Each business has its own priority and character. This must be reflected on its website. For instance, an eCommerce company’s website will be starkly different from that of a hospital. A website is like your face to the world, your virtual representative where people can see you and what your are selling.

This is why a web development company is so important today. Not only will they design the website, they will also update and maintain it. Offshore web development companies have become particularly popular because of the cost benefits involved. But, this is not a decision that can be taken lightly. Because you’ll be working with people in another country, you must take care in your selection.

The 5 questions you must ask an offshore web development company before hiring them are:

Can you meet/talk to the team working on your project?
Keep in mind that the people making a presentation for your business are probably not the people who will be working on your project. Like most other businesses, a web development company will likely have its own marketing/client service team that will speak to prospective clients like you. So, ask for the team that will actually work on your projects and speak to them.

Here you are looking for couple of things: credentials and communication skills. The first will give you a good idea of the skill set. Communication skills are also important because your team needs to work with you. How responsive are they to your concerns? How long do they take to get back to you?

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Can you get a portfolio and reference?
Just knowing that your team is experienced is not enough. You also need to know the kind of experience they have. Ask for past projects they have worked on, particularly those that are similar to yours. Ask for references and follow those up.

What is the design process and can you see the CMS at the back-end?
When you ask for past work, ask particularly about the back-end, the content management of the websites. This will give you a better idea about your team’s skills. Ask them for their design process, the technology they are using and if it is the latest.

Can they build a responsive site?
The mobile is the preferred device of web surfing today. It is where we check our mails, messages and search for places, people and things. At the same time a website must give the same experience across different platforms — from the desktop to the tablet and mobile. So, it is essential that the developers have the skill to create a responsive site.

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How will they communicate with you?
This is to do with the practicality of working with an offshore company. You must clear out schedules and how you will coordinate beforehand. While emails can be set and read anytime, you may want to have regular face-to-face or telephonic communication.

Fortunately, tools like video calls make this very easy. However, fix a time beforehand since your team is probably working at a different time zone!