How to outsource web development – guide to best practices, average costs and mistakes to avoid

Last checked and updated on 14 January 2023

You’re a small business with big dreams and ambitions, but you don’t have the time or resources to take on web development projects yourself. So what do you do? Outsource it! Outsourcing web development can be a great way to get high-quality work done quickly and affordably – but there are a few things you need to know before you get started.

In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about outsourcing web development, including the benefits, the types of outsourcing options available, where to find good developers, average costs, and more.

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We’ll also give you some tips for setting up a successful working relationship with your developer, and tell you about some of the most common mistakes people make when outsourcing web development projects.

Why outsource web development?

There are a number of reasons why outsourcing web development projects can be beneficial for businesses. Here are some of the most important ones:

Business caseDescription
CostOutsourcing web development can save you money, as you don’t have to hire and manage in-house developers or pay for expensive equipment
TimeBy hiring an external developer, you can get the job done quickly and efficiently
QualityA good outsourced web developer will be experienced and knowledgeable, and will provide you with a high-quality, professional product
FlexibilityWith an outsourced developer, you have the flexibility to adjust your workload according to your needs
Access to expertiseOutsourced web development gives you access to expert developers who can offer specialised knowledge and skills
Benefits of outsourcing web development

Graph: survey responses to the question: why does your business use outsourced services?

Business motivations to outsource – source: Deloitte

Types of outsourcing compared

When it comes to outsourcing web development, there are three main options available: freelancers, agencies, and offshore companies. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks, so let’s take a look at them in more detail.

• Freelancers

Hiring a freelancer can provide you with access to experienced developers without the cost of an agency or offshore company. However, they may not have the same level of expertise as those provided by agencies and companies.

• Agencies

Agencies are a good choice if you want to outsource large, complex projects as they often have larger teams of developers who are more experienced and knowledgeable. However, this may also come with a higher cost.

• Offshore companies

An offshore company can be a great option if you’re looking for quality web development at an affordable price. However, communication can sometimes be a challenge, as you may have to deal with language and cultural barriers.

Where to find your outsourced web development partner

Now that you know the different types of outsourcing options available, it’s time to start looking for your developer. Here are some of the best sources:

  • Freelancer marketplaces – Websites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Guru are great places to search for freelancers with the right skills and experience.
  • Referrals – Ask your network of friends and colleagues if they have any recommendations for web developers.
  • Social media – Platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn can be a great source for finding potential developers.
  • Recruitment agencies – If you’re looking for a web development agency, there are many online recruitment agencies that can help you find the right one.

Average web development outsourcing costs

When it comes to outsourcing web development projects, costs can vary significantly depending on the type of project and the amount of work involved. Generally speaking, freelancers tend to charge hourly rates that range from $25 – $100 per hour, while agencies and offshore companies typically charge fixed project fees.

Indicative prices for outsourced web development

It’s also important to remember that there may be additional costs associated with outsourcing web development projects, such as travel expenses if you’re working with a remote developer, or language and cultural barriers if you’re outsourcing to an offshore company.

The importance of having a contact in place

It’s important to note that having a contract in place between yourself and your outsourced web developer is essential. This should include details of the project, payment terms, timelines, responsibilities, and any other relevant information.

In the absence of a contract, it can be difficult to dispute any issues that arise, so it’s important to ensure that you have everything in writing.

Top tips for a successful working relationship

Once you’ve found the right web development partner, it’s important to ensure that you have a successful working relationship. Here are some tips to help:

  1. Set clear expectations – Make sure that you set clear expectations of what you want to achieve, and make sure that your web development partner understands these.
  2. Agree on timelines – Establish a timeline for the project early on, and communicate any changes to this as soon as possible.
  3. Communicate regularly – Regular communication is key to a successful working relationship, so make sure you touch base with your web development partner frequently.
  4. Resolve any issues quickly – If there are any disagreements or misunderstandings, be sure to address them as soon as possible to avoid any delays in the project.

Most common mistakes to avoid when hiring an outsourced web developer for the first time

Without any prior experience or knowledge, it’s easy to make mistakes that can cost you both time and money. To help you get started on the right path, here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid when hiring an outsourced web developer:

IssueHow to avoid it
Not understanding the scope of workMake sure that you have a clear and detailed understanding of the scope of work that will be undertaken by your outsourced web developer. This includes not only what tasks need to be done but also all associated deadlines, deliverables and costs
Failing to do appropriate due diligenceBefore you commit to hiring an outsourced web developer, make sure to do your research. This should include taking the time to read reviews and testimonials from other customers, as well as asking for references
Not setting up a clear communication systemCommunication is key when working with an outsourced web developer. Make sure that both of you are on the same page by setting up a clear communication system from the beginning. This should include how often and in what format you’ll be communicating with each other, as well as any deadlines or milestones that need to be met.
Not being realistic about timelinesWhen working with an outsourced web developer, it’s important to be realistic about timelines and expectations. If you have a tight deadline, make sure that it is communicated clearly to the developer from the start so that they can plan accordingly
Not setting clear milestonesSetting clear milestones for your outsourced web development project is important for ensuring progress is made in a timely manner. Make sure to discuss these milestones with your developer and agree on a timeline for each one
Problems that can occur when outsourcing to a web developer

