A recent post at Business 2 Community offers website owners four recommendations for how to “ensure effective web development.” The article implicitly makes an important point at its outset: When looking for a web design company, a person shouldn’t just be looking for someone to provide a quick service and then be done. Instead, one’s web design company will ideally represent a lasting partnership, through which you can streamline changes to your website as they are needed.

Regular readers of this blog will hopefully recognize each of the linked articles’ recommendations as being things that we’ve discussed before. For instance, Business 2 Community recognizes the importance of responsive web design and adds further insight to our observation that ongoing changes to the web are making it more important all the time. It also notes that an effective web design company will be able to manipulate user experience in a way that prompts action from the largest possible number of visitors – often leading to sales.

As we’ve emphasized before, your web design company should certainly be able to provide you with an attractive and highly functional site, straight out of the gate. But these features don’t provide a complete picture of any given website. Indeed, that picture is often revealed only after long periods of web marketing, analysis, and accompanying development. The needs of your website depend in large part on how it is growing and how people are using it.

The web design company that you take on as a partner should understand this, and it should be immediately willing to form a long-term relationship with its clients, in order to make sure that their needs are met not just initially but also over the long term.

For some of the best web design companies, these needs will not be limited to actual web development but might also include marketing, social media management, and so on. In fact, as the landscape of the internet continues to evolve, it is increasingly difficult to isolate these different roles. A web design company will certainly find itself linking your site’s visitors to social media accounts, and it may be better able to analyze and manage traffic if it is actually helping to drive users in both directions.

If social media and a full-scale website are both important to your company’s online operations, it is probably advantageous to avoid thinking of them as entirely separate entities. Each feeds off the other, and each will remain a work in progress, in need of attention from a skillful web design company, long after it launches.

With this in mind, you should always be looking to the future when you search for contractors who might provide web services for you. While it is certainly possible for those services to take the form of a one-and-done transaction, there are significant benefits to be had from welcoming a web design company into your regular operations and inviting it to become expert in your unique needs and how best to fill them.