development company who is interested in continuous support of your web application?

With any web application or software development, there will always be a need for improvement and version upgrades. (We have all experienced this with most desktop software. An example of this is Windows 3.1, 95, 98, 2000, XP, Vista and Windows 7.)

Having a strong partner in the continuous development, maintenance and support of your web application is important for many reasons such as:

  • Staying current with the latest technology and design
  • Being able to scale with the growth of the company's business development
  • Keeping a competitive edge
  • Taking advantage of the development companies other areas of expertise such as SEO / SEM, motion media, branding and usability

Items to look for relating to business operations and practices:

  • Company's policy regarding licensing and ownership of the final program code
  • Company's financial stability and number of years that the company has been in business
  • Company's business model - mass producing templated type work or custom quality work with continuous support
  • Company's experience in quality programming, design, usability and search engine optimization (SEO)
  • If the company is outsourcing work to off-shore or independent developers. (adding the third party may complicate the communication and control over your project)
  • Company's experience in handling and producing large projects
  • Being able to pay a visit and meet the company owner(s) or management face-to-face is an advantage

Items to look for relating to company's service and experience:

  • Architectural Pattern Development and / or Structured Programming
  • Coding Guidelines and Standards
  • Maintainable / Manageable Code
  • Usability
  • Design, Branding and Marketing
  • Performance, Load and Stress Testing
  • Version Control
  • Load Balancing
  • Managed Hosting and Server Management

Other considerations regarding coding:

Quality coding should also be an important aspect in selecting a web application development company. To read more on quality coding:

related articles:

Bernard Kohan

Bernard Kohan is a mobile app and web application development and technology analyst expert. He is available to discuss any issues or questions you have about web development and the best choices for your company or project.

Bernard can be reached at

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