Outsource Web Development Wisely: Useful Tips
Have you ever considered the opportunity to outsource web development; either to a local software development team or a web development company overseas?
In most cases, this dilemma arises both for startups and larger companies when building websites or other web products. One thing is definite: it is not a simple task to outsource web development. In order to find the proper vendor, it is necessary to conduct a great screening process. Once everything is settled, you may benefit from the many advantages of web outsourcing.
The purpose of this article is to educate you on how to outsource web development wisely. The agenda aims to:
- List the benefits of outsourcing web development services
- Present you with a simple 3-step process that will help you to outsource web development projects successfully
- Update you with info regarding the best web development outsourcing locations and rates
10 Key Reasons to Outsource Web Development
It may seem that hiring offshore software development teams comes with a lot of potential pitfalls. According to Develux, the major concerns with regard to web development outsourcing are:
- Negative previous software outsourcing experience
- Concern about different time zones, language barriers, cultural differences
- Insecurity about the service quality and final result
- Fear of lack of control over project development
- Risk of exposing confidential data
On the other hand, let's now outline the benefits you may reap from working with web development project outsourcing companies. Some of the reasons against outsourcing web development can actually be viewed from a positive angle.
The following are 10 core reasons why you should outsource web development.
The first and foremost benefit you will receive once you decide to outsource web development is considerable budget savings. Whether you hire freelance, local, or offshore web developers, it is definitely cheaper than hiring your own development team. Depending on your location, this could mean saving anywhere from 20% to 70% of your budget.
Just compare! The annual salary you need to pay a US web developer is, on average, $76,000 with an hourly rate of $100-150. At the same time, the hourly rate for an engineer of the same expertise is around $30-50 an hour in Eastern Europe (e.g. Ukraine).
2. Focus on key business activities
Once the software outsourcing project work is settled and all the details have been thoroughly discussed, what is left from your side, as the client, is to provide timely feedback and work approval. A professional software development agency will proactively present updates to its customers, as well as recommendations during the whole web development outsourcing process.
You can devote the rest of your time to the core business operations such as marketing, promotion, sales, building networks with key partners, participating in events, and concentrating on building your customer base, etc.
3. Reach out to the top experts
Some web development projects require strong technical expertise that you may lack. For instance, Blockchain architecture experts and VR & AR developers are quite hard to find locally. As well, these local specialists cost a lot more when compared with overseas web developers. Thus, web outsourcing allows you to select the best website developer for your project.
4. Combined knowledge & broader skill set
Aside from great cost-quality balance, another considerable reason to outsource web development lies with a dedicated team of specialists. All at once, you access a pool of tech resources allocated to your web project where each adds their value. Among the team members are Quality Assurance Engineer, Software Architect, Business Analyst, Project Manager, Frontend and Backend Web Developers, Web Designer, etc., where everyone is an expert in a particular field.
MLSDev team has been operating in the field of software outsourcing since 2009. The level of delivered service has incorporated fully-fledged, custom system development on time and within budget, based on dozens of completed and cost-efficient projects of our clients from the USA, Europe, the GSS region, and other countries.
Take a look at the image below illustrating what our clients say about us.
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5. Quicker process organization & development speed
You would surely agree that time rules the digital world. Thus, it is important to occupy a superior market position as quickly as possible. Once you outsource web development, a team will allocate corresponding web developers on top of a project manager in the early stages. This is done to meet your web project deadline and speed up the software development process. According to the Lean methodology, the faster you launch your web project to the market, the better.
On the contrary, if you decide to hire a team of web developers in-house, the process will be substantially slower. You need to organize all the HR operations, hiring & onboarding process, perks, vacations, days off, and so on.
This is consuming with regard to both time and money compared to the organization of outsourcing web development.
The majority of professional web development outsourcing companies work in compliance with flexible software development methodologies. Among these frameworks are Scrum, Kanban, etc., where the work is broken down into smaller parts. This means that a team is able to organize the work on a project to make the necessary pivots and adjust technical staff accordingly.
7. Scalability of your web project
Scaling a web project with a remote team is far easier than managing a web development team on-site. In the first case, the remote offshore development team has vast experience in project scalability and adding more manpower according to the work capacity and peak periods. Otherwise, it is necessary to add additional web developers whom you would need to find, hire, and onboard to the web project.
It is worth mentioning that our offshore software development team has great experience in scaling web development projects from basic versions to complex products. Take a closer look at the GoPuff project illustrated below.
We at MLSDev do know how to build a project from scratch and what it takes to create not just a product, but a successful business with thousands of users. GoPuff is an on-demand delivery service and online store with thousands of daily users in 20+ US states.
Check out GoPuff Case Study in greater detail.
