Freelancers are different from agencies in a variety of things. First of all, freelancers are cheaper to hire but they work slower than agencies, so it is not only about the cost. Overall, there are many ways to outsource your project, and the majority of them were discussed in our blog post devoted to Magento outsourcing. This article is going to discuss the steps that need to be done when it comes to outsourcing Magento development to agencies or freelancers.
Project Management Stage
Certainly, a development process is not an easy and quick one, and like any complex project, it needs thorough planning done beforehand. At this point, one of the first decisions to make is to hire a freelancer or an agency. Usually, freelancers have experience in one particular field, and it makes it easier to choose a relevant professional if you know what exactly you need to do for your project to make it successful.
Also, freelancers usually charge cheaper than the teams do. However, with freelancers, you will need to compromise with timeline and reliability. At this point, contracting a team is an investment in reliability and speed of project development. However, to make the investment work well, there is a need to make sure the team is chosen appropriately to the aims of the project. More details of how to choose a Magento agency are discussed in the blog How to choose a Magento Agency.
Necessary Requests before Making a Contract
Of course, before contracting a team you will want to make some requests. First of all, it is important that the contracted agency is certified. Having certifications is one of the reasons to believe that the chosen agency is going to complete the project quickly and professionally. Another reason to back up your choice is to see the recommendations of the agency provided by other companies and agencies. Participation in various ratings is also an important factor when it comes to searching and deciding for the agency. For example, SOFTLOFT is recognized as a top eCommerce development company in 2020.
Another important request to make is asking for a portfolio. To do that, there is a need to have a list of potential candidates and ask them for examples of the projects that have been completed by candidates in the past. Often, portfolios or examples are available online, so there is a need to browse through the websites developed by the candidates and see if their style and functionality accommodate well with your business plan and anticipated results of the project. Seeing the detailed information about the page, clients and partners can showcase the idea of what you are going to pay for.
Budget Planning and Quotation
It goes without saying that developing a Magento store is a big investment. Therefore, planning the budget is really helpful to get the project done and still remain within the budget. The easiest way to plan your budget is to calculate the range of money that you can afford to spend on development. The best idea is to plan the spendings carefully but it is close to impossible to be precise and specific enough to fit the budget. Thus, we recommend having a range of spending allocated to developing the eCommerce website.
The deadlines are important to plan too, but the approach is still the same: we need a range of time and spending so that it is possible to calculate minimums and maximum available time and money for the project to be spent. At this point, it is important to define if there is a need to develop the website only or you need support services too. Thus, you are going to be ready to request a quote for a complex of development services that you need. With the list of services and the timeline, you will be able to have more precise estimates, and therefore you have a bigger chance to fit in your budget and get your project done.
Testimonials and Feedback
Ideally, when you have already got the list of potential candidates to contract, and you have already got quotes from them, calculated the total sum and possible investment in the project, and have spotted the portfolio items, it is time to see the real feedback and testimonials from previous customers of the developer or the agency. Having real feedback from previous customers is necessary to evaluate the quality of communications and the level of professionalism of the agency.
Certainly, it is hard to tell the real feedback from the reviews represented on the website. However, there are some ideas that are useful to check the feedback for trustworthiness and consistency. The most important and the most often used one is to check the testimonials and references by contacting consumers by email or phone. The thing is, sometimes the website looks great and works awesome, but you might not know how soon the final website design was completed and launched, and how well the budget and the timeframe fit into the initial projections.
Another, more realistic way to check the customer reviews for the company is to check the ratings on Clutch and Goodfirms. For example, SOFLOFT is ranked 4.72/5 on Goodfirms and 4.7 on Clutch, which is a great result. More information on how the rating works for assessing the companies is described here.
Step by Step Comparison of Magento Agency vs Freelancers
Differences between a Magento freelancer and agency are big and largely depending on the qualifications of developers, the timeframe of the project, and the technical specs desired for the project. More specifically, factors such as desired site’s structure and architecture, the desired outlook and design, and the overall usability, as well as the need for post-development support, impact the price of the project. Thus, the range of prices is huge, and there is a need to remember that high-quality and quick work cannot be cheap.
Range of services
Magento agencies provide a much bigger range of services than freelancers usually do. In other words, to cover the architecture, the design, the frontend, and the backend, you will probably need to hire four different freelancers not to mention SEO and content services. When it comes to hiring the agency, they will have all of that covered for you. So, if your time is limited, it is better to hire the agency, and if your budget is more limited than the time, going for freelancers might be better. Just keep in mind that hiring freelancers will require significant managing effort from you while agencies will do all development and management services for you.
As a rule, working with a freelancer is more chaotic than working with an agency. That said, contracting freelancers will require bigger effort on a daily basis. However, the amount of effort that needs to be applied depends on the freelancer. Some freelancers do provide reliable service but they are hard to find. At the same time, agencies work on a long-term basis and agencies are really interested in having their deadlines met and their customers happy. At this point, contracting a Magento development agency is more expensive but more reliable.
While contracting the agency and the freelancer have both pros and cons, you will have a greater chance to do everything in time with an agency. The major pro of the agency is that the agencies work to cover all specs that you need to get done. For example, SOFTLOFT Magento agency covers all steps and stages of the eCommerce website development process.
Moreover, when hiring the agency, you are going to benefit from contracting an entire pool of talents. This makes agencies highly qualified when it comes to troubleshooting and eCommerce web development. Agencies usually work with the latest technologies and are well aware of the recent trends in development. This makes their work reliable and quick. Also, agencies usually provide a range of support services even when the process of development is done. Thus, while
If you are looking for professionals to complete your project, do not hesitate to think twice about who you are hiring. Contracting a top-notch Magento development agency or a Magento developer might be the right fit for your project. However, there is a need to take into consideration all the details and specs of your project, so just contact us for getting timely and professional advice.