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What is the best methodology when developing a mobile responsive website?

I am in the process of finding the right development agency/partner to build my website and I am receiving estimates with surely different amounts but also different approaches and methodologies. What would you recommend between 1) AGILE "sprints", 2) Fixed amount fits all and 3) hourly rates? For info I am non-tech but with little notions, it's my first start-up and I have a clear idea of the architecture and the features (it's a social network type of platform which requires specific coding). Thanks for your advice!

3 Replies

Richard Navarrete
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Richard Navarrete Entrepreneur
Global Director of IT at frog
Hello Anonymous,

The way you construct your contract is different from the approach to development (agile, waterfall, etc.). On the topic of it being fixed or time and materials, I always pick a fixed / delivery-based contract. Especially if this is your first big project and you are non-technical. When you select the agency-developers, you want them to put together an SOW that has as much detail in it as possible. Vague terms can be misinterpreted. "Build front page" To you, that can mean so many things, like the special carousel calendar you mentioned in a meeting, but unless it's spelled out in the SOW, don't expect it to happen. If the project is taking longer than expected, it's still on them to deliver what is promised, as opposed to a T&M-based contract... where they can take longer and keep charging you since you're paying for their time. If they won't do a deliver-based agreement, then there are other ways to get what you want in the SOW with less risk to you, but it's tougher.

The development approach largely depends on the people involved and your timeline, but most often I agree that going agile is best since you see releases sooner and by definition is more accepting of changes later in the process (something that might be key for a first project).

Curious, is this a business that is centered around the website? Is the product you're selling the website? If so, I'd say find a great developer and build it in-house. Under this model, there are some investors that won't fund companies that didn't build their own product. Which is sound investing, but there are good reasons you want to build your own product.

Good luck and feel free to reach out for any follow up questions.

R
Valeriia Timokhina
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Valeriia Timokhina Entrepreneur
Eastern Peak Software: Custom software development
There are some business models when you work with software developers: fixed price, time and materials and dedicated team.

Feel free to visit our Glossary - we created descriptions of the most common terms, especially to help non-tech entrepreneurs.

Articles that will be useful too:

Hope this helps:) Have a nice day!
Josh McCormack
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Josh McCormack Advisor
Owner, InteractiveQA - Marketing, Web Dev, Testing, Data & Market Analysis
We do "not to exceed" bids, and price out each function "chinese menu style," meaning we price each piece of functionality and you choose what you want.

Particularly when you don't have specs that are 100+ pages long, there are different ways to do things. So you want a page with a particular piece of functionality. We estimated it would be $2,500. If I find a quick, easy way to do what you want that would be slightly different from what you asked for I'll give you the option - we build it as you asked for $2,500, or we use this off the shelf thing and it will cost $300. Up to you.

If you want to do hourly or sprints you have to have confidence in the efficiency of the team and a technical project manager to work alongside them.

I'd also be careful of developers that feel the need to build things from scratch. There might be advantages in performance or security, but you have to weigh the cost and time it will take to reinvent the wheel.
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