8. Risks management and mitigation
The most global concern that makes many refuse to outsource web development is a high level of uncertainty and the number of risks mostly connected with a limited level of control over a project. It might seem surprising, but once you have chosen the right web development outsourcing company with proper communication guidelines, efficient project management standards, and capable web developers, the situation is quite the opposite.
Realistically, the Project Manager within the web outsourcing team is the person responsible for risk elimination, project planning, and sharing all the updates with you.
Further, we will describe how to outsource IT projects correctly, and how to find the right web development outsourcing vendor. Keep on reading.
9. Business support
Professional web development outsourcing companies like MLSDev are looking for a long term commitment with you as a client. Therefore, these teams cover not only the technical part of a project, but also the business potential for general project success. Services such as market research, competitor analysis, and project concept preparation are quite helpful to maximize the outcome.
Outsourcing software development will give you better coverage against IT security breaches. An experienced software dev team will ensure that the code and processes that go into developing any web application are as secure as possible. As an example, our team keeps the source code in a privately hosted security repository powered by GitLab. Also, it is important to store and track project documentation in securely hosted services like Confluence, Google Drive, etc.
Moreover, to keep your web project idea and materials confidential, respectable companies sign an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) with you.
The following table summarizes the key metrics in favor of the option to outsource web development to an offshore development agency rather than hiring a local development team or freelancer.
|Criteria||Local Dev Team||Remote Freelancer||Offshore Software Development Agency|
|Service Quality||+||+ -||+|
|Timeline (deadline for the project)||+||+ -||+|
|Team Management (PM included)||+||-||+|
|Project Scalability (add more resources)||+||-||+|
|Business Coverage||+ -||-||+|
|Top Tech Talent Availability||+ -||+ -||+|
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3 Simple Steps to Outsource Web Development
I hope you got the idea that the benefits of outsourcing web development considerably outweigh the option of hiring a freelancer or a local team. What is left is to arrange the website outsourcing process efficiently and in the right way. The following information is the 3-step process intended to make your experience successful and maximize your outcome.
1.Finalize Business Goals Before Web Development Outsourcing
Before you address a web outsourcing team, you should have a finalized concept and understand the goals you would like to achieve and, consequently, the project needs.
Web projects can be implemented differently and apply different methodologies as well as technological stacks. Thus, the first step in web outsourcing is to do your homework, namely:
- Create a general description of your digital web project
- Work out the list of objectives related to your web project (e.g. business goals, tech requirements, tech stack you want to apply, etc.)
- Develop a list of questions for the pre-screening process for website outsourcing teams
- Understand the budget you are ready to allocate for your web project (later on in the article, the rates and outsourcing locations are described so that you can decide which outsourcing region to target)
2. Find the Proper Web Development Outsourcing Vendor
Once you have conducted an analysis and have defined what you need from both a business and a technical perspective, the next step is to select your website outsourcing vendor. Preliminarily, you may check platforms like Clutch.co, GoodFirms, Manifest, etc. where only the top offshore development teams are listed. In order to evaluate a potential vendor to outsource web development, check out the following information:
- Web development outsourcing company’s portfolio and experience
- Tech specialization and capabilities
- Web development company reviews
- Company accounts on platforms like: GitHub for web development; to outsource web design you might check out Behance and Dribbble
You can then create a list of potential companies you are most interested in and start contacting them. The following are criteria you should check out during the video interviews:
- Communication process (e.g level of English, formality, cultural aspect, ways the information is presented)
- Information regarding the internal software development processes (methodologies used, quality assurance and bug fixing processes, ongoing support process, etc.)
- Request deliverables like code samples, design samples, CVs, etc.
- Get recommendations from clients in your country and check references
- Check whether or not the company has a local representative
Basically, prior to hiring a web development outsourcing team, it is necessary to get as many details as possible. This is where you may ask all the questions you have prepared beforehand. As a general recommendation, do not try to schedule your calls all at once, as the process may take some time and you could end up overwhelmed with information.
Taking notes and creating a Google doc filled with the gathered info will allow you to make a better decision.
Don’t select the first company you like just because they are telling you what you would like to hear. A great offshore software development agency challenges their clients and asks lots of project-related questions before providing their technical solution. All of this is done to make a great and useful final web product. At this stage, it makes sense to sign an NDA.
Apply critical thinking, be open to new suggestions, listen, make notes, and check information carefully.
The last vital thing on your journey to outsource web development services is signing the contract, negotiating the payment process, and covering organization-related questions. Have all the major points covered, such as web project deliverables, hourly rates, etc.
3. Arrange Efficient Communication During Web Development Outsourcing
The most important point involved in web development outsourcing is communication. Take into consideration time zone differences, work schedules, and holidays to fit both parties.
