contracting freelancers for website work

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Because I'm lazy and basically, not good enough at web development, I've decided to look into paying someone in India or similar, to work on a website for me.

I advertised on freelance.com and got 30-odd responses back with some portfolios etc. A couple of them look half decent, but I'm wary that there are an awful lot of potential issues when hiring someone from a distance to work on a website, ie. payment arrangements, deliverables, project updates, total project costs, etc.

Has anyone done similar and have any guidance or experience to work from? I was thinking of splitting it up into:

stage 1 - project scoping/initial design
Logo, site layout, forum layout, etc, produced in PDF or similar (ie not directly onto web space). payment 50% up front and 50% on delivery.

stage 2 - website implementation and development
As long as stage 1 is ok, move onto commissioning full site development. Maybe payment in 20/20/60% chunks so as to ensure the majority of money is paid on delivery.

Would maybe tie in some deliverables, maybe around functionality ("user can do x, y, z, etc"), successful W3C validation on code, etc.

I think first stage would cost about £100 so it would not be the end of the world if that stage went wrong, but 2nd stage would be a lot more costly.
 
Associate
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I doubt you'll find many people who are pro-outsourcing in here.

it's a personal project, not a business project. I could either put up a half baked attempt that I've done myself, or pay someone, but I'm not rich and able to pay someone going rate in the UK to do so.
 
Soldato
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The land of milk & beans
When outsourcing the golden rule is document EVERYTHING. Make sure your specification has every facet of the functionality in it, from the validation and error messages which are required to the datatypes of the database fields.

I speak from experience when I say that if you don't specify it fully, the bits of the system you missed will be absolutely ****.
 
Associate
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Agreed with the above, document everything.

One of the most common issues with clients is that when the work is done they want additional work doen for them for free, which can include redoing stuff after they have accepted the final product.

Luckily for me I have had some success with clients (only done a few jobs) but I'm sure I will get a difficult one at some point.

Also £100 for the first stage? Way too much, the initial consultancy shouldn't be that expensive as you are merely discussing what you want you site to be created and for them to do a psd mockup (which doesn't take long).

What type of site are you after?
 
Caporegime
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29 Jan 2008
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Also £100 for the first stage? Way too much, the initial consultancy shouldn't be that expensive as you are merely discussing what you want you site to be created and for them to do a psd mockup (which doesn't take long).

??

I'm wondering if the sheer mass numbers of 'web developers' these days leads to people underselling their skill sets as coders...

Surely if you're coding for a living, as your own full time business, you'd want to be billing at least around 400 a day upwards and billing in half day increments at a minimum... especially given that you may/may not have a full day of billable work every day have various unpredictable gaps between projects, no paid holiday, no sick leave, no company pension plan.... once you've made your deductions for tax, pension, taken your holidays and other gaps out of the equation 400 a day becomes a modest amount and if you're really good/in demand you'd probably want to bill more than that...

Certainly seems that this is a market where lots of students, Indians and part time hobbyists have a big presence.
 
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??

I'm wondering if the sheer mass numbers of 'web developers' these days leads to people underselling their skill sets as coders...

Certainly seems that this is a market where lots of students, Indians and part time hobbyists have a big presence.

Indeed it is, a big problem we face are developers creating easy to use packages/cms'. Wordpress being the most proliferate, most people can read tutorials on how to theme and maintain it, forcing prices to dwindle a long with competition.
 

aln

aln

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The first stage is a sales exercise, i'd expect people to pitch for jobs for free.

I'd agree.

The first step would be to specify the work that is being done, and have the client agree to said work. This would normally be done gratis, though I'd say you make up for it in the contracting stages as contractors seem to pull in around 2x what their salaried counterparts do.

dowie said:
I'm wondering if the sheer mass numbers of 'web developers' these days leads to people underselling their skill sets as coders...

People who sell their skills at a rate which is basically unlivable, are most likely kids, or inexperienced developers who want to boost their portfolio. They are unlikely to deliver quality, thus it shouldn't have too much of a negative effect on your salary if you're good.

What is probably more damaging is someone who clearly not qualified in anything but the gift of the gab charging exorbitant amounts to deliver student level work.

In any rate, people usually get tired of dealing with charlatans eventually, and thats why they seek people with good reputations. Get to that point and life should be good.
 
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