How to Outsource Web Development Wisely

Many businesses do not grow as quickly as they would like to due to a lack of time or expertise in the development. The solution may be to delegate some tasks to outsourcing web development companies. Actually, 66% of American companies outsource at least one department. It’s a reasonable solution since few companies have resources sufficient for creating websites, native web apps, and other products in-house. For this reason, businesses may prefer to outsource the development process to local teams or overseas web development partners. 

As an experienced outsourcing company, we have gathered what we’ve learned on the matter. In particular, we’ll discuss such points as: 

  • The four main steps to outsource your development processes;
  • The minimum team needed for outsourced web development;
  • Top countries to outsource your projects;
  • Factors that affect the price of outsourcing web development, etc.

So, let’s get to it.

Rely on Your In-House Team or Outsource Web Development: When Is Outsourcing a Good Choice?

An in-house team allows for more control, but control might not be your biggest priority when working on fast launch or the product that requires niche experts. For example, a growing business requires a team of developers anyway, but it may be more cost-efficient for it to delegate the project development to an outsourced company in another country. 

Typically, startups and established brands reach for web development outsourcing companies for slightly different reasons. We’ll cover them further.

For startups:

  • Lack of in-house web professionals;
  • Not enough time to assemble an in-house team;
  • Limited budget that doesn’t allow for local hires;
  • Need for niche technical expertise. 

For established brands:

  • The need to expand an internal web development team (similar to the main reason for startups);
  • Necessity to cut costs or test a new idea or product at the lowest possible price;
  • A side project release;
  • The need for external expert advice.

Whichever your reason for reaching for outsourcing development teams is, it’s crucial to thoroughly pick a trustworthy partner. Ensure there is respect, open collaboration, and communication between you and your partners.

Benefits and Key Reasons to Outsource Web Development

Now, let’s discuss the most important benefits of outsourcing web and app development in detail:

  • Cost-effectiveness. By hiring external professionals, your company can save up to 70% of the estimated budget, depending on various factors. And don’t forget that you avoid the necessity of the hiring process and training. Furthermore, overseas specialists’ services may be more affordable than those of your local ones, depending on your country.
  • Access to a multiplicity of professionals. Outsourcing allows you to pick the best-fit specialist for your web project, while your team may lack such experienced persons.
  • Focus on your company’s main activities. By outsourcing software development, you can devote 100% of yourself to other critical processes of your brand.
  • Reduced risks and stress. The outsourced project manager leads all the processes and bears the responsibility for the project. Whatever happens, your partner team is obliged to follow the signed contract.
  • Faster scaling of your project. Development vendors can add more specialists to the team if there is a need, which leads to quicker growth of your project.
  • Enhanced support. When a dedicated team knows the project perfectly, it reduces communication constraints. The team makes the necessary corrections faster than in a hybrid format when you entrust the work to both in-house developers and outsourced specialists. It leads to a consistent process and one contact point.

From the above mentioned, it becomes obvious that entrusting your project to an offshore software development agency often brings multiple advantages to your business.

Web Development Outsourcing Guide: 4 Steps to Outsource

How to outsource web development wisely? And what is wisely, after all? We see it this way — quality software outsourcing is the process that brings you significantly more benefits than headache.  That is, you need not just a contractor but rather a partner in terms of dedication, trust, and expertise. Before you start collaborating with any outsourcing company, you should honestly answer a few important questions and go through several steps.

Step 1: Identify the Goal and Requirements for Your Project to Communicate to Your Outsourcing Partner

While this step may seem obvious, the discovery phase is crucial for any business. Without this stage, you can still hire people, but it is unlikely that the final result will correspond to your original vision. Even if you need just to develop an MVP, you still need to fully understand the concept and have someone who can convey that understanding to the outsourced team.

Therefore, the first thing you should do is clearly identify the project’s goal and have a finalized concept. When collaborating with a development company, you need to give them a scope of tasks to work on. If you skipped the discovery stage, you can delegate the process of identifying and drawing up clear tasks as well, or do it yourself.

Once you’ve got a clear understanding of the scope of work, the next step is clarifying the tech requirements for the hired team of specialists. 

Here are several questions that may help you be as specific as possible:

  • What are the goals of our project?
  • How should the final project or service look and work?
  • What are the technical requirements of the project?
  • What tech stack should be applied to it?
  • What is our budget and deadlines?

If you don’t have an answer to any of these questions, this is not a problem but a red flag that you definitely need a specialist from the outside.There is no reason to keep the functionality of your project secret. Disclosing this information will help the offshore team get a full understanding of your idea.

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Step 2: Decide On the Budget and Deadline

When delegating a project to an outsourced vendor, you can take two different approaches. For example, you can start from a deadline if you have a clear time frame for launching the project. In this case, you should discuss the deadlines and scope of tasks with the hired company’s representatives, and they will tell you the price and determine the number of people needed to complete your project on time.

Another approach is to determine the available budget and look for developers who will complete your project for the agreed price and offer their deadlines.

