The definitive checklist for any publisher hiring a web development agency
When you are building a digital publication and seeking support from a variety of resources, who helps you keep it all together? Who keeps your vendors connected and accountable? Who keeps your strategy cohesive? Who checks in to make sure the apps and platforms you’re using are working together to maximize ROI? In a best case scenario, you’ve got a web development agency on your side offering advice and support as you grow your digital publishing business.
Over the years, working with digital publishers of all stripes, we have noticed a trend toward hyper-specialization. Digital publishers are increasingly hiring consultants who specialize in one particular topic or niche. The SEO expert only offers advice pertaining to search engine optimization. The graphic designer only provides the publisher with a few logos ideas, but declines to evaluate the website design as a whole. As a digital publisher, there is no question that you can learn a lot from outside experts and consultants. But how can you make sure that the advice they are offering is not in conflict with the other strategies you are attempting to execute? What is the best way to make your transition successful when you are actively working to grow your publishing business and potentially launching an entirely new website at the same time?
Hiring a web development agency that specializes in working with digital publishers is the approach that offers the highest ROI.
Choosing the right consultants, developers, and agencies to work with, as well as the best platforms to use, is not an easy process. Today’s digital publishers have so many options to choose from. It can quickly become overwhelming. To that end, we have put together a checklist that outlines what a web development agency should be doing for its publisher clients.
7 Services a Web Development Agency Should Be Providing for Publishers
1. Creating goal-oriented strategies
Ideally, a web development agency should help its clients build thriving online businesses that generate a positive ROI. Making that goal a reality means working collaboratively to develop websites that engage readers and foster a sense of loyalty. As a digital publisher, you should expect your web development agency to provide you with the latest goal-oriented strategies for building a website that produces the visitor actions you’re looking for.
2. Establishing new revenue channels
Subscriptions, memberships, advertising, e-commerce, and affiliate marketing channels are just the beginning. A top web development agency can provide publishers with all the tools they need to start bringing in revenue through new channels. Agency partners should also have access to the latest background data, and the personal experience to know what channels are likely to have the biggest impact on a publisher’s bottom line.
3. Hassle-free migration
Yes, the words hassle-free and migration can go together. When it comes to migrating a website from an outdated content management system to WordPress, experience really does matter. The repercussions of trying to do this yourself, or working with a web developer who doesn’t have much experience in the process, can be extensive. It’s not unheard of for publishers to lose their archives during the process when they attempt to go it alone. That’s why we always recommend that publishers work exclusively with developers who have expertise in website migration.
4. Providing the right answers up front
We all have questions. It’s the web developer’s job to find the answers to your questions so you can make the most informed decisions possible when designing your new website and online revenue strategy. Again, this is where industry expertise comes into play. A web development agency that works extensively with digital publishers is going to be better equipped to answer your questions than a web developer who has never worked with a publisher before. Consider this carefully when choosing an agency to work with.
5. Helping choose the best technology
Content management systems are just the beginning. Digital publishers today are using email marketing apps, sign up form builders, newsletter management tools, project management tools, payment processing platforms, SEO plugins, and more. With so many moving parts, it’s important to have an agency that understands how all the components fit together. At Web Publisher PRO, we recommend publishers use WordPress because it offers so many features and so much flexibility for digital publishers. Make sure to select a developer with industry-specific expertise, so you can get the latest information about which apps and tools other publishers are using to grow their businesses.
6. Overseeing website maintenance
Not every publisher needs or wants a developer to oversee basic website maintenance. Some publishers only want a developer to help with migration or a website build out, and nothing more. However, if you run a professional website and you are monetizing your website with advertising, subscription sales, or an integrated online directory, then ongoing website maintenance is something you should be asking about.
7. Giving you peace of mind
Here’s the big one. As a digital publisher, you need a web development agency that you trust. You need someone that can give you peace of mind. At Web Publisher PRO, we work one-on-one with clients to optimize their businesses. We want the publishers we work with to feel confident that they are in the best possible hands, since the process of migrating a website or developing a new website can be nerve wracking. No matter which agency you choose, they should be giving you peace of mind so you can focus on running a thriving digital publication.
To learn more about growing your digital publication with Web Publisher PRO, reach out to our team of experts.