Whenever one seeks a professional website or application development then there are several options one should consider. Firstly, try to work it out by yourself as it will be money-saving but some job requires a certain level of skills. The second option would be hiring someone to work for you in exchange for money. Here is where the things get tricky, whom to choose whether the freelancer is right or software development companies , are the best fit?
There are certain people who claim that they are capable to handle the job of website or application development single-handedly. Freelancers with a decent portfolio and working schedules are precise. On the other hand, there are these software development companies and agencies with huge staff and multi-skill resources who would be working on notch as per the requirements. So, questions may arise that why to hire the whole bunch while it can be done with a single resource or vice versa?
Today there are plenty of companies and freelancers who are working in the IT industry. All are delivering their best of services with the exceptional skills and knowledge to complete the work.
Here are a few pros and cons of Software development agencies and freelancers one should know to whom the requirement is all about.
Freelancers: If the required work is something like graphic design changes then it is advisable to get it done with a freelancer. However, freelancers are just expertise with limited skill-set. Rare are those who are trained to work under a cross-app development for complex projects. Freelancers can be a good add-on to the in-house team.
Agencies: For complex and dynamic projects, one should always consider agencies while hiring them. These are the companies which are required to hire skilled resources to work on their complex project. Software development companies are the perfect choice for projects which cannot be handled by a single-handed person.
Table of Content
- 1. Benefits and Demerits of Hiring a Freelancer
- 2. Benefits and Demerits of Hiring a Software Development Agency
- 3. Bad Experience with a Freelancer
- 4. Hiring a Freelancer for a Big Project is Not a Good Idea
- 5. Freelancers have a Specific One Skill Set that They Are Good
- 6. Trust is a Key
- 7. For Long-term Agency is the Best Option
- 8. Multiple Reasons to Hire an Agency Over Freelancer
- 9. Smooth Workflow
- 10. Maintenance Team
Benefits and Demerits of Hiring a Freelancer:
Communication: As working as a freelancer, there will only one person who will be the point of contact while performing the complete scope of work. Freelancer will be the reason if there is anything not good as per the schedule.
Flexibility: Freelancer is open to working around an hour in the day. They are not bound to work as per the office hours. They are flexible enough to initiate the coding in the middle of the night or they can even create a website at the dawn of the morning. It’s just that one should be aware of the goal and scope of work and output of work matters the most.
Affordability: Freelancers will charge for their full range of services but the clients are only paying for the scope of work.
Availability: A skilled and talented freelancer will always work on multiple projects at a single time. There are chances where the desired freelancer is not available when there is a requirement. This is a major drawback with the freelancers.
Confidentiality: In this industry, Confidentiality plays an important role. So as a result, every company make their freelancer sign a Non-disclosure agreement but still, risk is there. The same freelancer may work with you today it may happen then tomorrow he will be working with the competitor.
Benefits and Demerits of Hiring a Software Development Agency:
Collective expertise: There will be more than one expert a client will be working with. The end-product will be developed by high-level expertise in more than one area such as programming, designing, marketing, etc.
Promising Support: A software development agency will never abandon you in the middle of the development of your project. They will work on your project and achieve the relevant output and provide you on-going support. Whereas a freelancer will not be able to come an extra mile to assist you in your ongoing project.
World-class product: There are very limited websites or application which are highly appreciated and developed by the freelancers. All the attractive, smooth, appealing solutions are always designed by the group of people working in a team. Classier and productive work is achieved by the team as it is well said that a group of mind work can perform great while a single head.
Higher expenses: It would not be cheap when you hire a team for the working of your complex project. It is always going to be expensive as compared to the single person as it is noticed that the company has to consider the expenses other than the services itself like taxes, rent, utilities, etc.
Miscommunication: If you are hiring an agency then the point of contact will be in a loop where the client will be talking to a single manager and the actual work will be done by the other team members. Written roadmaps and documents can be helpful but chances are really low.
Based on the facts we have received some expert opinions on - Which one is the best choice among freelancers and a team of an agency. Well, the majority of choices are showing that choosing an agency is the best option over a freelancer. You can observe some excellent advantages like for bigger and large-scale projects, the agency is the correct choice. You would not find trust issues with software companies. Hence for long-term option agency is the best choice as it possesses multiple talents, helpful while project developments. Therefore, selecting the agency makes perfect sense.
