Outsourcing Web Development | Best Practices in 2024

November 8, 2023

Struggling to meet your web development needs in-house?

You're not alone.

Many businesses find themselves in a labyrinth of coding challenges, tight deadlines, and ballooning costs. It's frustrating, to say the least.

Looking for a way out? Outsourcing web development can be a lifesaver, offering you a cost-effective, flexible, and clear roadmap to developing your website or web app.

In this article, we’ll cover all you need to know about web development outsourcing, including:

  • What is Web Development Outsourcing?
  • Benefits of Outsourcing Your Web Development
  • Tips for Choosing the Right Outsourcing Partner
  • Best Practices for Managing an Outsourced Team

And more!

Let’s dive in.

What Is Web Development Outsourcing?

Web development outsourcing simply means delegating the task of developing a website, be it from scratch or enhancing an existing one, to third-party agencies or freelance professionals instead of hiring in-house talents. 

Since it’s not limited by geographical boundaries, it enables businesses to access global experts available across multiple time zones.

Done right, it feels like having an extension of your team perform tasks more efficiently while also decreasing operational costs—a win-win for both parties. 

Now that we’ve laid down its basic definition, let’s talk about the "why."

Why do companies in 2023 outsource their web development?

8 Benefits of Outsourcing Web Development

The decision to outsource web development can be a game-changer for your business. It's not just about saving on costs; outsourcing brings more benefits than you might initially consider. 

Here, we will discuss some prominent advantages that you stand to gain when you decide to outsource web development.

  • Access to Global Talent: When you decide to outsource, geography becomes irrelevant, meaning that your business has access to skilled professionals from across the globe. This vastly broadens the pool of talent ready and able to bring unique ideas and skills to your project.
  • Cost Savings: Building an in-house team for web development can be an expensive endeavor because it involves more than just salaries—think hiring costs, training expenses, IT infrastructure, and operational costs. When you outsource web development tasks, on the other hand, these overhead expenses are eliminated since your partner agency takes over.
  • Flexibility and Scalability: Outsourcing gives you the luxury of scalability. You can easily adjust the number of developers working on your project based on current requirements without having to face challenges or financial risks often linked with hiring or laying off employees.
  • Time-Efficiency: When you hand over web development tasks to an outsourced team that knows what they’re doing, you're doing yourself a favor. You free up precious time that you can use to focus on big-picture planning, like marketing your product the right way.
  • Advanced Technology Access: Outsourcing partners often have access to the latest technologies and tools, which means your project can benefit from the most advanced solutions without you needing to invest in expensive software or training.
  • Risk Mitigation: By working with an established outsourcing firm, you share the risks associated with development, since they’re experienced in navigating common project challenges and can provide a stable development environment.
  • Quality Assurance: Professional outsourcing agencies have robust quality assurance processes in place, ensuring that the final product is tested thoroughly for any bugs or issues before going live.
  • Continuous Support and Maintenance: Many web development outsourcing companies offer ongoing support and maintenance post-launch, ensuring that your website remains up-to-date and functional.

5 Tips to Choose the Right Outsourcing Partner

Choosing the right team to handle your web development is a big deal and shouldn't be done on a whim. The quality of your project really depends on who you pick.

So, how can you make a smart choice? Here are some helpful hints we've put together for you.

#1. Research Potential Partners

Don't be too quick to settle on the first firm that appears promising. Just as in any other industry, web development encompasses numerous areas of specialization. Confirm whether the company's expertise aligns with your specific needs before moving forward.

Remember, there's no perfect approach to outsourcing web development—it all relies heavily on your bespoke requirements. However, being diligent and conducting thorough research can save you time and costly mistakes down the line.

#2. Consider Their Track Record

An established track record is usually a good indicator of a company’s capability and reliability. 

  • Have they handled projects similar to yours?
  • How successful were they at delivering those projects? 

Don't shy away from requesting tangible proof or case studies where possible or ensuring that their portfolio resonates well with your envisioned outcome. 

A consistent past performance record not only provides reassurance but also indicates whether they’re up-to-date with current technologies and software trends, which is always crucial when venturing into web development outsourcing.

#3. Define Your Project Needs

To find exactly what your project requires, you first need a clear understanding of what exactly your needs are.

Clearly outline what you need in terms of the technology stack, scope, and short and long-term objectives. Is your project going to require more flexibility or scalability? 

The more detailed you are, the better you can narrow down your search to partners with the right expertise. They should be able to scale up the resources as needed and be flexible in adapting to changes in the project requirements.

#4. Communicate Effectively

Never underestimate the power of clear communication. Especially when it comes to laying down any specific expectations for the intended project.

Describe your goals, tasks, deliverables, timescales, and costs, among others, clearly upfront.

Last but not least, good communication is a two-way street.

Be ready to listen and make changes as needed. A professional web development company will give you honest feedback without worrying about getting in trouble, which helps make sure you're both on the same page.

#5. Assess Cultural Fit

Make sure the company’s culture aligns with yours. The web development team you outsource your project to should be able to match your in-house team.

For example, if you’re a startup with a friendly workplace culture, a larger corporation that does things with cold professionalism might not be the best fit for your project.

Company culture impacts how your partner will approach problem-solving and collaboration during the course of your project, so ask ahead of time.

5 Red Flags to Avoid When Outsourcing Web Development

Outsourcing your web development can be incredibly rewarding, but only if you do it right. Before choosing a web development team, think ahead so you can recognize any potential pitfalls and sidestep them so your project doesn’t get thrown off track.

