A question that has plagued almost everyone looking for web development services: should you opt for freelancers or a web development agency?
If you are confused too, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll be looking at the merits and demerits of both the models to help you make an informed choice. Before we jump into it, here are the most commonly offered web development services.
Widely Offered Front End Development Services:
- Full Stack Web Development
- HTML5/CSS Development
- Custom Web App Development
- CMS Design and Development
- Data Migration, Support and Maintenance
- UI/UX Design
- Ajax Development
- PSD to HTML Conversion
- Mobile App Development
- CSS and Front-end Frameworks (Bootstrap)
- CSS Preprocessors
- RESTful Services and APIs
- Cross-Browser Development
- Git and Version Control Systems
Freelancers VS Web Developer Agencies: Which One Should You Choose?
Various portals, such as Toptal, Upwork and Fiverr offer a marketplace of sorts for companies and freelancers to connect. All these portals are easy to use, have a lot of options to choose from, and cost next to nothing.
On the other hand, you can also work with agencies that ease the work. With them, you do not need to find, screen, or train the professionals. The time taken for recruiting someone is negligible. You don’t need to worry about managing human capital. There are less absenteeism, quick replacements if the need arises and of course, ongoing support.
Confused about which way to go? Well, here we have listed the pros and cons of hiring web developers from freelance marketplace portals and web development outsourcing agencies. Read on to make an informed choice.
Also Read: In-House vs Outsourcing Pros and Cons
Freelance Web Developers: PROS
1. Low Cost
The prices freelancers charge are lower than what you would have had to pay an in-house expert or agency hired web developers.
While this may sound like a wise choice at first, you need to ensure that a lower pay does not hamper the quality of work that the freelance web developer offers.
2. High Flexibility
Freelancers offer a flexible schedule, meaning that they are available at any time of the day, seven days a week. You can get them to work for you at flexible timings and at flexible pay scales too.
If the need arises, you can even hire multiple freelance web developers at one go, and when the demand subsides, you can let them go. The flexibility of a schedule is a great advantage if a client and a developer are situated in different time zones.
3. Quality and Skill
Most freelance portals have a grading and review mechanism where past employers can rate and review the freelancers. This ensures that most freelancers offer quality work.
Freelance Web Developers: CONS
1. Lack of Continuity
Web development is not something that can be done overnight. While freelancers may be a cost-effective solution, the lack of continuity makes them an expensive bargain in the long run.
You hire a freelance front-end developer for building a website and another to fix the errors and end up paying more than what the task was worth. Moreover, just imagine how much would you lose if your freelance developer unexpectedly disappeared?
2. Loose supervisory control
Freelancers are free birds. You cannot supervise or control them or their work. Making sure that an employee works on your tasks at the moment is beyond your reach.
Also, freelance developers may have problems with organization and time-management. You may try and bind freelance web developers in contracts and bonds, but more often than not, taking any kind of legal action, like say, dragging them to the court, would be a cost that you will need to bear!
Web Development Agency – PROS
1. Cultural Fit
When you hire a web developer from an agency, you can rest assured that s/he is a cultural fit for your organization. The agency train and guide the developers in a way such that you don’t have to train them for individual projects. The agency knows your needs and finds the people fit for you – a match made to perfection.
2. Long Term Approach
With an agency, you can build long term partnerships as agencies aim to provide a full cycle of high-quality services over the long term. The individuals working for you may change, but the quality and kind of work you get remain constant.
Also, if you need more than one worker, the agency takes care of the management of the team of employees.
In a nutshell, you can rely on your agency partner in everything- right from consulting to the technical support of the project. That’s why an agency-client relationship lasts longer!
Outsourcing agencies tend to follow strong work ethics and the standard protocol for quality control. You can trust them for getting a job done. A freelancer may quit or ditch you last minute, but an agency will honor the commitment and deliver on-time results.
4. A Team of Professionals
When you work with freelancers, you can hire a single person at once only. And if further need appears, you need to look for someone else all over again.
But when you hire front-end developers from a web development agency, you get a whole team of highly skilled professionals from different fields in one go.
Cons of Hiring from Agencies
1. Lack of Trusted Agencies
Hiring web developers requires substantial efforts, inputs, and skills. Finding the right agency is the biggest hurdle. If you do not find the right agency, all the advantages can be offset if the agency has poor management or low integrity.
However, you can quickly screen reliable agencies from shady ones by checking their portfolios, drafting a crystal clear contract, and signing in to a trial period of service.
2. Expensive than Freelancers
Hiring from agencies costs much more in comparison to freelancers. The cheapest isn’t the best choice – that’s almost a rule to remember while engaging an outsourcing agency.
Moreover, consider the fact that the development company can even save you money in case of the fruitful long-term cooperation.
The Bottom Line
Finding a reliable freelancer is no easy task. And even if you do manage to find a freelancer that meets your business requirements, lack of reliability remains a significant drawback in freelancers.
On the contrary, outsourcing agencies are a more balanced approach to the risk-reward equation that companies prefer. They offer reliability, long term partnerships, and over time become an extended arm of your organization. Without the cost of talent acquisition, you get ownership of the products of the brightest minds from across the globe.