Whether you're a seasoned veteran in resourcing or a new kid on the block, finding where to outsource web development can be a challenge. This guide gives you the top 3 ways to outsource web development in 2021 from a developer's inside view, with the pros and cons of each approach.
Digital agencies are usually the first to show up in your search to outsource web development, and for good reasons. They often are the 'go to' for those that are new to outsourcing web development. Those looking for a 'fully managed' approach may also jump on the agency train to try to avoid potential headaches.
Most advertise as the 'complete' outsourcing solution, where customers give requirements and can expect to have these delivered. You don't need knowledge of how or who is writing the code. Behind the scenes, the agency could do this 100% in-house or almost entirely outsource it again to subcontractors, which the agency will manage. It starts with the agency capturing what's needed, then providing a proposal to deliver it. Once you're happy, sign off the proposal to begin the process.
It's hard to give an exact idea of pricing for an agency as the range is so vast. Generally, you get what you pay. Agencies can provide a website for under £100 or north of £100,000. Higher ends tend to be more bespoke or custom made. Lower ends use more out of the box solutions or templates. Some on the lower-end may not have experience in web development or coding, and their team will leverage drag and drop products.
The agency approach is good when the budget is healthy, and the level of control and management should be minimal. If you're interested in this approach, check out our Top 7 tips for finding the best web development agency.
It's common to see recruiters engaged in helping outsource web developers these days. They often are the go-between for permanent staffing needs. However, they can help to source freelancers and contractors too. Using this option adds a recruitment consultant or agency between you and the web developer to help you source the 'right' web developer to carry out the work.
Recruiters usually offer to find the web developer or 'resource' for the project with no upfront charge. They collect a brief, go on their scouting mission and present candidates. Once it's a match, the recruiter usually sub-contracts the web developer. Then you'll contract the recruiter with a fee added on top of the web developer's rate. Once sub-contracted, the recruiter might collect timesheets from time to time. However, everything else is up to you and the web developer. An alternative to subcontracting through the recruiter exists and is called an 'Introducer's agreement'. The difference here is that the web developer has a contract with you directly. The recruiter has the Introducer's agreement separately to receive compensation without creating a chain. However, some recruiters may not offer this.
The charge can be anywhere north or south of 20% of the cost of the web developer's charges (but is usually around that mark). That means 20% of the total project budget if a recruiter is used to source everyone needed.
Recruiters are a good option when you can clearly articulate what resource is needed, and the budget can cover the extra cost.
Contractors, consultants, or freelancers are small businesses that provide web development services and do the bulk of the work for their business. Usually, freelance web developers are what people look for when outsourcing web development outside an agency. These businesses are scaled-down agencies, where individuals do the aspects needed in smaller quantities. As these businesses grow, they might hire others to carry out the work. Once they've grown enough, they're an agency. Once it's an agency, the owners tend to move from writing code to management.
Freelance web developers get found through their marketing material - i.e. website, portfolio, CV, LinkedIn profile and other media. Then, either you or the contractor will propose a contract for how the relationship can work. Once both parties agree, the project begins and carries on from there.
Consultants can charge per hour in a "Time and Materials" styled contract or a "Fixed price" contract. Again prices vary and can be south of £100 or north of £100,000 to deliver a piece. Generally speaking, you get what you pay. Hourly rates are usually around the range of £50 to £125+. It's typical to see rates set out in a day rate format, like £750 p/d.
This option is for those who know what they need and can spend time instead of budget to maximise project funding. If you want to outsource web development to a freelancer, check out our 12 best places to find a freelance web developer.
There, you have it—the top 3 ways to outsource web development, written by a web developer. We hope you enjoyed the article. If you want to talk about our web development services, please get in touch. We would love to hear feedback, good and bad.
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