Web development can be a very complex and time consuming process. With so many content management systems and programming languages out there, it could be very difficult for one agency or individual to have a grasp of it all. If you are a web developer, you might find yourself having to outsource an entire web development project or a portion of it. Here are some tips for outsourcing web development work:
See also: How to Become a Web Developer
1. Determine the project scope
The first thing you need to do is to establish the project scope. Does the client want you to build an entirely new site? Or does he or she just want to refresh the current site with a better page structure and a new design? Knowing the scope will allow you to come up with a good estimate of the resources and time that will be required for the project. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What kind of functionalities does the client need on their site? Will they require custom programming?
- Is the client willing to participate in uploading content or writing page copy?
- What kind of content management system (CMS) does the client prefer?
- What resources are required to run the site once it is created?
Getting all these details from the client will make your work easier and prevent any problems down the line.
2. Select the right outsourced partner
Once the scope is clear, you need to choose an outsourced partner that has the capacity to successfully complete the project. If you don’t have any previous experience with a specific agency or individual, take time to carry out some research on them. Visit their website and social media pages to get an idea of their history and operations. Ask to see samples of their work and look for online reviews about them. Take your time to review and talk about the project scope with potential partners and ask them to share their ideas. This will give you an idea of whether they are excited, disinterested or intimidated about the project.
3. Discuss the project cost
After finding a potential outsourced partner, you need to discuss the project costs. This is a very important aspect of your decision making process. You need to find an individual or an agency that will fit your budget. If you realize that the project costs are higher than previously estimated, you could re-negotiate with your client. Once you have agreed on the payment terms, be sure to have everything in writing.
4. Set clear expectations
It is vital to make your expectations clear from the onset. This will avoid any confusion as the project progresses. Agree with your outsourced partner about the expected duration of the project and the target date for handover. Make sure this duration is sufficient for completion. In addition, you need to decide how and when you’d want to talk to your partner. For instance, you could decide to have weekly or bi-monthly meetings or live calls to review the site. Make sure you are firm, but polite, when setting your expectations.
5. Look out for red flags
To avoid problems with outsourced projects, always be on the lookout for red flags, such as a rude or disrespectful attitude or poor response and follow up. These could be signs that the partner does not clearly understand the project expectations,. Be sure to deal with such situations as calmly and promptly as possible. If your outsourced partner proves to be difficult to deal with, get rid of them as soon as possible, before they sabotage the project.
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Outsourcing web development projects is not easy. The guidelines above will help you outsource with confidence and avoid pitfalls.