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    Should you hire an in-house developer or outsource?

    by Billy Sunderland Partnership Executive

    There comes a point in every business’s growth journey where the design, development and maintenance of the company website starts to become more like a full-time job. It’s normal to hire a company to build it for you if it’s not your specialism (although it’s surprisingly common for digital companies to outsource their web development, for a number of reasons). But once the site is up and running, its maintenance and continual improvement can start to become burdensome.

    That leaves you with two options: hire a permanent developer as a full-time or part-time member of staff; or to outsource the work. In this article, we’re going to look at the pros and cons of each.

    Hiring in-house developers

    If you can justify it, hiring a developer to work in-house can certainly make sense. Development jobs can be large and ongoing, so having a person who is intimately connected with the team can be of great benefit. They can also liaise with sales and marketing to ensure campaigns are truly multi-channel.

    It’s also useful for the team to be able to raise queries or discuss plans with the developer without feeling that they’re on the clock. The role could be full-time or part-time and it can be flexible, too, in terms of hours worked and the location of the work – whatever model you choose, there will be plenty of willing applicants.

    Getting an extra staff member is not without its drawbacks, however. Development and maintenance projects can be irregular, with periods when it’s busy and other times where the dev might be twiddling their thumbs. You can alleviate this by augmenting part-time in-house talent with freelancers drafted in, but cost-wise, that almost defeats the object of hiring.

    The biggest drawback, however, is that developers might have a general knowledge of coding for the major platforms and languages, but most of them specialise in one or two – Magento and WordPress, HTML5, front end or MySQL, for example. The chances are, if you have anything but the simplest of dev needs, you’re probably going to have to carry on doing some outsourcing to cover all aspects of the project – and that can make the costs rack up.

    Outsourcing development work

    The next option is to outsource the whole project. There are several ways you can go about this. You could use individual freelancers based on their specialisms, and hire them as and when they’re needed. That can work, but it’s important to note that there needs to be an overarching timed plan for any development project, which is overseen by the project manager.

    Unless you’re totally au fait with what the technical requirements of the project are and how they interconnect, that can be problematic.

    For that reason, it’s probably best to outsource to a development company that can immerse itself in the project, be it ongoing or one-off. The team will have all the skills and resources to hand to take it over the line. You’ll still only be paying for the work that needs doing, but you can be sure that they will be able to bring all the necessary resources to the table in a planned, timed and well executed project.

    By amazing coincidence, that is exactly what we do at Gooey! Before you start looking for a full-time employee who might not have the rounded skill set your project actually needs, drop us a line and let’s talk about how we can get your one-off project or ongoing development needs sorted.