Choosing between a freelancer and a web development firm for your project can be a confusing task. Both have their fair bit of advantages and disadvantages, but knowing exactly what your project need is can to some extent simplify the decision making process.
Before we venture into the pros and cons between freelancer and web development companies, lets first understand what they are:
Freelancer is an individual person who is self-employed (also known as “Independent contractor”) and is not necessarily committed to a long term employment contract. Freelancers are today prominent in fields like computer programming, content writing, web design, graphic design, and website development, etc.
A web development firm on the other hand is a group of skilled individuals working together under a common company brand name (registered as a legal entity). This is a more organized and accountable form of service setup.
Some of the common decision making parameters which any client hiring a freelancer or web development firm should consider are as below:
- Service Quality,
- On time delivery,
- Cost effectiveness,
- After sale services,
- Past experience, etc.
Some basic pros & cons to help you in your selection process
- Are less expensive
- Great when you are developer and need some senior freelancer professional to help
- Great when you are short on budget and have an outstanding freelancer available full time
- Might lack in complete knowledge and experience required to add value to your overall requirement.
- Limited to the imagination and experience of one person
- No guarantee of service quality and project completion timelines as initially committed
- Break in continuity of project if persons falls ill or sudden stoppage of work if person become unavailable.
- Unless you hire a fulltime freelancer their primary focus would remain their permanent job or other work which would be their main source of income.
- Unless you know the guy personally for a year or more, you will always need to have a ‘Plan B’ for emergency.
Web Development Firms
- Tend to offer some sort of customer satisfaction guarantee.
- Are more aware about current web trends and programming languages and can provide an up-to-date solution
- You can benefit from a full team of developers and designers
- Have registered office address where you can meet the developers face-to-face for solutions.
- No break or stoppage of work due to unavailability of resources as one developer can be replaced with another developer from within the firm quickly.
- Expensive than freelancers
Now let’s look at some recommendations based on the client category.
Cost / Investment are usually the major decision making factors for an individual. Hence hiring a freelancer would be more recommend in case of requirement like blogs, static information or brochure websites. However in case of a more complex project requirement, a freelancer might not be the best option. Complex and big projects requires more organized and diversified skillsets, therefore a web development firm can be better option in such cases.
For small & medium size companies / institutes:
Quality and cost effectiveness are two important criteria for companies falling under this category. As branding is an important factor for a company hence quality plays an important role. Freelancers are usually specialize in certain skills only and it is very rare to find a freelancer who has all the skills required to complete any end-to-end projects. Hence it’s advisable for small & medium size companies to go for a Web Development Firm who looks into all factors of project development starting from design, coding and after sale services.
For big size companies / institutes:
Quality, on time delivery and after sale services along with web and database security are important parameters of decision making. These companies are usually in need of web applications tools, ecommerce stores, or mobile applications, enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications. A freelance would not be able to provide such in-depth and complex solutions alone due to his / her skill limitations. Hence a Web Development firm is the recommended solutions to these kind of project requirements.