As a startup, why do you need us?
If you want to build a startup that heavily relies on a web application or website, you need the help of a multidisciplinary development team. Period.
If you don’t trust this, let us explain this assertion. As the person responsible for a startup you are dealing with the enormous challenge of keeping the business running; get your first clients, make alliances with peer companies, and think about short term goals (and long term strategy?). These are the things you should must pay attention to when you are in that position, but you know that your business needs strong web support… so, how can you deal with both things?
Our humble opinion is that you need the help of a dedicated team to take care of the development (or at least advise you on how to do it). Think about basic requirements, things that common users expect for any website:
- The website has to be easy to find through web searches (mostly google)
- It must be responsive (provide optimal viewing experience in almost every device)
- Follow de facto UX standards (things must be in the right place and behave as expected)
- It has to be easy to find/follow through mainly used social networks
- Websites with more than a couple of pages need a way to search for internal pages
- Blogs or news section to be updated regularly
Those things are only basic requirements, so the development also has to add your business specific set of features or functionalities. Now, imagine yourself making all this huge effort plus the ones inherent to the beginning of a new business. Just impossible.
Even if you have software development skills or your business is about software development, you can’t be an expert in all these topics. Startup people usually have many roles and try to do everything by themselves (mainly because of their initially low budget). But in this case, I strongly advise to not do it. If you aren’t convinced yet, I can get a little technical to get to the point, explaining the knowledge you need to master.
- The website has to be easy to find through web searches (mostly google): you must master concepts as SEO (sitemap structure, robot exclusion standard, HTML structure) and semantic web (microformats and schema.org format).
- Follow de facto UX standards (things must be in the right place and behave as expected): you must follow UX guidelines (i.e. Nielsen heuristics) for different devices.
- It has to be easy to find/follow through mainly used social networks: Each social network has its own universe, so you need knowledge about OpenGraph, APIs (are all different), and business rules and limits.
- Websites with more than a couple of pages need a way to search for internal pages: You can build your own search engine (i.e. Lucene ElasticSeach, Apache Solr) or use the Google Site Search to bring the same search technology that powers Google.com to your site.
- Blogs or news sections to be updated regularly: you need a web application to support this feature, a database where to store your posts, WYSIWYG editor, and a comment platform (i.e. Disqus).
I want to end this post repeating my advice, hoping that you were convinced after my technical explanation (full of apparently buzzy words): ask for help to a multidisciplinary software development team that has the discussed knowledge and the experience of putting all of these things together.