The quality, and related success, of your online presence can all hinge on the agency or system integrator (SI) you choose to work with. However, the search for the right digital experience expert can be a rough and bumpy road, that for many merchants starts with a simple Google search. You’ll likely find yourself sitting at your computer, typing in “top ecommerce development agencies” or “website development agencies.”
What you’ll likely find is paid content or “review” based sites meant to drive affiliate traffic for commission benefit. While this can be a good starting point to get the lay of the digital agency landscape, I want to give you a tip on how to fast track your connection with an agency that:
- Fits in your budget
- Has experience with your specific industry or target market
- Does quality work throughout the entire lifecycle of your build
Talk to a hosting provider that specializes in your platform
Simple right? Engage with a hosting provider and ask who they recommend for the particular project you’re looking to scope. Be prepared to let them know what platform you’re currently using (WordPress, WooCommerce, Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, etc.) and provide a brief overview of your functionality requirements. Ideally you’ll want to connect with their partnership division, who work directly with the trusted digital agencies in their network, as they have their finger on the pulse of nearly every agency in their network, and can make a recommendation based on your specific needs.
Most hosting companies will also have a partner directory listed on their website with contact info for their channel team. Here at Webscale, we take it a step further, providing an easy-to-use web form, which you can complete, and then speak to us to get that personal introduction. We also have our own list of digital agency partners on that same page.
Why a hosting provider?
First of all, let’s get this out of the way. Most hosting providers do not receive commissions for referrals to digital agencies – we certainly don’t. It’s not an interesting revenue driver, but there is a benefit, because the amount of time (and let’s face it, money) we lose when working with low quality developer teams that unnecessarily extend project timelines is bad for everyone’s business.
This means that hosting providers will always give you a genuine recommendation, and encourage you to engage a team that is great to work with and right for your business. Whether you’re looking to launch a brand new online store, add functionality to your existing site or re-platform to something new, a hosting provider will be able to take your requirements and make a solid agency recommendation.
Good hosting providers maintain a close working relationship with hundreds of website developers, working together to quickly resolve any customer issues that may arise, because the relationship shouldn’t end after the recommendation. After the site development and design work is completed, the process of moving from development to staging (testing), to production (go-live) has to be coordinated closely between the teams. Hosting providers become closely tied to each client/developer relationship and are an integral part of it all.
This means we see:
- The quality and efficiency of the code that is written
- This is important because code quality directly correlates to the performance of the site as well as how much compute resources it requires
- Poor code quality can often require more server resources, which leads to increased hosting costs
- The quality of their interactions during pre-live, go-live and ongoing support
- Do they work well with others?
- Are they responsive in support tickets?
- Do they do their part in the overall support relationship for the end user?
- Whether they have long term relationships with their clients
- Do clients tend to get frustrated after deployment and immediately hunt for a new agency?
- Are they more focused on moving to the next project or are they invested in growing your brand?
All in all, a hosting company sees it all and WANTS to work with good developers to launch and support your site. To be quite honest, we don’t recommend developers that we don’t want to work with. At the end of the day, your hosting provider and dev team should have an extremely healthy relationship. Whether you know it or not, your brand counts on it.
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