Web Development Agency Checklist: Everything You Need to Know Before Picking a Web Development Company

31 May 2024
Adam Gontarz
Adam Gontarz
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  • Intro

Looking at the number of stories of a web development process going wrong, it’s clear that finding a software development company with a good grasp of what is web development is a daunting task. You need a partner who not only follows all the implementation procedures but also aligns with your business goals and can deliver efficient, robust web pages.

So, what’s the best way to find an agency that meets your needs? Or rather, how should you prepare for meetings with web development partners? Below, you’ll find a few steps to follow.

#1 Consider Your Goals

Before you write an RFP, ask for referrals, or search online for potential web firms, take a moment to think through just what you’re hoping to achieve. It is a good idea to set some clear goals for your new web app – such as increasing sales by a certain percentage or boosting brand awareness.

Setting clear goals will help you figure out which features you should implement on your site and the type of web developers you should hire to work on your site. Doing so can also help you evaluate what you already have and what you’ll need from your web partner.

It’s important to keep your goals as precise and realistic as possible. Objectives like “I want more customers” or “I want to be #1 in search engines” might sound fine on paper, but they aren’t specific enough to tell you whether your web app provides you with the business results you want or not. 

#2 Prioritize Value Over Cost

In the early days of the internet, you could have a basic static web app with just three pages or so, and your visitors would still be amazed. But now with billions of websites existing, capturing the attention of visitors is crucial. Without it, your page will likely go unnoticed.

A visually appealing, fast-loading, and intuitive web app is what you need to ensure your new business web app becomes successful. The page should also work perfectly on a regular computer as well as on a smartphone or tablet – according to a GoodFirms survey, 73.1% of web designers believe that a non-responsive design is a top reason why visitors leave a web app.

But seeing the costs involved in building a custom web app, or redesigning your current one, you might think you are better off choosing the cheapest company you can find and hope for the best. That strategy almost never ends well, though.

Keep in mind that a web app is an investment, not an expense – and good web apps may not come cheap. While a well-known web agency probably charges more for a web app, you also receive their expertise in creating enterprise-level web apps, the latest technology, and after-launch support.

Higher up-front costs typically also mean you’ll pay less for maintenance, agency support in case of a problem, or web app updates ensuring your site will last much longer. So while you should never ruin your budget to have a modern web app, it is usually not worth looking for the cheapest solution either.

#3 Think About the Web Apps You Like 

Are there any industry-related web apps that you like using? That might be a clue to how you should design your own web app, as well as with whom you should work. Usually, there’s a link at the bottom of the page that points to the website development company that created it. This is a good way to start looking for web firms. However, if there is no such information, you might consider contacting the company to learn who designed their web app – that way, you could get the contact information and references for the web development agency.

It is often a good idea to hire a web development company developing web apps related to your industry, as this proves the firm’s experience in the field and also allows you to better explain your vision.

#4 Find Out If a Web Development Partner Is Keeping Up With the Times

Tech is an industry that is rapidly changing, with new tools, trends, graphic design practices, responsive design as a whole, and techniques appearing every day. If you want your web app to stay up-to-date, you should pay special attention to whether the development agency you consider knows exactly what is popular in the industry now, but also keeps an eye on what’s coming next.

It is a smart move to ask a potential web app development partner how they acquire new industry knowledge and whether they encourage and support their team members’ continued education. Offering workshops and courses as well as explaining business processes and potential marketing strategies (or other digital marketing services) to their clients is also an added benefit.

#5 Verify Their Communication Style

If you are not in regular contact with your web development agency, it will be difficult (if not impossible) to finish your web app project with success. Things might change suddenly as the project moves forward, and the development team might run into trouble along the way too. That’s why it’s crucial to be able to rely on your web partner to keep you updated throughout the project and have a person to whom you can reach out with potential questions.

A good idea here is to research how the team typically communicates with their clients and how often – for example, by looking at the reviews and testimonials left by their clients. When speaking with the development firms, you should also ask in advance if you will get a dedicated person acting as your “first point of contact” for any project-related needs and how frequently you can expect to hear from them.

#6 Check Whether a Web Development Firm Understands Your Needs

You might not know all the details of how the web development process works, but you approach the web development company with more or less specific objectives in mind. The agency’s role is to understand your main objectives, make suggestions about how the project should be handled, and connect you with the right developers.

Their job shouldn’t be based merely on taking notes on the features you want and promising to deliver exactly what you ask for. Quite the opposite – development firms should closely listen to your needs so that they can recommend solutions (e.g. for project management, application development, and digital presence) that will best serve your objectives, even if they are different from what you initially wanted. 

#7 Uncover Who Will Own the Code Once the Web App Is Finished

You might be surprised to hear that your web app might not be completely “yours” after the project is finished, as it all depends on who is the owner of the web app’s code. Why does it matter? If a web development company keeps the code of your website or custom web application, you’ll have to contact them every time you want to change something on it. And what if you wanted someone else to redesign a content management system or update your web app’s user interface later on? Unless the web developers agree to transfer the code rights to you, your options are pretty limited.

