Hiring a Freelance Web Developer Drawbacks

The Drawbacks to Hire Freelance Web Developer

Brett MillerIT Staffing, Offshore, Outsourcing0 Comments

STOP! … yes, You!

Stop what you’re doing right now and feel the gravity of the moment. You’re considering hiring a web developer and the effects could be tremendous.

The right decision could lead you to the realization of your business dreams, but the wrong decision …
(I hate to even bring this up) but it could even drive you completely of business.

You may think I’m being melodramatic, but I’ve seen it happen. That’s why, if you’re deciding between a freelance web developer or a web development studio, I want to make sure you really understand the risks and rewards you’re looking at.

Have you considered the ramifications of failure? Do you realize that over 50% of projects fail (and that the limitations inherent to working with a freelance web developer bump that number over 65%.)

It’s tough not to be blinded by the perceived cost savings of working with an individual, but the question here is: can you really handle the risk that comes with working with a freelancer?

I share this based on my experience on both sides of the equation: I was once an independent freelancer, and now I own a full service development studio. I certainly don’t mean to belittle freelancers, but I know that I was far more limited when I was working that way, and I’m afraid most freelancers don’t own up to those limitations when seeking work.

More than anything I want you to go into the decision with your eyes open so, if it turns out to be better for you, you can go with a web development studio that can avoid these pitfalls and offer more stability.

Limitations Every Freelance Web Developer Will Face:

  1. Limited knowledge– Today’s complex web development projects require knowledge and expertise in so many different technologies and business domains, it’s impossible for one person to have it all. A studio’s development team can.
  2. Overcoming roadblocks– No web development project goes off without a hitch. But when the inevitable roadblocks come up, the varied experience and feedback of a group often makes for a quick and simple fix. An individual can’t rely on that.
  3. No backup– If a freelancer gets sick, runs into a family emergency, or for any other reason can’t work, there’s no backup there to pick up the slack. Your project simply stops. With a team collaborating on your project, that won’t happen.
  4. Limited availability– With just the one developer available to handle every task on every project they’re involved with, shifting priorities and adjusted time frames present a real challenge. A larger studio can usually handle these business needs more effectively.
  5. Allure of other projects– As a natural outgrowth of the way freelancers need to go about finding and accomplishing their work for various clients, to be successful they must always be on the lookout for the next big opportunity. If that shows up in the middle of your project, their priorities can be dramatically affected. A studio tends to be more interested in long-term relationships that benefit both parties consistently.
  6. Less importance / visibility of reputation– While most freelancers are professionals who are going to do their level best to handle your project, the fact is that a freelancer can, at any time, decide to take a full-time position within a company and leave their freelancing persona behind. Their reputation is necessarily less important than it is for a larger studio in business for the indefinite future.

One More Key Fact You May Not Realize

As I mentioned earlier, there’s a perceived cost savings that comes with working with a freelancer as opposed to a larger studio because of the studio’s higher overhead. However, those who are convinced of this “fact” likely haven’t objectively priced web development services recently.

These days, most web development studios typically use a mixed model of onshore and offshore talent to complete a project so rates are not necessarily more expensive with a studio than they would be with a freelancer who handles all aspects of the job themselves.

The risk, however, certainly is higher with a freelancer, as explained above.

If you’re still considering hiring a freelancer web developer to handle your project, I wish you the best, and hope your project turns out to be the exception that proves the rule. But, if you’d like to avoid these pitfalls – or if you’ve already gone that route and you’d like to see things work out better this time around – contact CS Preston to get the power of a full service web development studio behind you.

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