Getting a website designed and built by outsourcing

By | August 20, 2007

These days, everyone including their grandma wants a website. Never mind if it is technically a blog or just something high tech like a forum or directory. But, let’s call all of them websites for convenience sake. I know a lot of people would like to have their own website, or are thinking of getting one built for themselves. Problem is, not many people are as tech savvy as they would want, and not many want to spend the large amount of time learning HTML, PHP, and CSS.

Also, most web designer rates are anything from $100-$5,000+. Not really for those who are on shoestring budgets.

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If you want to outsource the building of your website,  what are the things to consider, and how can you get  the best value for your money?Have a clear picture of what you want first. Go browse around sites you like, to get some ideas – if you don’t have any. Check out web design galleries, if you’re really clueless. There are many online galleries that showcase many designer portfolios. One might be Digitalthread.

  • You got to know what you want first, before you begin. Is it a business website or just a personal blog? What kind of visitors are you expecting? How large do you want it to be? Will it use a complex or simple script, or no script (100% html)? Your outline needs to be clear from the start.

Web design firms can be expensive. But, they confer one distinct advantage – they can get the job done relatively fast, especially for large, ambitious projects. Make sure they offer you installment payments and specific guarantees.

  • Avoid web design firms if your budget is below $300. Most web design companies won’t even agree to anything below $500, unless you are lucky enough to find a good Third World based company who’ll take it.
  • That said, you can try looking for small (mainly Third World based) firms advertising on Scriptlance, ELance, or RentCoder.
  • A word of caution, sometimes these small firms abuse the rating system found there, and spike up their ratings with bogus projects and feedback. If it’s too good to be true, it usually is.
  • Ask for their websites, and evaluate their portfolios which they post up. Are the sites fast loading? How is their navigation system like? Navigation is important for SEO.

After looking at web design firms, the better value for money option, is to find freelance web designers. With freelance web designers, you may get good work done for under $100. But, no two freelancers are equal. So…

  • Look for freelancers who understand the whole works, how a website functions, SEO, links, etc; and willing to help you install scripts for free if you really have no idea how to do it. At least, only consider freelancers who know coding, and are upfront from the start.
  • Work-from-home freelancers are good candidates. It’s no harm asking them upfront if they work from home. So far in my experience, I have found most home based freelancers to be honest and fairly competent, even if they don’t really know everything. Best places to look for home based freelancers are forums – marketplace. Post your project, and watch the bids come in.
  • If your freelancer is good, look for ways to work long term with him. It’s not easy to find a good freelancer.

Finally, you have yourself of course. There is nothing better than DIY. If you do take the trouble to learn some coding, now that’s the best deal of all 😉

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