Freelance web developers vs Development companies

Freelance web developers vs Development companies

You need a simple, affordable website or perhaps a mobile app and a complex PHP web application for your business. You have a fairly good grasp on what this software should do in terms of functionality and who your target market is, but you do not have the inhouse skills and/or resources to develop these applications, and you have not dealt with development companies and freelance web developers before.

So, then you start searching online for web development companies who can help bring your brilliant ideas to life – you contact some of these companies, set up meetings to discuss your requirements and ideas… to ultimately get a time and cost estimate.

After receiving a few quotations from these development companies you quickly realise that this endeavour is going to be much more complicated and expensive than you thought – You chat to your friend about your experience and she suggests that you try a freelance web developer…and you start Googling again…
Now that you have spoken to Development companies and Freelance developers you are thinking about the trade-offs/Pros & Cons between these two entities and which route you should take.

Choosing between freelance developers and dev companies ultimately boils down to: Affordability and Reliability

  • Development companies have much higher overheads than freelancers and therefore have to scope & cost their services accordingly – expect to pay 20-50% more per hour.
  • Reliability is also not guaranteed as most companies have their own internal problems i.e. politics, resource management and quality assurance.
  • Freelance developers can mostly offer the same services at a much lower cost, a personalised service and be your go-to-guy, but as with companies, reliability is also not guaranteed with all freelancers.


What to do?

Choosing a service provider is never easy and one should vet these companies or individuals/freelancers carefully based on character, references and expertise, its also not a bad idea to put a legal contract in place before starting a project, which will put you in a power position should anything go wrong during the project and also to protect your IP, source code, data, maintenance agreement etc. after the project is completed.


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