Building a website is vital for any organization. It can be an effective tool for marketing your business to potential customers online. One cannot deny the impact of having an online presence where customers are able to find your product and/or services. Creating a website is a tedious task that requires an expert. If you don’t have one on your team, consider learning how to outsource web development.
Website creation can be challenging for non-techies. It is a technical skill that demands time and dedication. Building a website can take your focus away from what you should be doing. You cannot be an entrepreneur and web developer at the same time especially if you don’t know anything about it. When you outsource web development, you are sure that the professional you will hire will give all their time and effort to completing your website.
There may be a lot of questions going through your mind about hiring a web development professional. This article will guide you on the things you need to know to help you get started with web development outsourcing. Here we will cover the following topics:
1. Why should you outsource web development?
2. Freelancer vs Agency: Where Should I Outsource?
3. Which Tasks To Outsource?
4. Tips On Web Development Outsourcing
Reasons for Outsourcing Web Development
As more and more people become internet-savvy, the need to have a website becomes even more important. Your company website will serve as the point of contact for your customers. It will also serve as your professional profile online. However, it is not enough to just have a website. You also need to make sure that there is quality content and that the design is user-friendly. But most likely, you can’t do it yourself. This is why you need the help of a professional web developer. But why should you consider outsourcing your web development?
One of the foremost reasons to consider hiring web development professionals is that it can save you money. Whether it’s freelance, local, or offshore web developers, you will definitely save thousands of dollars rather than hiring your own web development team. Depending on your location, it could mean around 20% to 70% savings on your budget.
Consider the annual salary you will pay a US web developer compared to the hourly rate of an outsourced web developer. It’s $76,000 for a full-time web developer versus the $100 – $150 per hour of a professional web developer.
Focus on key business activities
As mentioned, web development can take most of the time of your in-house team. They may no longer have time for their core duties. When you outsource web development, your team can devote their time to your core business operations such as marketing, promotion, sales, networking with partners, strengthening customer base, and others.
Reach out to top experts
Some web development projects require strong technical skills which you or your team may lack. In addition, some developers with expertise are quite hard to find locally. Also, local specialists can be more costly compared with overseas web developers. Web development outsourcing allows you to choose the best professional for your project.
Combined knowledge & broader skill set
Outsourcing web development also gives you access to a dedicated team of specialists. Once you decide to outsource, you get access to a pool of technical experts allocated for your web project adding more value to it.
Freelancer vs Web Development Agency: Which Should I Choose?
Now you have decided to let a web development professional handle your website. But how do you go about with learning how to outsource web development? For your website projects, you can choose to hire either a freelancer or a web development agency. When making a decision, consider the pros and cons and of each.
Pros and Cons of Hiring a Freelancer
One of the major benefits of working with a freelancer is low cost. Most small businesses prefer hiring freelance professionals because it is cheaper compared to a web design agency. Freelance web developers set their own rates and offer more flexibility with costing. Aside from that, freelancers don’t have to worry about overhead costs like staff salaries, office rent, and maintenance. Working with freelancers allows more involvement in the creative process. A reliable freelancer will focus their time and attention to your project.
However, freelancers don’t have a large team with different specializations. They are working solo so they have their own schedule. You may need to hire other freelancers to handle different aspects of web design and development. Most likely, they are handling other projects so their turnaround time may be slow.
Pros and Cons of Working with an Agency
Web design agencies carry a reputation in their industry. They are registered with organizations such as the Better Business Bureau and have a reputation to uphold with their communities and among their peers. In addition, they are listed in top review sites like Yelp holding them accountable for their work.
Web development agencies have their own content writers, web developers, designers, and SEO experts all under one roof. It will be more expensive than a freelancer but you can have different experts working on your project. Web development agencies utilize advanced technology and better design materials for better support.
On the question of which one between a freelancer and a web development agency should you hire, there is no definite answer. Your decision will depend on a number of factors such as your requirements, budget, and your time-frame. There is no good or bad choice. Each one of them can fit perfectly depending on the services you need.
Web Development Tasks You Can Outsource
Web development involves a lot of functions and specializations. Here are some of the tasks that you can outsource to a freelancer or web development agency:
The project manager runs the project from the perspective of the product owner taking in mind the vision of the team as well. Project managers control the development cycle, user stories, budget, and the terms. The strange thing about it is that they are closer to the client than you.
The design is not just about moving pixels and assembling the homepage. It is about how you approach your client’s business goals. The border between the interface and user experience is a little bit blurry and it is the job of the designer to break down this border.
The back-end developer is one of the most important players in the web development team. The speed, performance, customization options, and product scalability are dependent on the back-end architecture.
Front End Developer
Front end developers are responsible for activating the design, animation, and navigation pattern. They should have mastery of different technologies and should be dedicated to fulfilling the design in its smallest detail.
To stand out from the crowd, you need unique and consistent messages and mastery of the skill of persuasion. Nothing is more persuasive than words and stories. For this, you need a UX writer to shape the way you communicate to customers.