Bad Experience with a Freelancer
“We often see clients come to us after they’ve had a bad experience with a freelancer. Often times, the cause is that the freelancer got too busy or in fact acted unprofessionally throughout the entirety of the project. One big reason (which is often not spotted by the client) is that a company usually has agile processes, in place in order to make a project progress according — whereas a freelancer does not.”
- Shannon Wilks, Account Manager of RKWO Ltd.
Hiring a Freelancer for a Big Project is Not a Good Idea
“From my experience, I can state that hiring a freelancer for a big project is not a good idea. If you don't have in-house developers, or you are not a developer yourself, you will be in great trouble trying to reach deadlines.
Hiring a software development agency has the advantage over hiring freelancers because you get software analysts and proper planning. Planning is key in software development. It's the best way to achieve your company's goals. When you hire an agency, you'll get a team that already works together dynamically, and they know each other's strengths and weaknesses.
If you are not a software company that can afford the time or money to have in-house developers, my recommendation is to choose expertise over saving some money. You will end up paying the price in the near future.”
- Gustavo Lindenberg, CTO at Rene
“When starting a project, whether it’s an app or a web platform, I would strongly advise to consider hiring a team instead of one freelancer. This can be done through a company or agency and will be beneficial further down the line. A lot of projects require more than one person to complete, and if one developer sets out to build a big project, it will take them longer and most likely the quality will be lower. In a team however, each member will focus on their part, for example front-end development, design or back-end programming. Furthermore, a development company will take responsibility for the result, guide your project from start to finish and pick the best and most suited people for the job as they have more technical knowledge and experience.”
- Alexander Lazutin, Founder and Director of ICarta
“Being an entrepreneur means deciding on many crucial decisions and opinions. One of such crucial decision includes deciding to develop a software project by either a freelance developer or a software developing company. Many entrepreneurs can get confused between the two options but the latter option, in reality, is better. There are several reasons behind it. First of all, they are reliable for starting a big project. One should not risk their time, money, and everything on a small freelance developing team. This process requires experts like QA engineers, developers, designers, business analysts, etc. Freelancers are more jack-of-all-trades and are not specialists.
Secondly, the software team also manages your projects and collaborate with your internal teams and workers. They organize meetings and ensure everyone about the cycle of development that is happening. It helps in building a link between the development team and the customers. Lastly, they are more adept with the latest trends, technology, changes in coding language, unlike freelancers.”
- Jennifer Willy, Editor at Etia
Freelancers have a Specific One Skill Set that They Are Good
“Freelancers usually have a specific skill set that they are good at. It could be just one skill that they are specialized in and have little to no experience delivering business solutions. When other businesses require complex softwares to meet their organizational goals, freelancers do not have the required expertise to keep up with the demand and neither have the business acumen to see a holistic solution to the client's problem. Agencies on the other hand, usually start from the ground-up and thus have a lot of business experience behind them to deliver pertinent solutions that fit the needs of the clients as they want it. Also, they attract some of the best talents and have a much wider pool of skill-sets available to tap into, as and when the need arises. It thus makes sense to hire a development agency which has processes set in place to ensure a smooth project delivery, have multiple set of eyes to spot and fix bugs and stick to tight deadlines.”
- Noman Nalkhande, Founder of WP Adventure
Trust is a Key
“We hire a software development agency over freelancer developers for various reasons. First, there is the trust issue. With freelance developers, you don't get to do a background check. The developers at a software development agency have been background checked and the chances of them putting malicious code in my software are less. There is also more supervision over them. A freelancer has no supervisor. He can do whatever he wants and I would never know what he did. But in an agency there is supervision, and the developer risks losing his job if he does anything wrong.
Aside from the trust issue, we are also concerned about the legal issues. A freelancer can sue you at any time, for various reasons. He could say he thought he was an employee of your company and he is entitled to benefits. Even if his lawsuit is baseless, you will waste your time and money trying to defend yourself against it. The freelancer could get injured on the job and claim workers compensation. You don't run these risks with a development agency.”
- Oliver Bravo, Founder and CEO of Best Lawsuit Funding LLC.
For Long-term Agency is the Best Option
“Advising dozens of companies and having worked as a freelance developer myself, I can assure you that in most cases going with a freelancer is going to be fine—if not even better. Agencies shine where the business need is very long-term (i.e., more than 18 months in the startup world), and the work itself does not involve novelty and innovation. In these situations, agencies provide stability and continuity to the company, so that adding more people in a specific area, or handling someone leaving is not an issue.”
