Thousands of companies are offering web development services in Dubai. But not all of these companies, agencies, freelancers and freezone organizations can handle the commercial nature of your website. Your website is your marketing asset – and you want it to do positive publicity for your business. And for that to happen, you have to work with a team that strikes the right balance between web development timelines, quality of design and the investment. Here are ten factors I recommend checking when you are hiring web development services in Dubai for a large-scale commercial website project.
1. Full-cycle vs. Laser-focused
In terms of offerings, you’ll typically find freelancers who offer specialized services, or full-service web development.
For reference, full-service web development means a vendor will help you with discovery, research, competitor analysis, UI/UX design, front and backend development, API integration, testing and QA, post-launch maintenance and website updates.
For large-scale, commercial, business-centric projects, I typically recommend hiring website development services in Dubai from one agency because of the dedicated team availability. Hiring these agencies is a cost, but you can save tons of time, energy and money in the long run.
2. Hiring arrangement
Staff augmentation and project outsourcing are the two most common models of hiring web development services in Dubai.
In staff augmentation, you hand-pick a team from a pool of talented individuals. You pay a subscription cost for the months specified for completion. In this model, you have to lead the technical team for KPI management and communication – giving you control as well as flexibility.
In outsourcing, you talk to an agency and set expectations. You discuss a standard website development budget and then let the agency do their work. You are entitled to weekly progress meetings and discuss your concerns. Typically, outsourcing helps with completing projects in time. Plus, you can focus on other areas of business because their internal CTO or project manager handles the technical KPIs.
While onsite collaboration can be easy and valuable, virtual communication also saves time and money. Therefore, there are pros and cons to hiring locally as well as internationally. However, location affects more than your mode of communication.
Location of your development team directly impacts the budget of your project. While UK, USA and Germany-based developers charge an average 35 USD per development hour, Dubai-based developers charge around 20 USD per development hour. This means you can get a decent, business website in around AED 9000.
4. Technical expertise
When checking technical expertise, ask if your prospective developer/team has worked extensively on frameworks that go with HTML and CSS. Talk about ecommerce integrations, and payment gateways.
This will help you understand their ability to deliver your website project. Talk about CMS integration, chatbot development for customer service and other future scalability options.
5. Niche expertise
Look for companies that have produced work in the same niche or scope as yours. For example, if you are from the healthcare niche, then you must have specific design and experience requirements. Same goes for real estate websites that are highly lead-centric. Educational and university websites have a totally different vibe.
An ideal web development company will demonstrate their understanding of your industry’s needs by showcasing similar projects they’ve worked on, and explain how they’ll adapt their approach for your specific goals.
6. Changes in scope
Understanding a company’s process of handling scope changes helps manage expectations during the change process. This will also help navigate budget changes. There are times when entrepreneurs want to add or remove specific pages or features or want to make other material and non-material changes in design and development. A company should have a documented strategy attached to an NDA addressing the implications of changes of scope.
A portfolio is the best bet if you are from a non-tech background and find it challenging to gauge the real technical expertise.
Company websites typically have a section of portfolio with their previous projects. If not, ask your company for a pitch deck with their case studies. Then go to the websites they have built and test for yourself if the web experience works well. Look at the quality of design, page loading times, performance of CTAs, navigation and accessibility, font readability and so on.
8. Social proof
You can source a company’s social proof from a lot of platforms.
First of all, go to their linkedIn page. Check the endorsements of their key team members.
Second, check their Clutch and GoodFirms profile. These are independent ratings and reviews platform where you can even check if the reviews are verified. Check Facebook and Instagram as well. Plus, there are other platforms like Sortlist, Design Rush and BBB that show reviews about the company’s services.
See if you find any issues critical about the project delivery, money scamming or professionalism in the reviews.
9. Project communication
Discuss beforehand about the project management tools the company uses for updating clients about the project progress. Learning about their communication tools, frequency, and escalation protocols ensures clarity and prevents miscommunication.
Talk to the company about their communication plan, discuss preferred channels for communication, and decide standard response timings for queries.
10. Timeline and web completion
Timely completion of milestones is a highly important factor in execution because it impacts your launch timings. During website’s discovery and research sessions, clearly communicate the deadline you have in mind for website delivery.
Your web development team should be able to go live with the website on that deadline. This also means that they have to manage testing, post-launch maintenance, bug identification and fixing before that deadline. One tried method is to take the development hours required for every stage in the website process – then assign dates to each milestone.
While website development adds to the financial rewards of your business, its entire look and feel and experience can make or break your business reputation. Make sure to work with an alpha team that understands your vision, commits to your deadlines and is ready to deliver as much value as you have envisioned.