Should You Outsource Web Development? Pros and Cons

When you have a big web development project coming up, the age-old question is: should you outsource it or should you try and do it in-house? This question is very specific to your company’s needs and there is no one right answer for every company or every project.

Figuring out which route is best for your organization can be a tough decision. There are many factors to consider and the right decision for one project may not be ideal for another. Pros and cons to outsourcing should be weighed for each project.

To help you decide which option makes the most sense for you, we will go through some of the upsides and downsides of outsourced and in-house web development. Here are the pros and cons of outsourcing your web development project.

Pros

Many benefits come from outsourcing a web development project. In many cases, it is the option that will make the most sense. Here are a few reasons why.

Long-term savings

Many people will look at the capital outlay for a web design project and think it is more affordable to do in-house. In most cases, though, that just isn’t true. No matter what you pay for an outsourced web development company, in the long term, it is almost always cheaper to do it this way.

Even a several-month engagement with a custom web development company is less expensive than hiring full-time, or multiple full-time, employees to undertake the project. With employees, salaries, benefits, employment taxes, and more are part of the equation. This can quickly add up and put a dent in your bottom line. This is especially true when you have to hire experienced, skilled professionals

New perspective

Your company most likely thinks about a web development project one way. That way will trickle down to the in-house team doing development. A third-party developer can bring new, creative ideas to the table by pulling in ideas and examples from other projects for other companies. These companies may not even be related to your business but the ideas that worked for them could work for you.  This is an important factor in the success of your venture.

Talent and experience

Unless you have a large and varied (and expensive) web development team in-house, chances are you won’t have the exact mix of experience and skill you need for every web development project. A company that specializes in custom web development will have experts in every aspect of the project and can deploy them for the duration of the project or just for a small amount of time when you need them.

It is like the difference between playing a round of golf with just a few clubs versus a full bag. You can get the job done with driver, wedge, and putter but your score will be much better with all the woods and irons you might need.

Quality of the product

Having all the talent, experience, and perspectives you need to get the project done right will result in a higher quality final product. Using the right tool for the job is always advisable and an outsourced custom web development company has the right tools for every type of job.

The other reason the quality is generally higher when you outsource is due to focus and the client relationship. The outsourced company has a greater incentive to do a great job because they want a recommendation or repeat business. They will be fully focused on the project in ways an in-house team usually can’t be due to all their other responsibilities.

You can shop around

The final “pro” of outsourcing your project is that you can consider different factors for each project and consider several different companies. This will help you find the perfect fit and get a company that will work with you in the exact way you want. Liventus has a useful guide to some considerations to take in when seeking a custom web application development agency.

Cons

Sometimes outsourcing may not make the most sense. Some downsides accompany undertaking a project this way. Although many of these issues can be remedied by working with the right custom web development agencies, a few cons are worth considering.

Might not understand your business

Web development companies develop web projects. They don’t produce the products or provide the services that your business does. An in-house team will be very familiar with the ins and outs of your specific business in a way that an outsourced company may not be. If you do go the outsourced route, make sure the company takes the time to understand what you need to get from your project and how it affects your business.

Communication issues

Communicating with a team that is not a part of your company is inherently more difficult than it is with an in-house team. They are physically located somewhere else and may not have the same communication tools that you use for internal communication. They also may not speak the same language you do when talking about your business. If you do decide to outsource, make sure communication is smooth and stress-free before you start the project.

Methodology conflicts

On the more technical side, the company you work with may work a different way and use different development methodologies than you would prefer. This can slow down the project, lead to additional expenses and dilute the end product. Ask any company you work with about their methodologies. You generally want agile development as opposed to the waterfall method.

Conclusion

We can’t tell you whether to outsource your next custom web development project or do it in-house. What we can do is give you the pros and cons. On the plus side, you get cost savings, a fresh perspective, the right talent, a quality product, and a lot of options. On the negative side, understanding, communication, and methodology can be difficult. Considering all these things will help you make the best decision for your business.