Most businesses and brands generally go through different phases of web development. The period that carry out websites or projects have to decide between an internal developer and a web development agency. Sometimes, it can be tough to define a right or wrong answer. However, here are some questions that you should ask them to clean out the scenario.
Who is responsible for the management of work?
A web development project is not as simple as it sounds. There will always be unknowns before beginning the project with complexities appearing as the project progresses. It can be a full-time job in itself, as you will have to –
- Scope out such risks.
- You are avoiding them.
- Minimizing their impact.
- You are keeping track on the things including the budget and expectations.
Web development projects developed by internal teams can pose a mammoth risk most of the times. The uncertainty exists because the process and structure are sometimes not in place for the developers. They are not able to work effectively, nor do they have the right people to oversee them. On the other hand, in the agencies, there are project managers. These managers supervise every client relationship and project delivery. They have defined goals and responsibilities to make sure that everyone is happy, and the process is going smoothly.
For brands or businesses with a less established digital team, there might not be an experienced project manager. Instead, they opt for a design/marketing team that is responsible for managing the development. They will be of a high internal cost to the business. Even more so when their lack of experience shows and things run longer than expected.
What process will they be following?
The established agencies invest large sums of money and time in developing their processes.
Over the years, the top agencies develop:
- Tools and processes for project management
- Good communication
- Quality assurance
- Resource scheduling
- Time tracking
- Development server environments
- Mobile and browser testing
This helps them evolve and strive for more efficiency, transparency, and effectiveness. This investment will allow you to get exceptionally high-quality work within your budget and in very less time.
A lack of clearly defined processes goes missing in the internal development teams. This is the reason they end up throwing projects off course, and the project exceeds the set budget. Even the stakeholders sometimes lack transparency, disrupting the project.
Who specializes in what?
A significant advantage of choosing an agency would be that it would have resources of talented specialists. They understand their operational processes as they have chosen to focus mainly on one aspect of the digital world. Moreover, they are not just experienced but highly passionate about their work as well. This is what makes them a success in this fast-paced team environment.
On the other hand, the area where internal developers lack is that they are mostly generalists. That is the case because they have to work across a greater range of tasks. It happens because it does not sound logical to hire a team of experienced specialist developers internally. Another reason might be that the person hiring might not have a strong understanding of the skill sets required.
While decent internal developers might come at a cheaper day rate, but they fail to offer high quality. When compared to an agency, internal developers will not provide good quality when working on complex tasks.
Who comes up with the ideas?
If you were aware of what you want, then it would be a smart choice to bring in internal developers. This decision comes after doing all possible research, discovery, and definition and then coming to a concise conclusion. It is essential to arrive and a clear and concise backlog of tasks that require auctioning. After that, all you need is to implement them. In this case, a contract/internal web developer can efficiently work their way through your list by ticking the boxes.
Where is the value-adding up to? Internal developers are not as good at partnerships as they are as suppliers.
Agencies long for long and successful relationships with clients where they can have a trustworthy mutual partnership. They will question your briefs and let you know where you might be going wrong. They will seek new opportunities actively and encourage you to be brave. Being proactive and not reactive is a big part of their proposition.
The essence of the relationship between an employer and an internal web developer makes the above hard to replicate. A hierarchy might prevent ideas from rising and be seriously thought about. Moreover, internal developers also do not consider coming up with unique ideas and pushing employers to be innovative. This happens because they are there for a limited time-period to complete a finite number of tasks and nothing more.
How much potential does your developer hold?
Internal developers have restriction in their capabilities, as they cannot do a lot more than developing. Agencies, on the other hand, offer complimentary services apart from web designing. They provide everything from strategic consultancy to user experience research to even interactive designs, conversion, optimizations, and SEO. Agencies also have other value-added services to help the clients achieve their goals.
If you are planning your next development project, there are things you have to consider. You must think about the pros and cons of hiring an in house team or a specialist WordPress agency. It is not necessary that you have to pick one of them. You can also choose a combination of both in house developers and an agency. This combination will have its advantages. However, be sure to define the roles and responsibilities clearly before beginning the work.