Choosing the Right Type of Web Development Partner for Your Project

If you’re looking to design or re-design a website, a big chunk of its fate lies with the developer or development team you choose. It’s wise to take some time, research your options and choose the right developer for your project. But how do you know what kind of developer to go with? Should it ... Read more

choose developer

Kyle Van Deusen

If you’re looking to design or re-design a website, a big chunk of its fate lies with the developer or development team you choose.

It’s wise to take some time, research your options and choose the right developer for your project.

But how do you know what kind of developer to go with?

Should it be a local?

A big agency?

In this article we’re going to discuss some of the different types of developers and agencies, the pros and cons of each, and help give you a better understanding of the right type for your needs so you can make the right decision for your business.

The Side Hustler

The side hustler is the part-time developer. They typically work by themselves on a part-time basis in order to develop their skills, build their customer base and acquire additional income.

Most developers start their career this way.

Choosing the side hustler can be a bit of a risky proposition, but that doesn’t mean it’s always a bad choice.

These young developers are often hungry for the work, have the lowest fees, and will go the extra mile to please their customers.

The negative comes from their lack of experience. They often don’t foresee the long-term effects of decisions they make, miss crucial aspects of what truly makes a website successful, and use patchwork solutions to cobble something together.

The types of companies best suited for rolling the dice with this type of development partner are typically startups themselves. If you are starting a business for the first time, or starting a part-time business on the side, the side hustler will most likely be the best fit for your budget.

The best advice when making this decision is to ask for any references, examples of their work, and have a one-on-one conversation with them about their experience. If they are able to provide you with these things, make sure to follow up with any references and set up a milestone payment structure. This allows you to pay smaller amounts as the project progresses and ensures you won’t pay for their services only to see them disappear.

The Solopreneur or Small Agency

The biggest distinction between the side hustler and solopreneur (or small agency)  is their commitment to the business. Solopreneurs are typically former side hustlers who have grown their business enough to make their company their full time employment.

This level of commitment shows that they have done well enough to rely on their business as their sole source of income, which can be difficult to do without the proper development and business skills.

This category of developer is typically a little more expensive than the side hustler, but you’ll take less of a risk with your project in their hands.

To get to this point, they usually need several years of experience and can handle typical websites with relative ease. They should have a proven track record of success, and be more interested in providing you with solutions rather than “pretty” pages.

The most common drawback to this type of company is they tend to have to be a “jack of all trades”. Planning, designing, developing, and executing a website project is a pretty complex thing. While their skills will typically deliver good-to-great results for small businesses, and less complex websites, deep skills and knowledge of some of the finer points could be missed due to lack of experience, time, or their typical project budgets.

Most business owners find this type of developer (or agency) the right fit for their business. Their budgets are usually more in-line and they can’t always afford to risk their online presence on a less-known option. As with any hiring, it’s always best to see their body of work, and check with any references to see how they are to work with, from someone who’s done it.

The Agency

The final category in this article is the agency. The agency is a bigger team (5 or more people) that all specialize in different aspects of the development process.

Agencies typically work with larger budgets ($10,000+), larger companies, and deal with more complex and/or custom setups.

The fact that agencies typically have specialists in all facets of development, they can often (but not always) produce the best results.  You’ll likely have multiple points of contact as you move through the development process and your job gets handed off from one part of the team to another.

You might find that agencies move a little bit slower than the other categories as there are more moving parts and more people involved. Because of their large teams & overhead, their prices are often too high for small or local businesses.

If your considering an agency, it’s wise to find one that specializes in your industry or niche. This will double up on their effectiveness for your project because not only do they have the team in place to work with all facets, but they have more experience working with companies like yours.

This type of developer is best for large companies that don’t mind spending the extra money to help give them the confidence that they will avoid costly mistakes that damage their reputation or harm their brand.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule

There are many details that were out of the scope of this article, and many structures in between. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule.

You could find a side hustler that knocks it out of the park, or you could hire a large agency that completely lets you down.

You’ll always get better results from any company or person who you can connect who understands your needs.

The best way to end up with a successful project is to make sure you are prepared to have a website created in the first place. When you have a full understanding of your own needs and can communicate those clearly, it will make it easier to find the right partner that fits best with your needs.

Okay, so what kind of company is OGAL Web Design?

OGAL is more of a small agency. While I am the only “on staff” employee, I have spent several years building connections with a network of experts in all facets of the design and development process.I do not employee these people directly, but I do partner with them as a subcontractor on projects when necessary.

For the types of projects I typically work on, I’ve found this structure to give me the most flexibility to both expand or shrink my team to fit the project’s scope and needs.

If you would like to get a free (no obligations) quote, head over to my Project Inquiry Form and get started!

About the Author

Kyle Van Deusen

Since 2003 I have helped businesses like yours increase their online presence through powerful websites that help you easily, effectively, and affordably grow your business.

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