Since we live in a digital era with communication tools like Slack, Telegram, and WhatsApp, it is possible to align the communication process in the best way. Moreover, you may control all the work done on the project via tools such as:
- InVision for web design checking
- JIRA for project task management
- Harvest for time tracking and billing
- GitHub and GitLab for source code management
In great web development outsourcing companies, the Project Manager is allocated to control all the work done on your project and report to you regularly with the updates. Don’t hesitate to provide comments and ask questions.
Customer feedback is very valuable in developing web projects. Whether you dislike something or would like to change it, please speak your mind and brainstorm with web developers.
In the beginning, it is recommended that you hold meetings daily in order to set the process on the right track. According to the Scrum software development framework, at the beginning of each development sprint, the team plans the scope of work (planning meeting). Then the team meets up every day to synchronize progress across all areas (daily meeting). At the end of each sprint, the team demonstrates the progress to the client or product owner and shows the result of the sprint (demo meeting). Then, feedback is gathered, the sprint results are discussed, and improvements to the process are made (retrospective meeting).
Sprints continue until the team delivers the final product for release. In some cases, when Scrum is not suitable for the team, the Kanban approach is used with custom processes and meeting schedule.
More detailed information regarding the software development methodologies can be read in the article: Kanban vs. Scrum: Which to Use.
Further, once the working process has been finely tuned, you just need to keep track and give your feedback based on the team’s results. Remember that web development outsourcing rarely leads to the desired results without proper communication.
To sum things up, here is a small infographic that gives you a general outlook on the whole process that will help you to outsource web development wisely.
The Last Piece of Advice to Outsource Web Development
How can you judge whether or not it is better to outsource web development if you have never tried?
You may start by outsourcing some small task or a web project of a smaller scope. In general, this is a good approach to outsource web development services. This way helps you to check the company's capabilities and try the web outsourcing process in a real situation.
Locations & Rates to Outsource Web Development
With the known process of a successful way to outsource web development, as well as selection of the best web developers, the last question left is which location to choose for web development outsourcing. The options are to:
Outsource web development onshore - means choosing a vendor in your own country. For example, you choose from website outsourcing companies in the USA. This option is rather expensive, especially in countries where the cost of living is high (USA, UK, Western Europe), the rate of web developers can be up to $150/hour.
Outsource web development nearshore - means outsourcing web projects to teams from neighboring countries (2-4 time zones). For example, a US startup team decided to outsource web development to Mexico.
Outsource web development offshore - means the company is located overseas, farther away than 4 time zones. For instance, a US startup working with a team from Ukraine. In most cases, this option to outsource web development provides the best price-quality ratio.
The only obstacle is the time difference, which at some point becomes a substantial advantage. All the planned work and mentioned remarks are finalized during the off-hours and you may check all the updates the next working morning. The flow repeats, the team again makes the changes while you are sleeping, and you check the results the following day.
Next is an illustration of a map showing the key web development outsourcing regions with their average hourly rates.
Eastern Europe could be the best place to outsource web development to, due to the affordable development rates and the abundance of highly professional teams in this area. Among the top regions are Poland, Ukraine, and Slovakia.
Ukraine is one of the leading countries to choose to outsource web development. It has a great pool of talented tech engineers, and this number is growing annually. Moreover, the provision of outsourcing services is not new, as there are experts that have been working for 10+ years in this field.
Most of the teams are fluent in English, as, especially for the management staff, this is a must-have. As well, the cultural difference is not as drastic compared with Asian countries. The time zone overlap of 7-10 hours is actually a benefit and most of the companies develop a project planning and management strategy to fit the working relationship.
Summary: How to Outsource Your Web Development Successfully
Most well-known companies, like Samsung and IBM, opt to outsource web development. So, why not you? These days, it is unreasonable to search for a development team on the basis of your geographic location.
In general, there are numerous reasons favoring web development outsourcing, especially for smaller companies and startups. Cost reduction, broad skill sets, great tech experts, and risk mitigation are among the key benefits of outsourcing web development. You just need to be open and cautious in selecting a development partner to achieve your business goals.
In order to avoid a negative website outsourcing experience, you may start with a simple web project. In order to successfully outsource web development, here are some steps to take:
1) Do your own investigation
- write a project description
- list business goals
- specify technical requirements
- calculate the project’s budget
- note questions for pre-screening process
2) List all the potential web outsourcing vendors
3) Conduct vendor screening process (via e-mail, Skype interviews)
4) Analyze the collected data (website, proposals, portfolios, references, resumes, tech capabilities and skills, years on the market, number of projects)
5) Select web development outsourcing company
- sign the contract & NDA
- negotiate your payment options
6) Arrange communication and project supervision process (utilize tools like Confluence, InvisionApp, Gdocs, JIRA, etc.)
7) Enjoy the benefits of web development outsourcing
Need to build a web project?
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