Web Design: Freelancers or Companies?
Whether for your business, or a more personal project, you may at some point realise that you need a web developer to further your application. Invariably you will be ask the question of which to choose to work with: a freelancer or a web application development company?
There is no one option that is better than the other; and while there are most certainly pros and cons to both; they pretty much cancel out. In the end, it is going to come down to various factors that are determined by what you need based on your unique project.
The decision needn’t be a hard one though! So here’s how to make a more informed decision on which to choose.
Freelancers are going to be the most cost effective option 99.9% of the time. If your particular project or circumstances leave you with a limited budget, then the freelance web developer is without a doubt your more viable option. However, do keep in mind that depending on the company – and especially with a smaller web application development company – you can still receive very competitive rates; and you will probably be receiving some added benefits that justify those rates. Always do you research first, and you may even be surprised at the bargains you can come by.
A good company is going to offer satisfactory customer service; but the logistics and insane pressure that the developers find themselves under might leave customer care slacking a little. Not in a bad way! You certainly won’t be treated poorly (hopefully) but you may find yourself being treated like just another number in a long list of other priority projects. You could possibly run into the same problem with a busy freelancer, but to him you can almost never be just a number. Working with a freelancer means one on one interactions with the same person at all times, and this can greatly improve the relationship and customer service aspects.
The most likely scenario is that you don’t only need your app designed: you also need marketing, maintenance and an array of extra things. Unless you hit the jackpot, your freelance app developer won’t have mastered all these extra needs. This means you’ll have to hire a different freelancer to market, and another freelancer to employ a different set of skills you require etc. On the other hand, a web application development company has all the necessary staff to design your app, develop your app, market your app – you name it.
If you have time to develop your project then working with a freelancer should not give rise to many problems. A freelancer is most likely working at his own pace, or is very in demand, and has to spread his time effectively between projects. This is not exactly the case when opting to go with a fully staffed company where everybody has their skills and responsibilities. This can mean a well-oiled machine that ensures your app is developed and ready in no time at all. So if you have a tight deadline, a company will usually be able to match that better.
Those big and busy web application development companies that are meeting a hundred deadlines a week may not then have the time to customise your app as well as a dedicated freelancer could. The company may work from several templates to ensure faster and smoother results, whereas a freelancer has the time and freedom to be able to customise your app to the max. This is not always the case though, so again – do your research!
Your app is designed, developed and on the market now; but what about updates, changes, fixes and maintenance? This point can’t really swing to either a freelancer or a company. Post-launch maintenance may or may not be standard within a company, and some freelancers will happily continue to work on their client’s project after launch, while others have already taken on new projects and aren’t available to help you. Just make sure that this very important point has been discussed beforehand.
At the end of the day, your project will be successful whether you opt for a freelancer or a company. These tips will help you decide what is right for you, but as long as the lines of communication are open and clear, and you feel you have found a good fit for you, either one can deliver with quality.