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your experience hiring an outsourced web developer is both successful and cost-effective. With the right research and communication in place, outsourcing web development can be a great way to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

How to outsource web development – detailed step by step

How to outsource web development

  1. Clarify your goals and objectives

    Before getting started with your web development project, it is essential to clearly define your goals and objectives. This will help you identify the best services and solutions you need in order to achieve these objectives. Consider things such as required features, budget, timeline and any other specific requirements for the project.

  2. Research your options

    Once you know what you need, it is time to start your research. You should investigate the different types of outsourcing solutions available and decide which one best suits your needs. These include hiring a freelancer, working with an agency, or using an offshore company. Consider factors such as cost, quality of work and customer service when making your decision.

  3. Find the best outsourcing partner for your project

    Once you have made a decision on which outsourcing solution is best for you, it’s time to find the perfect partner for your web development project. Look at reviews and portfolios from previous projects to get an idea of their quality of work and customer service. You should also ensure that they have the right skills and experience for your project.

  4. Establish your budget and timelines

    Before you start working with your outsourcing partner, it is essential to discuss your budget and timelines. Ensure that you are both clear on what is expected from each party in terms of deliverables, timeframe and cost. This will help to avoid any disputes and ensure that your project is completed efficiently.

  5. Establish communication protocols

    Good communication is key for ensuring successful web development projects. Establish clear communication protocols with your outsourcing partner including methods of contact, language and time zone differences, deadlines and any other relevant details. This will help to ensure that the project is completed efficiently and with minimal disputes.

  6. Monitor progress regularly

    Once your outsourced web development project has started, it is essential to regularly monitor progress. This will help to identify any potential issues before they become bigger problems and will also allow you to make changes if needed. Keeping track of how the project is progressing will also give you peace of mind knowing that it’s on track and going according to plan.

  7. Set up a quality assurance system

    Finally, it is important to set up a quality assurance system with your outsourcing partner in order to ensure high-quality results. This should include clear processes for testing and feedback, as well as a plan for dealing with any potential issues or disputes that arise.

Interview questions to ask your potential outsourcing partner

  1. How long have you been in business?
  2. What experience do you have working on similar projects?
  3. Do you have the necessary skills and expertise for this project?
  4. Can I see examples of work that you’ve done previously?
  5. How much do your services cost?
  6. What is your communication protocol?
  7. What is your timeline for completing this project?
  8. How do you handle disputes and problems?
  9. Can I get references from other clients?
  10. Do you have a quality assurance system in place?

Web development outsourcing FAQ

What is outsource web development?

Outsource web development is the process of hiring an external partner to handle all or part of your website design and development requirements. The contractor can be a freelancer, agency, or offshore company, depending on the project’s complexity and budget. Outsourcing has become increasingly popular due to its cost-effective nature (when compared to having in-house developers) and the range of skills available.

What are the benefits of outsourcing web development?

There are many advantages to outsourcing web development, including cost savings, access to a larger pool of talent, quality assurance, and faster project completion. By engaging an external team of developers to work on your project, you can benefit from their specialized knowledge and experience. Additionally, outsourcing web development can help to free up in-house resources, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business.

What types of development outsourcing are available?

There are several options when it comes to outsourcing web development, including working with a freelancer, engaging an agency, or using an offshore company. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on your project needs and budget.

Where can I find a web development partner?

There are many sources you can use to find a web development partner, including online freelancing platforms, industry-specific job boards, or referrals from trusted contacts. Doing research beforehand will help you to find the right partner for your project.

What is the average cost of outsourcing web development?

The cost of outsourcing web development will depend on a range of factors, such as the complexity of the project, type of expertise required, and length of engagement. Generally speaking, hourly rates can range from $20 to $200 per hour, while fixed-price projects can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands.

What tips should I keep in mind when working with an outsourced web developer?

Working with an outsourced web developer requires clear communication, setting realistic expectations and timelines, and having the right contracts in place. Additionally, it’s important to be proactive in providing feedback throughout the development process and create opportunities for collaboration.

What are the most common mistakes when outsourcing web development?

Some of the most common mistakes when outsourcing web development include not doing enough research beforehand, failing to set realistic expectations, inadequate communication and feedback, and not having the right contracts in place. To ensure a successful working relationship, it’s important to avoid these mistakes.

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Important – The information provided in our articles is intended to be for general purpose use only, and not advice for you or your business. We strive to publish accurate information, but encourage you to fact-check and seek expert guidance. You should always speak to a qualified professional to get tailored advice about how to operate your business under your specific requirements and circumstances.