In any case, you will have to find a balance between cost and timing. To avoid miscalculation, you should familiarize yourself with outsourcing pricing models in advance and choose the one that suits you best. In total, five such models can be distinguished:

  • Fixed price – a standard rate per project is usually set by the service provider;
  • Hourly rate – it is best suited for small development tasks or improvements that require not much time;
  • Time and Materials (T&M) model – clients are billed based on the actual time and resources spent on the project;
  • Dedicated  team – you temporarily hire a dedicated team of employees from the outsourcing provider;
  • Subscription-based model: you pay a recurring subscription fee for ongoing services. 

So, you should select the pricing model that suits you best and decide what is more important to you now: to complete the project as soon as possible (but to pay more) or to stay on budget but wait longer for the project to be completed. 

Step 3: Find the Most Appropriate Vendor by Researching Outsourcing Web Development Services

Entrusting web development to a reliable partner requires thorough research of companies on the market. To make things easier, we’ve divided this step into five substeps.

1. Research Available Options

Once you’ve got a clear view of your software development project, your budget, and your timeframes, it’s not that difficult to find the most suitable candidates.

While you can search for the available companies on Google, not each developer on the list might match your requirements. Therefore, you may want to consider such services as Clutch or Tech Behemoths. Both sources contain reviews and ratings of the leading companies. Furthermore, Clutch is responsible for completely objective reviews, so you can be assured of getting truthful information about how every particular company works. 

To find the best company to outsource your project, list around 10 candidates that match your requirements, have a top-notch reputation, and correspond with your web or mobile product needs.

2. Conduct Interviews

Once you’ve prepared a list of candidates, ask them to schedule a virtual meeting. Make sure to prepare the questions in advance. Here are several key factors you want to evaluate in the potential web development team:

  • Communication process, including formality, culture, how the information is presented, etc.;
  • Information about the internal web development processes, including methodologies applied, how the bugs get fixed, how the quality is assured, and so on;
  • Information about the company’s local representatives, if there are any.

Don’t hesitate to ask any questions that are significant to you. You must get as many details as possible to make an informed choice.

Keep in mind that a qualified and reputable web development company would be interested in all the project specifications to provide you with the best solution.

3. Check Testimonials

Testimonials are a perfect way to gain a more comprehensive view of how a particular team of experienced professionals in web development operates. Testimonials on a company’s website are true if there is a client’s name and such a company really exists. However, no company will ever publish negative reviews on its website, so it’s worth looking for reviews on independent resources.

4. Examine Case Studies

Exploring the company’s outsourced web development projects allows you to evaluate their experience and expertise. Ask them to provide their previous case studies and pay attention to every little detail that showcases how they work and why they stand out among competitors.

When you’re considering outsourcing a project, it’s a good idea to check how the vendor has tackled similar challenges in the past. Besides, you’ll get to know what features and solutions the team members implemented and how they made sure everything ran smoothly.

5. Create a Contract Statement

Make sure it reflects the number of steps and services included in the web development outsourcing process, the timeframe of their provision, the cost of outsourced web development, and other payment details. Specify the deliverables and milestones. Establishing a financial penalty to reduce risks is also a good idea.

Also, prior to starting cooperation, insist on signing an NDA contract (non-disclosure agreement), which will prevent sensitive data from being shared with third parties.

Step 4: Ensure Effective Communication During the Process of Outsourcing Website Development

A successful outsourcing process implies that the project owner and the offshore company providing website or web application development services establish effective communication. Experienced companies are trained to provide smooth communication, shifting their schedule to fit the customer’s timezone. However, you still may need to consider the time zone differences and holidays to fit both parties.

Using communication tools allows for aligning the communication process as smoothly as possible. In particular, most companies usually use the following services in their daily routine: 

  • Slack, WhatsApp, and Zoom for communication with the team and outsourced performers;
  • JIRA for project task management;
  •  InVision for web design checking;
  • Dropbox, Google Docs, Notion, etc., to exchange files and work on them together.

Often, clients of outsourcing companies want to save money and do not hire a team lead or project manager as a part of the outsourced team. However, we recommend that you do not repeat the mistakes of other businesses and hire a person who will control all the work done on the project and report to you with the updates. Moreover, you can usually contact the project manager as frequently as you need with any questions and comments. It is one of the key factors to ensure the best customer experience.

At the very beginning of each development sprint, the team should plan the scope of work and then meet up daily to synchronize progress across all areas. At the end of each sprint, the specialists demonstrate the progress to the customer. Then, the client provides feedback, and the team discusses the results and makes improvements to the process.

Once you’ve fully tuned the working process, you just keep track and provide feedback on the results. Don’t overestimate feedback since speaking your mind and brainstorming with the team is one of the keys to getting the desired results.

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Minimum Team Needed For Professional Web Development

The minimum set of the team involved in web development services must consist of the following experts:

  • Project manager;
  • Front-end developer;
  • Back-end developer;
  • QA specialist;
  • Designer.

