You are about to undertake the development of a mobile application or a website, and you ask yourself the question: “ am I calling on a freelancer or agency? ”.
These two options, even if they seem similar at first glance, are very different. In this article, we’ll explain the pros and cons of each option.
- A more complete service
- Ability to take on large projects
- Much less hazard
- More experience
- Better quality
- Higher prices
- More flexible and responsive
- Restricted area of activity
- Limited hourly volume
- Risk of unavailability
1 – Budget
2 – Project size
3 – Your time
Use a web/mobile development agency
When you hire an agency that specializes in website or mobile app development, you’re hiring a well-oiled team.
The team of a small development agency is often made up of developers, a UX designer, a project manager and a QA (quality manager). Larger agencies will include a wider variety of specialists.
By using an agency, you will be dealing with a single point of contact for everything related to the development of your site/application. This frees you from the complexities of project management and people.
Hire a freelance developer
Unlike an agency, when you hire a freelance developer, you only have one piece of the puzzle, you only have one developer.
As a general rule, several people must work simultaneously to develop a complex site or a mobile application in order to obtain a deliverable within a reasonable time.
If you opt for freelancing, you will at least need a designer with specific expertise in the design of mobile applications and websites (UX designer).
The advantages and disadvantages of a web and mobile development agency
A more complete service
An agency is made up of a multidisciplinary team, which means that it can support you in the different phases of your project: design, writing, development, digital marketing, etc.
Freelancers, on the other hand, often work alone. The agency is therefore better able to take on projects that require several skills.
Ability to take on large projects
Complex projects require significant resources and multiple skills that are rare to find in a single person, several developers must be mobilized over months.
Agencies are therefore more relevant for the realization of large web and mobile projects.
Much less hazard
Agencies are able to manage contingencies (illness, unavailability, etc.). Where a freelancer cannot be replaced in the event of a problem, an agency is made up of a team of developers, which makes it less exposed to the unexpected.
In addition, agencies are generally more rigorous than freelancers in project management, which has an impact on the quality of the deliverable and on the deadlines for completion.
The agency develops more projects than a freelancer, this allows him to accumulate more experience.
Also, the fact of carrying out several projects for different industries helps the agency to understand the issues of various sectors of activity.
Thanks to a rigorous work methodology, multidisciplinary and specialized profiles, quality processes and dozens of projects carried out. The quality is generally better within the agencies. That said, you can find freelancers who do very good work, the challenge is to spot them 😉
The prices of agencies are generally higher than those of freelancers, in particular because of their substantial fixed costs. That said, do not hesitate to get quotes from agencies, because often the difference is not as significant as one imagines.
The advantages and disadvantages of a freelance developer
Freelancers offer lower prices than agencies. Especially because they have less charges and taxes.
More flexible and responsive
A freelancer has no constraints related to his team or his hierarchy, so he is more flexible and responsive than an agency.
Restricted area of activity
A freelancer often only masters one major skill. It’s rare to find a developer who is this good at designing. A freelancer cannot therefore accompany you in all your needs within the framework of your project.
Limited hourly volume
A freelancer cannot take on large projects because he is limited by his volume of work. An agency can mobilize several developers simultaneously on a project to reduce development time.
Risk of unavailability
A self-employed person may fall ill or be unavailable. This can lead to having to wait or even to change provider. An agency can compensate for unforeseen events because it employs several developers.
Freelance or agency: which option to choose?
Here are the factors to consider when making your decision:
1 – Budget
If your budget is tight, the most logical option is to hire a freelancer. That said, even a freelancer must be paid, he will not be able to develop a project that will require three months of work at 3000€! For each project, there is an incompressible minimum threshold.
Do not hesitate to request several quotes from agencies and freelancers, this will give you the opportunity to compare and make an informed choice.
2 – Project size
The size of your project is a determining factor when you go to make your choice. If your project is small and does not require more than a month of development, then freelancing is a relevant choice. In the case of a larger project (several months of development), then the agency is the safest choice.
3 – Your time
The agency’s teams are ready to start at any time. Once the contract has been signed and the deposit made, your agency’s team can set off. They have systems in place to ensure that development progresses quickly and efficiently.
If you have a big project, you will have to recruit several freelancers to carry it out.
You could spend several weeks just finding someone with the skills and experience you need. You will also need a process to test their skills before handing over your project to them.
The freelancer(s) you hire may also have their backlog, which could negatively impact the time they spend on your project.
Last point, if you do not call on a project manager, you are the one who will do his job. Make sure you allow enough time to manage the development of your site/app.
4 – Level of requirement
If your project must be finalized by a deadline and with an impeccable level of finish, calling on an agency is the least risky choice.
Now you have all the elements to make the best choice between a freelancer or an agency for the development of your project 😉