Everything is within reach of today’s individual. All you need is a phone or a laptop. We are no longer restricted by our location and have the ability to expand our influence beyond spatial limitations. As a startup owner, you don’t have to make allowances for the lack of technical talent in your neighborhood when the practice of outsourcing web development and design proved to be efficient and there are so many reasons to do it.
The network of IT professionals of various specializations has infiltrated every major city of every country. The team you need might consist of people next door, someone in the tropics, someone deep into the taiga, and have folks on [almost] every continent.
All because of the benefits of outsourcing. Web development outsourcing, in particular, because the power of cloud technologies and shared data will ultimately lead to all software becoming part of the versatile network.
Why outsource web development? In simple terms
The question of whether outsourcing web development is worth it is the first one to rise. It might seem like it’s a one-time task, you launch your site and just let it soar. Looks like a job a freelancer can handle. But what if you need not just a website, but a responsive web application with specific UI/UX design, a chatbot, a blog, a CMS, and an e-commerce engine? Then you need a full-blown web dev company. And then, what if you want to improve it, add functionality, and just keep it fresh all the time? That looks like you need an in-house team with permanent access to the business process.
To stop the avalanche of what-ifs, doubts, and questions, there is a number of points you need to assess:
- Do you have a project manager proficient in running a web development project within the budget and timeline?
- Do you have a design team capable of creating a unique interface and delightful user experience? The team that knows the ins and outs of modern UI/UX design trends and can operate on the terms of the industry?
- Do you have a versatile development team able to produce a working website the way it’s meant to be?
- Do you have a content management team to put flesh on the website in terms of its user appeal and informative value?
- Do you have a marketing force to promote your web application, optimize it, and prioritize the advancements, as well as to measure its performance?
If you’re lagging on some/all of these, you can go two ways about it: equip an in-house team, pour cash into its integration, and pray the ROI comes positive, or go full-on global entrepreneur and make use of outsource web development services provided by the companies that have become experts in doing such things. The latter, however, requires your participation all the same and a knowledgeable approach.
Which web development jobs can you outsource?
Let’s take a closer look at the team involved in building the next big thing – your website. We believe in an all-around web outsourcing team capable of delivering quality products regardless of the industry. The pool of outsourced specialists you can choose from is not limited to developers per se.
The more multifaceted the team, the less is segmentation.
We’ve had line-ups working on investment platforms, huge fintech applications, eCommerce websites and websites for smart home tech companies, digital art platforms, all sorts of weird mobile apps, games (including the drinking ones), weather apps, and etc. We’ve even seriously considered taking on a job for the American Sack Tapping League (NSFW).
Of course, there are environments we thrive in, but our general concern as a primarily outsourced and outstaffed agency has always been in generating as much experience in various industries as possible. So a typical outsourced web development team would line up as follows:
Shortage of experienced staff, budget constraints, business model features are among factors that might motivate you to think about outsourcing project management.
A good PM is the motive power of the project. They control the development cycle, user stories, the budget, and the terms. Oftentimes it might feel a bit strange – the PM is closer to the client on the other side of the world than to you, and you just had drinks at a corporate event the other day. It is what it is:
PM runs the project from the perspective of the product owner but with due regard to the team’s vision as well.
They usually call it UI slash UX (you can outsource the UI design of your product as well as hire an outsource UX research team), but we are actually getting past that. In the modern realm where the interface is the product and the way you treat your customers is the experience, the borders begin to blur.
Outsourced web design is perfect if you want to focus on your core competencies instead of making heads or tails of the latest design trends and tendencies and delegate the expert team with access to the current tools and technologies who knows how to use them to achieve a client’s goals.
The design is not just moving pixels and putting together a distraction-free homepage. It’s a state of mind you approach your client’s business goals in.
The guts of your web app are its backend. The speed, performance, customization options, and scalability of the product depend on the back-end architecture.
What makes outsource web developers different from the members of an in-house team? You might have heard about some myths about IT outsourcing challenges like that remote developers are mediocre, or they are less dedicated, while in reality, the situation is usually exactly the opposite. We debunked these and other myths in one of our articles on the benefits of outsourced development, you’re welcome to take a look.
No need to exaggerate. One of the key players on the team.
The interactions we design, every cool animation, and navigation pattern have to be brought to life in code by a front-end developer or a UI developer. A borderline soldier between design and code who work closely with UX designers to translate visual designs and mock-ups to usable websites.
Front-end engineers are expensive which justifies the need for outsourced development services all the more since it’s not always optimal to keep the necessary number of such specialists on the staff.
It’s important that a front-end developer would be masterful in technology and have an aesthetic dedication to fulfilling the design in every smallest detail.
If you are willing to either stand out from the crowd with your unique and consistent messages, you need to master the skill of persuasion. Nothing persuades like words and stories. That’s why you need a word designer or, more traditionally, a writer to shape the way you communicate with your customers.
UX writer as a part of an outsourced web development team is able to make a digital product speak and communicate, bringing forth its real value and enhancing the work of other team members.
In a nutshell, your message has to be clear, accurate, brief, and non-offensive. Do you know how to do that?
Web marketing and SEO are different from any other type of marketing. The internet with its own laws and intricacies does not guarantee promotion with cash only. A lot of variables have to be taken into account in order to reach the top and start getting noticed. If you don’t know what you are doing, you will waste time and money.
All of these positions though very different resonate with each other on so many different levels. The process of developing a website is not an assembly line. You don’t just put out your portion of work and move on to the next product. It’s a common performance and the better the teamwork, the better the outcome. You can put together your own team of freelancers, but why do that if there are companies that dedicated years to that.
If you are looking to establish a solid product, your team has to be solid as well. After all, the freelancers speaking different languages failed the Tower of Babel project.