Let’s look closer at each role and its responsibilities.

Project Manager

This specialist is like a conductor of the entire team. They are responsible for creating exactly the product you expect. Project managers are the main chain link between you and the team: they are always on your side but also maintain a friendly atmosphere in the team, understand every team member, and consider their opinion.

The product manager takes responsibility for the whole web development process, keeps track of time and budget, and ensures all tasks are completed correctly within the set timeframes.

Back-End Developer

The back-end developer is responsible for the server side of your project. An experienced specialist is able to provide effective solutions to create an effective, customizable, and scalable product.

Front-End Developer

This person stands between coding and design. They must be skilled in technologies and know how to implement designs of any complexity. A front-end developer ensures the app or website runs correctly and smoothly on various devices, operating systems, and browsers.

Designer

This specialist is responsible for making the product appealing to the customer. An experienced designer knows how to implement the entire concept of your idea and show the clients what they want to see.

Top Countries to Outsource Web Development Projects

Now that you know almost all the ins and outs about this topic, one important question is which location to pick for this goal. Here are the available options:

  • Onshore outsourcing. If your business is located in the USA or Western Europe, onshore outsourcing makes sense only when you require highly skilled specialists in some specific niche. Since the cost of living and wages in the USA and Western countries are high, hiring an outsourced team will be quite expensive for your business.
  • Nearshore outsourcing. It means outsourcing the development of your product to specialists from neighboring countries (2-4 time zones). For example, if a Canadian company prefers to outsource its web engineering to the USA professionals, it’s nearshore outsourcing.
  • Offshore outsourcing. This solution means the business entrusts the creation of its web solution to a company located overseas, farther than 4 time zones away. For instance, a US company working with Ukrainian developers. As a rule, such a model of cooperation provides the best price-quality ratio.

To find your perfect outsourcing partner, you should compare offers from different locations. Not all destinations offer similarly high quality for a reasonable price of web development outsourcing. Let’s look at the top countries of Eastern Europe, Latin America, North America, and Asia that have the best web developers.

Eastern Europe

This is probably the most popular destination businesses choose to outsource web development. Eastern European countries such as Ukraine, Poland, and Romania have a large pool of talented software engineers for web projects of any complexity. The main reasons why clients from Western Europe and the US choose these countries for web outsourcing are affordable prices, a multiplicity of talented developers, and English proficiency.

Attractive prices and strong programming skills have made Eastern Europe the #1 outsourced development destination, with over a million professionals educated here annually. Professionals from this region have the closest mentality to the Western region. The time difference between the US and most countries from this region is 6-7 hours.

Latin America

While the majority of countries from this region have below-average proficient web developers, the reason for this is that this destination lacks the innovation environment and profound education in the required fields. The main advantage of outsourcing web development to these countries is low prices. While Eastern European countries may be a more beneficial choice for businesses looking for a reliable partnership, some US brands are attracted to Latin America because of almost fully overlapping working hours and cultural similarities. Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico are the most commonly chosen destinations for outsourcing in this region.

North America

Canada has the most educated population worldwide, and the strongest performers come from Canada and the US. Both countries are leading in technology and data science. However, with such huge benefits come higher rates for web development services.

Asia

Not only does this region offer a huge talent pool, but it also is one of the most cost-effective choices. However, if you are not an owner of a tech giant, this solution may not be the best one for you due to significant cultural differences that are too hard to overcome.

The most popular countries in Asia to outsource the creation of web products are China and Malaysia.

Factors that Affect the Price of Web Development Project Outsourcing

Among the key factors affecting the price are the following ones:

  • The complexity of your web product and all the project needs;
  • The desired product scale;
  • The deadline;
  • How many specialists the team includes;
  • The location of the outsourced partner.

The average timeframe required for creating a product of middle complexity is around three months or 1200 hours. Typically, you need a team of five specialists involved in such a process.

Now, let’s look at the average hourly rates per person in the most popular outsourcing destinations:

  • Eastern European countries – $30-$70;
  • Latin American countries – $40-$100;
  • North American countries – $140-$200;
  • Asian countries – $30-$60.

Consider that the team must include at least four specialists, so these rates should be multiplied by 4. While the price varies significantly depending on the location, you must keep in mind that the quality of services varies, as well. Therefore, your task is to find the most suitable solution, considering your budget and the required quality of services.

How to Outsource Web Development Successfully

Many world-known companies have decided to outsource web development. Moreover, the number of small businesses opting for this choice is rapidly increasing, as well. So, why wouldn’t you consider this option, too? Finding a reliable outsourcing partner brings multiple advantages to businesses, including cost-effectiveness, broad skill sets, talented tech professionals, and reduced risks involved in web development.  

To successfully outsource a web development process, make sure to set a clear project goal, do thorough research and preparation, and take your time to select the best company among all candidates. The final result of turning to a high-quality outsourcing team like QArea is worth it: eventually, you’ll save time and money and get professional support at all stages. Contact us to get more details and discuss your project!

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