If you live on the west coast and you’re trying to build an awesome website, you should look for the top website development company in California.
No matter which company you choose, you’ll benefit from knowing what the top dogs can produce, as you will better understand your needs and know what you can ask from your developer.
Searching for a “best” company is subjective, and no single company does everything exactly right. However, what those best companies share in common is worth exploring.
So what makes a website development company better than all the others?
Forward-Thinking Design with a Purpose
When you hire the best website development company in California, you probably expect to pay a big sum for the absolute best product. Be careful though, as a massive price tag can be misleading.
Some websites that look flashy and catch the eye end up ranking poorly because they don’t offer what users truly need. In some cases, front-end development is so complicated that it slows load times and gets in the way of easy navigation.
Companies like Expedition Co. provide website design that spans a variety of technologies. While their sites bring artistry to work across computers, smartphones, and even VR sets, their complex design can slow load times and hurt the site’s ranking.
Keep It Simple
Websites are a lot like books—if they don’t hook users right away, they don’t succeed. The best web developers make it easy to scan a website as you scroll through, like this site.
Here’s a tip: if you’re geeking out about how amazing your site looks, you should probably revise it.
Most of us visit a website to glean helpful information. We don’t want to be overloaded with amazing graphics, especially if they don’t serve a purpose.
One great example of a barebones website that works is this one for copywriter Bob Bly. It’s not a glamorous website, yet that’s exactly what you expect when looking for someone who writes content for a living.
The best website developer speaks to your design senses and makes it easy to brainstorm what you want.
Ability to Scale as Business Grows
Most businesses start out small. Fittingly, their first website is simple and doesn’t attract too much traffic. As business grows, though, the website must be able to match the growth. Not all web developers understand this.
One famous example is the Affordable Care Act (ACA) website’s dreadful rollout. The site shut down the same day it launched as millions of users logged on to fill out complicated health insurance paperwork, overwhelming the site. Don’t let this happen to you.
The right web developer will help you plan a lean sitemap so that site visitors go where they need to and find what they want.
How do you do this?
Build better pages, not bigger sitemaps.
Having 101 pages for every possible keyword may sound good for SEO rankings, but it can do long-term harm to your website. Instead, design each page so that people spend more time on your site. The longer people stay, the better your search rankings.
When Scaling Works Just Right
In the best cases, a site is built elegantly and doesn’t need many processor-heavy features. The Kitchen Table app uses simple graphics that are compressed so the site can load quickly for many users at a time.
Does your site store sensitive user information? Then you should work with a company familiar with database security, such as healthcare web developers like this one.
Again, planning a lean sitemap is key. If you’re not sure where to start, consider using a template like this one to get some ideas to bring to the developer. The best web development company can build a site able to handle all your traffic as your business grows.
Purchasing Server Space
Unfortunately, there are some issues that even the best web developer can’t fix. If you have too many users, you’ll need to scale up your server space. That means purchasing a monthly plan for a web server such as those offered by Google or Amazon.
These services cost more, but with the right development plan, you won’t have to spend extra on more servers. The right web developer will also have a plan for exactly how to scale up seamlessly.
How Does the Site Look?
Next on the list of best web developers is aesthetics. To start, take a look at some of these award-winning websites. If you find something you like, contact the company and find out who built their website. Other web developers will advertise their awards on their homepage so you know exactly what they’re all about.
It’s all about your style preference.
If you prefer simpler designs that pop, consider a developer like Goji Labs or Clap Creative. If you want a more advanced, technical design style, Expedition Co. or Saritasa may be worth checking out.
By finding a website you like and making a style plan that matches it, you can save time and money while ensuring your web developer knows exactly how to keep you happy.
Ease of Communication
The reason people pay more to work with a web development studio is that it’s easier than working with freelancers. Why? Because you have a single point of contact who keeps tabs of your project. This saves you time, though not money.
The best website development companies in California manage each project with great care. When reading through reviews like these ones posted on Clutch Co., you see one common thread—communication.
Being able to track your progress is important. It allows you to identify problems before they become worse, and it helps to save time and money by continually checking the status of the project. Make sure your web developer knows the importance of communication and regular updates.
Reaching People through Different Media
Another important aspect to consider is how your web developer can diversify your web presence. With over half of all web traffic today occurring via smartphone, it’s never been more important to be able to build native apps in order to reach more customers.
Choose a website development company that has experience building apps as well as websites. Not only will this help you build a better website, but it will also help you make a smooth transition into your app when it comes time to build one.
By taking advantage of different techniques, you can improve search rankings and set your business apart.
Not all businesses need an app, of course, but the right web developer can steer you toward incorporating one into your business’s future. For example, since COVID-19 disrupted how people order food, restaurants have rushed to make online ordering as easy as possible. This could mean app development or website redesign.
Do They Revise for Free?
Google can tell whether or not your website is being updated. If it feels old, your site’s SEO score goes down.
A website refresh is one way to tackle this problem, but it can cost a lot of money. Ideally, your website developer has a plan in place that gives your site a facelift every few years. This is crucial to your success in search rankings.
When you talk to your web developer about the next steps involved in your project, ask if a redesign will be included down the road. Some developers do this for free and others charge a discounted rate.
Plan to Keep Your Site Up to Date
If there isn’t fresh, regular content such as weekly blogs or relevant new web pages, your site’s SEO score suffers, and people have a harder time finding you from a web search.
Does your web developer have a plan for how to keep your site ranking well in web searches? If not, find one that does.
Some web developers have relationships with SEO experts and content developers who can write weekly content for you.
Don’t forego this important part of your website!
Content is a huge factor when it comes to website performance. If your web developer doesn’t have a plan for how to keep your business showing up in search results, you may need to find a content company that knows how to do it.
Targeting the Right Audience
Without the right content plan in place, you’re wasting your money. Make sure you’re writing contains targeted keywords and keeps your geo area limited to where it’s effective.
It’s tempting to extend your search area to include as many people as possible, but this will ultimately hurt your SEO score and burn through your marketing budget.
So Which Company Should You Pick?
For the best website development company in California, pick one that matches your style and can meet your needs. Read the reviews, do your homework, and have a plan before you spend any money.
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