- Aviv Ben-Yosef, Tech Executive Consultant and Coach at Aviv Ben-Yosef Consulting
Multiple Reasons to Hire an Agency Over Freelancer
“The two main benefits to hire a software development agency are:
Reliable for Startup Development
If you are a startup, you will surely need the services of some professionals that can develop the software for your business. From consulting to business analysis to business idea evaluation, the software development company will give you professional assistance. The software company has a team of professionals that include developers, QA engineers, designers, and business analysts that play an important role in deploying the software successfully. Where else, you cannot get all these services from a freelancer. He may help you develop good software, but after that, he may not be able to give further services.
Smooth Workflow and Attitude
The software development companies have project managers that keep the check on workflows and plan every step carefully to establish a workflow and meet the deadlines. Software companies care about the results. They value their clients so that they can build a long-term relationship with them. Whereas freelancers have their attitude. Once they are paid for their services, it becomes tough to find them and bring them back to work.”
- Werner Jorgensen, Founder at Heatxperts
“There are 4 big reasons that you should consider hiring a software development agency, instead of a freelancer: Speed, Security, Universality and Specialists.
Having a team to work on your project is always going to be faster than having a single freelancer. Even if your freelancer is contracted to just this single project and you are their only client, a larger team can spread out work, often handling different aspects of the project concurrently, to speed up the whole process.
When you hire a freelancer, there’s always a possibility that you can get left in the lurch. That’s not usually due to anything nefarious (although that can happen too), but if you have a single person working on your project, if they change career, get ill or something unavoidable occurs, you could be stuck with a half-finished project and no-one to complete it. When you’re relying on one single person, instead of a team, you’re inviting a much larger risk should something go wrong.
An often overlooked plus to hiring an agency instead of a freelancer, is that you’re much less likely to end up with a project that is coded in an idiosyncratic way. When you’re a freelancer, you have the freedom to do things exactly the way you like, regardless of whether it’s a standard or commonly used solution. Agencies almost always have standards and specifications that they need to keep to. Which means that the whole team knows exactly how every part of your project works, and it makes it much more likely that someone new can pick up where they left off.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “a jack of all trades and a master of none”, well that’s often true when it comes to freelancers. It’s pretty common for freelancers to be mainly technical specialists, which can leave some big gaps in your project, not just from a visual standpoint, but in the planning, user journey and ongoing strategy too. It’s rare to find someone whose coding, design, UX, SEO and copy skills are all incredible. That’s why agencies usually have specialists in each of those fields working together on your project.”
- Sam Orchard, Managing Director of Edge of the Web
“There are many reasons to hire a software development agency instead of a freelance developer which include the following:
Expertise - an extensive work experience
Full Service - a range of services such as consulting, business idea estimating, business analysis, and structuring strategies
Deadlines - consistent, regular reporting on progress and the ability to complete work on time
Reputation - a track record of meeting or exceeding customer expectations
Maintenance and Support - an agency is looking for long term customer relationships and will offer maintenance and support to achieve this goal.”
- Todd Ramlin, Manager of Cable Compare
“Two main reasons are:
Agencies usually have a reasonable number of employees specialized for specific tasks. By hiring an agency, you could enjoy the smooth workflow. However, freelancers often outsource the tasks they aren’t capable of doing themselves. So, the quality of work could reduce, or your project takes more than the expected time to complete. The strong network makes agencies more reliable than freelancers.
Agencies do have not only specialized developers and testers but also maintenance support for their clients. Software often needs maintenance as per needs changes over a period of time. Usually, freelancers are short of time because of not having an extended team. They respond later or do not handle issues timely. So, hiring agencies is a better option. They are most likely to respond to you timely.”
- Rolf Bax, HR Manager at Resume.io
“It’s not possible for them to know everything, even if they're armed with much experience and in-depth knowledge. But it’s much more convenient work with a professional software development company that can provide you with a team of experienced developers for your project and look after the technical part from developing to deploying phase. A software development agency can offer a full software development cycle. They help you in each way from consulting, business analysis to business idea evaluation. These steps are very important, especially if you are new in business and trying to build your brand.
Another advantage of hiring a software development agency over freelancers is diverse expertise. Hiring a software development company means that you hire a pool of professionals - designers, developers, managers, QA experts, etc. with vast knowledge and skills. To stay ahead of the competitors, each organization adapts the latest technologies and implements development methodologies and standards for your project. The companies are constantly evolving and improving the techniques and turn-around-time. They are aware of current software, technology trends, and new programming languages. Thus, they can provide up-to-date solutions.”
- Jeev Trika, CEO of TopSEOs