Online marketing and SEO is different from other types of marketing. There are a lot of factors to be considered before you can reach the top and start to get noticed. If you don’t know what to do, your efforts will be futile.
Web development is not an assembly line wherein you just put out your share of the work and move on to the next product. It demands teamwork for a better outcome. Although you can have your own team of freelancers, why not have it done by a company that has long been doing that.
Tips On Outsourcing Web Development
Learning how to outsource web development can be daunting especially if you are doing it for the first time. There are doubts and concerns that may be stopping you from trying it out and offloading the task from your staff. To be successful with outsourcing to a web development professional, consider the following tips:
1. Know what you want
Before you outsource web development, you should first have an idea of what you want to achieve. There are different web development tasks that you can outsource and each one needs to be approached strategically. Some companies specialize in mobile development, others in WordPress. You should first take a look at your previous projects and decide if you want a similar or compatible design or you want a new one.
2. Communication is key
The problem with web development outsourcing is that you may be in a different time zone with the professional which makes communication difficult. Fortunately, with a little effort and the right tools, communication can be improved tremendously. You need to set expectations right away and make sure that you and the outsourced professional are on the same page.
3. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind
When outsourcing, the input of the customer is one of the most valuable resources for the freelance or outsourcing company. Your feedback will matter most to them whether you are satisfied with their service or if there is something that needs more attention. Your complaint serves as a warning to them by allowing you to fix small problems before they become a big one. As such, you shouldn’t be afraid to speak out.
4. Ask questions
Envision your project from start to finish and try to imagine if there are any difficulties that may arise. Make sure that you have covered all the bases and get straightforward answers. You don’t want any surprises to happen once you have given your commitment. Prepare a list of questions. The company might give you empty promises and you don’t want that to happen. Get to know the company you are working for.
5. Designate a project manager
Have one of your employees be the project manager to oversee all the moving parts and ensure that everyone involved in the project is kept in the loop. It is crucial for the project manager to be involved in the outsourced work and communicate with the outsourcing company. This will help prevent spending too much time and energy on dealing with problems that you cannot resolve. A project manager will surely know how to deal with issues and concerns as quickly as possible.
6. Start with small tasks
Some tasks are more worth outsourcing than others. Start with a small project with a simple scope so you can have an idea of what the outsourced company is capable of. Move slowly and commit gradually. You can set the payment for every project milestone.
7. Have a contract
One of the most important things you should understand when learning how to outsource web development is to have a record of work even if the professional leaves the project. If the freelancer quits without any record of progress, you will have to start from scratch and will have no support during the transition. For example, you can have the web developer insure the code. This way, if the program suddenly crashes, you will be covered financially. Without any contract, it would be hard for you to challenge or make claims.
Common Mistakes When Outsourcing Web Development
If you are doing it for the first time, it can be easy for you to make mistakes when looking for a provider to outsource web development. Although outsourcing can be an excellent option for offloading some of your tasks, it can become costly when you don’t do it right. Here are some of the common mistakes you should avoid when outsourcing web development.
Unprepared for cultural differences
When outsourcing, cultural differences can have a potential impact on the success of your project. Aside from the language barrier, culture can also affect values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. It will greatly impact their approach to your project. Cultural difference can have an impact on the development methodology to implement.
Make sure that you are familiar with your team’s culture. Look for a provider that follows a method that is aligned to your own cultural expectations.
Poor choice of an offshore team
You may be ready to face cultural differences but if you hire the wrong professional or team for the job, your project is still likely to fail. You may be tempted to take the offer of a company that offers low rates. However, low prices often mean poor results as well. You may have saved some money but suffer in quality. Take your time in searching for a team. Check their portfolios and read reviews.
Undervaluing project management
Another common mistake that can impact the success of your web development project is hiring a team without a project manager. It may be tempting for you to hire a team without a PM so you can take the reins yourself. This can have huge implications not only on your project but also on your other duties.
As a project manager, you will be the one handling scheduling and designation of tasks to ensure that your team stays on track. Juggling those tasks with your other duties can be complicated especially when the outsourced team is working on a different time zone. By hiring a team with a project manager, you free yourself from the burden of handling the management aspect yourself.
Having no clear vision
At the onset, make sure that you share your vision for your website with your chosen team. Without explaining your vision, it will be hard for the outsourced team to start your project. Without clear expectations, the outsourced team may provide you with the best version they think you want. Chances are, you will be unsatisfied with the results and request for changes. Unfortunately, the longer the development process, the more costly it becomes. So make everything clear to the outsourced team for them to understand the direction you want to go.
Opting for a short-term relationship
In the past, web development outsourcing was generally short term. Once you get the finished product from the developer, the relationship is over. However, your website will regularly require updates and bug fixes as well as other changes. If you don’t have an in-house web development team, it will be difficult to update your website. If you didn’t maintain the original team that built your website, the new team will be the one to implement changes and they would have to revise the codes.
So outsource a team who will partner with you long-term. You can be sure of ongoing support and maintenance ensuring better experience and even better results.