How to start outsourcing web development?
If the decision to outsource has been made, the next question is where do you start? Posting your job on collaboration platforms is not enough, and even dangerous if you are on to something special about your product.
Send the bat signal/Find the company to outsource web development to
If you know who you want your project to be executed by, go ahead and hit them up. However, there are options. A ton of them. You can post your outsource web development project with just a brief statement of what you want and how you want it, and let the companies take a shot. You can research competition and see who does development for them. You can formulate a list of requirements and do the search yourself, eventually, you will narrow the circle to the ones that fit best. Generally, it’s a quality-to-price ratio that separates the ones from the others.
Different web development companies and teams leverage different aspects of development. Some are design-heavy, the others are rockstars in big data and machine learning. Finding the balance and the best-fitting expertise for your custom project is the main challenge. From our experience, people who are satisfied with our work willingly recommend us to their connections. This is the best type of reference we can get and we’ll go to battle for it.
Things to look at when evaluating web development companies:
- Experience. Experience does not equal talent, but it does equal seasoned. The more projects in the belt, the better pattern recognition, and the lower the risk of being thrown off by whatever adversity might appear along the way.
- Portfolio. Never judge the book by its cover, but isn’t that what the covers are for? A profound display of past works can be just enough for you to settle down on a company.
- Personnel. Regardless of the products delivered, it’s the people that you are going to be working with. How do they treat employees? What is their recruitment and adaptation process? These are the points you have the right to clarify when picking your squad.
- Competence. Every good restaurant has a signature recipe, but a great restaurant serves everything perfectly. It’s their constant movement towards mastering something new that makes them stand out. With technologies popping up like mushrooms after the rain, it’s vital for a competitive team to add the best of them to their toolbox.
- Communication. Never mind the geography and time zones. That is never an excuse for an ineffective communication framework. The essential prerequisite is fluent English for the team you will be communicating with and the proficient level of English for all things writing.
- Security. In order to give out your startup idea or technological solution you are building, there has to be trust and empathy, however, that is not enough. The IT industry uses a number of protective measures for you. The company you are hiring has to provide several options for you to choose from.
- Flexibility. The thing is, once you find a company to satisfy all the needs, you might want to pass on your project due to its irrelevance over time. These are good guidelines to get your bearings early on, but then there has to be a gut feeling that you are doing it right. Mutual flexibility on various matters is the key to a successful partnership.
Define the project
If there is one thing a project can never have too much at its command, it’s information. The more details you provide the easier it is to estimate the amount of effort and the budget. Oftentimes product owners hold back some of the functionality concepts, either out of fear to overwhelm the team or because of the copyright concerns.
This is a giant misconception. You won’t be less in control of the project if it becomes an open book for all the team members. In fact, it will only increase your status as one, because it’ll be you who disclosed it, thus the most knowledgeable person in charge.
The ultimate product you can create at this stage is the project documentation. You have to put 100% of the available information there. Starting from the statement and philosophy, including all the features to be on the implementation list so far, and up to the design preferences and microcopy. Your outsourced web dev team will readily contribute by asking the right questions.
Product documentation is the product at its earliest stage. Do not proceed to design/development before you are confident the team shares a common mindset.
Set up a meeting routine (or don’t)
Some believe in micromanaging even the smallest processes and keeping everything under surveillance. In this case, you have to cut out a portion of your team’s production time on meetings. To make meetings more productive, you shouldn’t just treat them as weekly reports. They are great for clarifying things and exchanging comments. The issues that might take a day to settle on emails can be handled within a 20-minute talk.
There is an argument though, that meetings are only good for crucial events like ending sprints or introducing pivotal changes, other than that, you can keep track of the design and development process via various task management and collaboration tools.
The IT crowd knows how to run meetings, so it will be up to you to make up a schedule or use some alternative approach to syncing everybody’s work.
Follow the schedule
Project definition and the initial estimate may change over time as more issues pop up and more details get unearthed. However, this can’t be an excuse to stray from the timeline. Your outsourced team has to display flexibility here.
Something merely impossible to do with freelancers is to make that collective effort and push through adversity.
Dedication to the project and the shared understanding that the product’s life only starts at the launch is vital in the long run.
Best countries to outsource web development
The decision on the best place to outsource web development has to be based on the balance between the two factors: the cost and the quality. Check out our detailed research on how much it costs to outsource web development around the world. As for the development costs, the rates are very changeable based on the types of tasks, technologies involved, and the proportions of the projects. The basic rates are the following:
As for the quality, there are specific researches dedicated to figuring out which countries succeed in which areas of development. For example, China does well in a number of domains, most notably data structures and functional programming. Russian developers are especially strong with algorithms and C++. Japan is known for its AI specialists, whereas Switzerland is the home for many developers specializing in working with databases. But the overall score is the following:
The rehearsal of going global
With information being out there, it only takes this much effort to establish the equation of your product’s success. At some point, every profitable business faces the challenge of reaching beyond its cultural and national identity. This expansion ultimately results in a multinational team with its own talent pool and specialist incubator. That’s a long and rocky road.
Now imagine having the experience of building your first MVP with an international team. The lessons you learn and the best practices you create are gold. No business coach or textbook can teach you what can be given by people of different backgrounds. The first-hand experiences early on, along with significant savings, might be exactly what your startup requires not only to make it through but to flourish.
We’ve been successfully operating as one of the most competent outsourced digital product development agencies in Russia and we are always open for great web development projects. We can be everything the others can’t while remaining true to ourselves and loyal to our craft. Enough talking, hit us up, and let’s make something together using the best ways to outsource web development!
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The article was originally published in December 2017 and was updated in September 2020 to make it more relevant and comprehensive.