Does Your Website Need a Web Developer or a Developer Partner?

We received a distressing call the other day from a troubled business owner.
This gentleman was a capable web developer who had recently launched his own business. Naturally, he needed a website to go along with it. As a web developer, he figured he could save some cash by handling the web development on his own.

After a few weeks of work and several months of testing, he was in despair.

His site traffic was low. His online sales were virtually non-existent. And after pouring hours of time, money, and energy into web development and endless guerilla marketing efforts, he had little to show for his trouble.

Of course, we were able to take charge of his website and get him squared away, but his failure to bring his digital presence to life (despite his skills as a web developer!) taught him an important lesson: There’s a world of difference between a standard web developer and a web development firm.

What Are Developer Partners?

Our client struggled because he thought he could do everything on his own. He believed that his web development skillset was enough to turn an abstract website idea into a concrete marketing tool that would generate revenue. Clearly, this wasn’t the case. And really, this is the primary challenge facing every business owner interested in launching a website. Online web developers offer a single service—website programming—and call it a day.

Now, just imagine how our client’s project could have proceeded if he had sought the help of a web development partner that could guide him through every aspect of his online business development.

What if he had a better understanding of his target market before designing his website? What if he could consult with multiple minds during each deployment phase before investing hours into the process? This is the value of web development partners. They don’t just offer a service; they offer a consultative program that combines the industry knowledge of multiple experts to address each of your business goals.

Two Heads Are Better Than One

If you think of your website as a singular tool that exists in a vacuum, it might seem like a web developer is all you need to get the job done. This is the mistake our client made. He didn’t consider everything that goes into building an online presence that supports sales. Indeed, the development itself is only part of the process and should only occur after several other important steps are completed:

  • Initial research – What does your company do? How can you best display your value proposition? What makes you different than your competitors?
  • Target market development – Who’s the primary audience for your website? Your target market dictates nearly every website design decision you’ll make. Failing to develop this part of the strategy is the biggest mistake that individual web designers make.
  • Application programming and development services – This is where web developers and developer partners overlap. However, the difference is that by performing the above research and understanding your target market first, a developer will be able to tailor your web presence to the exact needs of your customers.
  • Ongoing support – Who will troubleshoot your website if technical glitches occur? Unless a developer specifically offers ongoing support, they won’t be there to help.
  • SEO services – Is your website built from the ground up to accommodate search engine crawlers as well as customers? SEO strategies are crucial for generating web traffic.

Quality web developer partners take agency over each one of these design phases and provide their expertise on how best to reach your goals.

And while some business owners believe they can save a buck by going with cheap developers or DIY services, this process of cutting corners almost always ends up costing more in the long run. Selecting a developer partner is the ideal middle ground in terms of cost. As our well-meaning client discovered, a development project done right the first time is always preferable.

Developer Partnerships Offer Value-Driving Relationships

Consider the concept of development partners another way: A web developer does just what you ask. Full-service development partners take agency over the process and develop a plan on their own to maximize your business potential—often beyond what you think is possible.

In short, developer partners give you a way to build relationships with industry professionals that would not otherwise exist. From a web development perspective, this relationship is certainly valuable. But from an overall business perspective, there’s no limit to the value these types of arrangements provide.