Here are some red flags to keep an eye out for when looking for an outsourced web development team:

  1. Poor Communication: Effective communication is the cornerstone of any business relationship, especially when it comes to outsourced projects. If your prospective partner has inconsistent or slow responses, misunderstands requirements, or lacks language proficiency from the get-go, consider it a big red flag.
  2. Shady Portfolio: When outsourcing web development, a company's portfolio should speak volumes about its work ethic and professional expertise. If the purported achievements feel sketchy with no solid proof or examples of successful past projects, be wary.
  3. Lack of Transparency: A reliable outsourcing partner will openly discuss their processes—how they allocate tasks, charge fees, and manage changes in scope—and consistently update you on project progress without sugarcoating the truth. If there’s a lack of transparency about these key aspects, it’s not a good sign.
  4. No Technical Expertise or Resources: A third-party agency should have both technical competencies on par with industry expectations and the resources to navigate newer technologies for optimal results. Failing to answer what frameworks they use, their code management practices or mitigation strategies for technical debt shows competency gaps you don’t want your project to suffer from.
  5. Prioritizing Cost Over Quality: While obtaining value-for-money services is essential when outsourcing web development, chasing low-cost solutions can often backfire. If the agency you’re considering cuts corners, you can expect poor-quality output fraught with bugs and subpar performance metrics.

Traditional Outsourcing vs. Staff Augmentation: Which Option to Choose?

When it comes to outsourcing web development, there are two models that you can adopt—traditional outsourcing and staff augmentation. Both approaches uniquely extend your team’s capabilities.

Traditional web development outsourcing means handing off essential activities to an external organization that specializes in the services you need. This lets your company focus on its core functions while making sure the technical tasks receive expert attention. Under this model, third-party providers typically take full responsibility for project completion and deliver quality results without needing client-side supervision.

The other option is staff augmentation. Here, instead of outsourcing your whole project, you temporarily increase your enterprise's workforce with skilled workers from specialized recruitment firms. Unlike traditional outsourcing, where accountability lies largely with the provider, staff augmentation fits new personnel directly into existing in-house teams, working under company management policies.

There are three essential factors to consider when choosing between these two models:

  1. Control Level: For projects that require high-level control or share sensitive information, staff augmentation can offer an edge. The hired experts will be working within your internal protocols and systems, so you’ll be managing them directly.
  2. Organizational Flexibility: If your project has demand fluctuations or temporary requirements, you might prefer traditional outsourcing. It reduces overhead costs and makes scaling capacity seamless, so it’s a great option for many businesses that need more flexibility.
  3. Project Complexity: Simplified projects are easier to hand off to external organizations since they don’t need as much supervision. However, more detailed projects are better suited to staff augmentation since your skilled specialists can collaborate closely with in-house teams throughout the entire project.

What Happens Next: How to Ensure the Success of Your Project?

Starting an outsourcing web development project is the first part of a transformative journey for your business. Now, your job is to make sure your project is successful.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Create a Detailed Scope Document: A comprehensive roadmap is crucial to a successful outsourced web development project. It should include all the features that need to be outfitted into the project and their real-life applications and all of your project’s code and designs should be based on it.
  2. Set Realistic Milestones: Complex projects often need to be handled in phases. By splitting the work into tangible milestones, it becomes easier to track progress and ensure each stage stays within budget and timeline.
  3. Ensure Quality Assurance (QA): It's essential to deliver a functional end product that also performs seamlessly in multiple scenarios. This means your project needs rigorous QA testing procedures that evaluate everything from load times to navigational intuitiveness.
  4. Expect Changes: Digital technology is constantly evolving, so being adaptable is the key to keeping your project on track and navigating any bumps in the road. Take the opportunities for growth and re-adjustment as they show, since outsourcing web development also means forging a partnership aimed at optimizing your business's online performance.

4 Best Practices for Managing an Outsourced Team

The success of outsourcing web development largely depends on how effectively you manage your outsourced team. So, it's crucial that we share the best practices for managing an outsourced team:

#1. Establish the Right Communication Channels

Communication bridges the gap between expectations and achievements. Regular interaction helps avoid misunderstandings and keeps everyone aligned toward collective objectives.

A tool as simple as a shared project management platform can foster transparent collaboration, giving both parties real-time visibility into the project’s progress. We suggest using a system that offers channels for instant communication, task allocation, and status updates.

#2. Set Clear Goals

Make sure all the defining points regarding what you expect from the project are laid out, along with realistic deadlines. Clearly defined milestones will keep your outsourced web development team focused since they’ll understand exactly what needs to be done and when.

Consider utilizing project management tools that offer visual aids like Gantt charts and Kanban boards. This can make it easier for everyone involved to see what's been completed and what's up next.

#3. Build Trust 

You need to trust your third-party vendors. 

Again, consider using collaboration tools and regular meetings that support seamless communication and foster an inclusive environment where team members can freely share ideas and feedback.

Trust in your remote team’s prowess builds reassurance and fosters a greater level of productivity. A fundamental part of this process involves respecting their expertise and understanding cultural differences, if there are any.

#4. Adopt Feedback Mechanisms

Feedback mechanisms are the stepping stones toward constantly improving performance and product quality during the course of the project. Don’t just rely on providing feedback to your outsourced team, though. Receiving it also gives you an opportunity for refinement over the course of your project.

Integrate systems that can both streamline the submission of feedback and automate testing and deployment. These systems will improve the efficiency and quality of your web development process and pave the way for a polished final product.

Laptop screen

Let’s Talk

If you are looking for a bespoke software development company, please get in touch by phone by calling +44 (0) 1905 700 050 or filling out the form below.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.