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Startups and Websites: A Tale Of Not-So-Different Ends


January 18, 2015

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It sounds a little insane right? Since when did websites become synonymous with needs of a new business?

I wont lie to you all: the connection became inscrutable until a few years ago that is when the digital marketing industry boomed as it did. If we started ranking services on basis of commoditization then you can probably rate the web development industry as the highest populated and yet one of the most rapidly expanding.

Ranking businesses is all well and good though, the question that arises is what things should startups be looking at when deploying their own website.

Prefer expertise over cost

Do you know why I write this in bold? Because many businesses new or otherwise, make the dire mistake of measuring the cost of developing a website in terms of the money it costs them then. This can be taken in terms of hiring outsourced developers or getting their own internal team together.

Your job as the business head is not to worry about the costs yet because website deployment is one thing which will return the investment gradually or quickly but it will return the investment. A website developer’s repertoire can be measured in varying ways but the better ability you should test out is in their willingness to be able to write code from scratch.

If you have a developer who is comfortable enough to do that then they can debug templates and customize them easily: translation: you have a winner on your hands. Now if you hire such a person permanently in your team; pay them well.

Because while web developers are plenty abound: good ones are tough to find.

Always know what you want

You might be a client to a web development firm or simply the manager of a team who are about to start developing their first site for your firm. In either case, you as their over-looker must know what you want on the site. And this is a curious subject because usually even customers have a tough time in narrowing down whatever it is that they want.

And this usually creates a friction between the business level users and the developers. Some pertinent questions that the developers should ask should be along the lines of : What customer base are we targeting? What is the concept of the business?

What are the proper layouts that should be considered for this kind of website?

Optimize your procedures

Coding wise, there are always multiple approaches to solving a problem. You can concatenate a string via a library function or you can create your own method via system calls. Library functions are quicker but can have some unpredictable behavior within them because system calls are a little tougher to handle and write. This is a crude example really but when you work on customizing apps across platforms then you come across such coding practices.

As a project manager it is your job to know these quick fixes or shortcuts. And even if you are not aware of coding that much then your communication with the head of the development team has to be crystal clear: that is you both know what is going on.

What I have given to you guys here is the very basic and the beginning of the road map when you go on to developing your own website. From there, your business has all the potential and room to grow and what you do after that though is another lesson for another day.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

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