Why We Decided to Outsource Site Coding & Focus On Design?

For years we’ve had programmers both in-house and contractors (outsourced) – our parameters were based on the size and scope of our projects. Without proper methodology in coding and with many hands touching code, a website’s coding language can become complicated, ugly and outright expensive.

Programmers develop code based on templates given to them by our designers. So it’s really the designers who create the look and feel of the site. When updates are needed there’s a lot of time involved looking through someone else’s source code and methodology, making changes and then testing to make sure everything is still integrated into one seamless site.

As a website design and consulting company we have had to develop a more symbiotic way to give our clients the newest technology, methodology and direction in a cost effective and efficient manner.

So we went back and looked at our client base, their needs and deliverables. And what we found really caught us by surprise. In almost all cases involving the redesign of a site – we designed and programmed from the bottom up – meaning we created all new code. Why? Because technology and code changes so fast that most site code that is 12 to 24 months or older is already behind the curve. The cost of updating or integrating into the newest languages is close to the cost of just writing new code. And in all instances clients asked for a new look and content. Secondly when it comes to new sites and projects, clients inadvertently ask if we code using the latest and greatest parameters – and asked us about the costs and difficulties with updating and maintaining the new site.

We spoke with our clients and found out that what they wanted. Well, we had to chop up our business, literally throwing development business methodologies out the door and retool our approach. Here’s the list of the “Top 13” common denominators:

  1. The ability to design a site using the newest programming language and a site that is integrated so that as coding languages evolve, the costs of integration are reasonable or non-existent. This also goes hand in hand with changes, upgrades and the redesign of a site.

  2. Access to add-ons within reasonable costs (live help, appointment setting, contact and/or newsletter signup forms, email marketing, video and audio integration, PayPal, etc.)

  3. Newly announced add-ons / enhancement, which can integrate with existing code.

  4. SMO and SMM integration.

  5. Ability to add HTML5 and JAVA code as needed.

  6. Ability to change design on the fly at a reasonable cost.

  7. Reasonable monthly hosting fees.

  8. Reasonable e-commerce / shopping cart hosting fees. DB integration. Easy to maintain and manage.

  9. The capacity to have us maintain the site or to hand the site off to a client employee or another contractor - a quick ramp up and very small learning/ training curve and at a reasonable cost for both sides.

  10. Some level of SEO and analytics built into the application and SEO and Adword consultant recommendations and oversight.

  11. Phased in launch based on budget with the ability to enhance and grow the site with features and expanded menu’s/pages as our clients’ business grows.

  12. Portability: ability to move the client site to another design house or bring all work in house (taken over by the client) with “zero” down time and little or no transition costs. Generally our clients did not care if they had access to the code as long as the design application was transparent, cloud based and the company was reliable and public (listed on the stock exchange.)

  13. Secured access and ability to back-up the site.

Site development can be broken into phases and costs. Generally phase 1 is the design, development, testing and launch. There are always modifications and changes along the way and you need to discuss how this is handled upfront. Phase 1 already needs to incorporate SEO functionality such as keyword research. Phase 2 is tweaking the site after launch. Phase 3 is maintaining, updating and enhancing.

We design using online applications that generate code in the background as we design. The advantages are that in many instances we can give our clients close to 100% of what they ask for without using outside resources. And when additional coding is needed, in most instances the code can be integrated into the site without problems. This allows our clients more efficient cost savings.

SEO or adword campaigns are separate monthly expenditures and are generally not included or a part of the design of a site. So make sure that you understand the differences and whether you will add this as a cost to your site or a future phase. But keep in mind that without SEO and/or an adwords campaign, your site will not be found. SEO and adwords are very technical in nature and constantly evolving – they are managed monthly and need to be ongoing to really function optimally. The initial upfront costs to develop SEO and adword campaigns require companies to review and address site issues that can make your site more relevant for page ranking, which is extremely important to the success of being found.

ConsultPOD.com is a website design company.

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