That’s why it’s important to check whether you will be able to acquire the full IP rights once your web app is launched. If you and your web partner part ways, using open-source code keeps your options broad. It allows you to find a new team to continue the project without starting from scratch.

#8 Ensure They Offer an Integration with Your Tech Stack

You surely have a couple of tools that you are using on a daily basis – a CRM, analytics platform, SEO tool, or any other third-party tools that are (or should be) connected to your web app. If you wish to use them on your new web app, you should tell the development team about those and ask them to add the integrations to the web app.

Otherwise, it might happen that as your prospective web development partner likes different applications than you do, they might want to implement those on your new site rather than add support for the tools you are currently using.

Of course, being open to any suggestions coming from web developers is a good thing. But if you don’t make it clear what integrations you might need on your web app, you and your team might have to learn how to use a completely different system from you – or ask the development team to add the integrations later, at additional cost.

#9 Explore Potential Additional Services

Giving you a ready web app doesn’t mean the work is done. To keep things running smoothly, regular maintenance and performance testing services are a must. Therefore, when you hire a web development agency, you should look for one willing to work with you long-term rather than just for one project.

But it’s not only about technical support. You should hire someone who will keep an eye on the industry trends and best practices regarding web design or back-end development and give you suggestions on how to keep your web app up and running.

Make sure to ask prospective web firms or a web design company whether they have a Service Level Agreement (SLA) and/or Maintenance/Support Plan in place and what it includes as well as what their vision is for your ongoing relationship after the project launch. With questions like these, you can discover what kind of commitment a web development company is willing to make and what kind of support you can expect from them in the future.

#10 Evaluate Their Expertise in SEO and Content Strategy

In the highly competitive digital landscape, having a beautifully designed web app is not enough. It’s crucial that your web development partner understands search engine optimization (SEO) and can implement strategies to enhance your site’s visibility on search engines. A well-thought-out website content strategy aligned with a marketing strategy and SEO best practices can significantly boost your page’s rankings.

Ensure the development agency has a clear understanding of how to optimize web content for search engines, including on-page SEO elements like title tags, meta descriptions, headers, and keyword placement. They should also be knowledgeable about creating a user-friendly content management system (CMS) that allows you to easily update and manage website content.

Additionally, check if they are proficient with tools like Google Analytics to monitor and analyze your website’s performance. This will help in making data-driven decisions for continuous improvement of your site’s user experience and adaptation to the target audience.

#11 Assess Their Approach to User Experience Design

A successful web app is one that not only functions well but also provides an exceptional user experience. Therefore, it’s crucial to assess a web development agency’s approach to UX design. User experience encompasses everything from the ease of navigation to the overall look and feel of your site, and it plays a significant role in retaining customers and encouraging engagement.

When evaluating potential web development partners, ask about their web design process and how they prioritize user experience. Do they conduct user research to understand your target audience and its behaviors? Do they create user personas and journey maps to inform the design? How do they test the usability of the web app during the development phase?

A good web development agency should be able to show examples of past projects where they’ve successfully implemented UX best practices. They should be adept at creating intuitive interfaces that enhance the user’s interaction with the site content, ensuring that the most important elements like the homepage, call-to-action buttons, and navigation menus are easily accessible.

Additionally, inquire about their approach to responsive design, ensuring that the web app performs well across different browsers and devices.


Choosing the right web development agency to partner with is definitely not an easy task regardless of the project stage. To choose wisely, you should start with detailed research on the web development companies and then carefully evaluate all your options.

Ideally, you should pick a web development agency that is able to develop a quality website or web application for your business but also understands how it should meet your business requirements.

We’re sure that if you carry out solid research that includes all the factors we mentioned, it will be easier for you to find the right partner for fulfilling custom software solutions for any industry of your choice.


  • What should I look for in a web development agency?

    Look for a web development agency that demonstrates a thorough understanding of your business objectives, offers transparent communication, has a proven track record in your industry, stays current with technology trends, and provides comprehensive post-launch support. Optionally, ensure they have expertise in responsive design, SEO, and content strategy to enhance your site’s performance and user engagement.

  • What does a website development agency do?

    A website development agency designs, develops, and maintains websites and web applications. Their services typically include web design, front-end and back-end development, integration with third-party tools, SEO optimization, content management system (CMS) setup, and ongoing technical support and maintenance.

  • How do I make a web checklist?

    To create a website development agency checklist, start by outlining your goals and desired features for the web app. Include steps for evaluating potential agencies based on their expertise, communication practices, and ability to meet your technical and design needs. Ensure the checklist covers essential aspects such as responsive design, SEO, content strategy, post-launch support, and user experience.

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